The Pose. Taking selfies before selfies were a thing!
Jess and Ted got married in Manhattan at The Yale Club. The ceremony was in the awesome library and the reception was in the grand ballroom (the views! omg.). Jess looked so beautiful. I loved her dress (BHLDN) and her vintage and hand made accessories that went with it. And Ted was handsome, as always. The ceremony was short and sweet. At the reception, it was so much fun to reconnect with many old friends from New York and to meet some new ones too! After the ceremony we headed to a bar around the corner. I can’t even remember the name of it. I guess that’s how much fun we had! I got to catch up more with Jess there, in the quieter setting, and also when I met up with her the following night, though by then I’d lost my voice! So so so so happy for Jess and Ted!!!!
I stayed the weekend with Jeannette, Yvan and Juliette in Long Island City. I pretty much ate my way through the neighborhood! Cafe Henri, 51st Street Bakery, Cannelle Patisserie. I also treated myself to a mani/pedi, slept in a lot, took a lot of naps, and listened to a lot of the Serial podcast. I met up with Tien. .. to eat! (Casa Enrique). Always so much fun to hang out with Jeannette and Yvan and interesting to get a preview of what’s coming, since Juliette is several months older than Makai. Also, I hadn’t seen Tien in like…. forever? 2012? So it was great to catch up with him too. Big thanks to Jeannette and Yvan for always leaving the door open for me!
Dallas and Makai stayed in Chicago for the weekend. When I got home I walked in the door and Dallas said “walk to mommy” and Makai did it. Like… across the room! I’d seen him take a step or two before, but never so many in a row, so consistently! He also learned over the weekend how to get off the couch. What a relief. He used to try to face dive off and now he knows to turn around and go feet first. Maybe I should go out of town more often! Makai first crawled when I was in Milwaukee for the day for Stephanie’s graduation and I left him home with Dallas!
The view from my New York hotel. Empire State Building on the left!
After a long day of meetings, my team went out for dinner at Brasserie Les Halles. This is the French restaurant that is the home base of Chef-at-large Anthony Bourdain. I had the French onion soup and the cassoulet (a French casserole with a white bean base, three kinds of sausage, duck confit and pork belly!). For dessert I had chocolate mousse that was made with Valrhona chocolate, a high-end French chocolate. Everything was SO delicious. My coworkers and I just kept commenting how great everything was!
There was a Dean & Deluca cafe just down the block from my hotel. Very different than the Soho market I used to visit, but still very good when I stopped by for breakfast.
The Roundarch Isobar office is not far from the Word Trade Center. This is One World Trade Center, otherwise known as “Freedom Tower.” Just a few days earlier, “on May 10, 2013, the final component of the spire was installed atop the skyscraper, making One World Trade Center tentatively the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the third-tallest building in the world by pinnacle height, with its spire reaching a symbolic 1,776 feet (541 m) in reference to the year of American independence.” Look at how incomplete the building was about a year ago when I was in New York.
I had ricotta ravioli with asparagus and it was served in a crispy Parmigiano Reggiano bowl! The food here was so good. All of the pasta was freshly made on site!
I left New York to go to Boston, but before going to the airport, I met up with Jeannette and Yvan and Juliette for coffee.
Juliette is so precious! Only a month old!
Dallas used to live in Boston and I spent a lot of time there last year so it was fun to walk around and talk about places we both had visited. This building is behind a plaza where I used to visit food trucks at lunch. It wasn’t painted like this last year!
Dallas showed me this place, Chau Chow City where he used to go to dim sum with Billy and Ging and Josh. He said it was the best dim sum in Boston. Funny because I used to walk past this place every day when going from my hotel to the office.
After lunch we walked around Beacon Hill and then through Boston Common, where there was a Youth Pride event going on.
I stopped at the Intercontinental Hotel to use the bathroom and we ended up staying for a while to watch the Blackhawks lose to the Red Wings.
That night we went to Colleen’s wedding. More on that later!
I had to head out of Boston in the evening, but before doing that, Ross and Chelsea picked us up and we went to visit Matt and Molly. We’ve hung out with their daughter Lucy many times, but it was our first time meeting their identical twins, Theo and Quinn!
I’m holding Theo and Dallas has Quinn. They are about three months old.
Uncle Ross, Lucy and Quinn.
Aunty Chelsea and Lucy were picking flowers in the backyard. We had an impromptu barbecue and sat outside to eat. It was so nice out. And Matt and Molly’s whole yard is in full bloom. I especially liked the lilacs and they have a ton of them!
Excitement at the airport in Boston. I was just sitting there when all of a sudden flashing lights and an alarm went off… throughout the terminal. Everyone just acted like it was nothing but then I saw some firefighters walk by. A few minutes later the alarms turned off. False alarm?
In the cab home. I never noticed the vomit clean up fee.
While in New York I met up with Tien for my first Shake Shack experience. I think Shake Shack opened just after I moved from New York to Chicago and I haven’t been able to try it on any of my visits back, so I was happy to finally get the chance to see what all the talk is about. We met up at the Battery Park location. I asked Tien what the “standard” order was, I wanted to try just the basic, and not base my judgement off something crazy. I ended up with the ShackBurger (single patty with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce) and a frozen custard chocolate shake.
I liked Shake Shack. I liked it better than Five Guys, which I just tried a few weeks ago. It could be something to do with the way I ordered, though. I didn’t realize that a double was the standard order at Five Guys. If I was to go there again, I’d make sure to get just a single. Also, I had WAYYY too many toppings. It was so hard to eat and way too much. I did really like the fries at Five Guys, though. Tien and I shared fries at Shake Shack. They were good, but they don’t really stand out in my mind the way that the Five Guys fries do.
And then there’s In-N-Out. The holy grail. It’s hard for me to say if I liked my burger at Shake Shack more. I definitely remember a certain char that I liked on the Shake Shack burger, but I think I’d have to give this one to In-N-Out. Maybe its a nostalgia thing, me reminiscing about my days living in California, but I think I like In-N-Out better. I think the toppings are more fresh. I think In-N-Out uses iceberg? Maybe that’s it?
I must note that my burger at Shake Shack was totally under cooked. So much that I brought it back. I thought it was going to be a long wait, because there was a line out the door and they use a buzzer system, but they plucked a new burger out of the kitchen for me in about 30 seconds. I won’t hold this against them, though. It’s almost to their benefit and shows how great of service they have. The employees in the dining room were very helpful and friendly too. And speaking of the dining room, or the general ambiance of the place, I’d say that Shake Shack does win this. The space was beautiful and modern with lots of glass, metal and dark wood. It did not feel like you were in a fast food chain, which is totally the feeling of In-N-Out and Five Guys.
Anyway, I do not eat burgers that often at all, so this was a great treat for me. Also, Battery Park City? What’s up? Everything down there is brand new and there seem to be a ton of young families living there. Tien went to high school very nearby where we were eating and on the walk to the subway he pointed out all the new things. Aside from a building or two, everything is new. He said that back when he was in school it wasn’t anything…. empty lots. Crazy to think about.