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Me & Garcia, Morro Bay

The City so Nice...

Posted on 2008.01.21 at 12:14
 ...They Named it TWICE!   NEW YORK, NEW YORK.

Yup.  Just got back from NYC, my former home, and every time I go back, I get SERIOUS arm twisting from friends to make it my home again.  

Really, I'd love to be bi-coastal...if I were STINKING RICH.  But since I haven't won the lottery yet, I'll have to make do with the winnings that brought me to NYC this time.

I was a SWEEPSTAKES WINNER!  

A SWEEPSTAKES WINNER?  

Yes.  A SWEEPSTAKES WINNER.

And what SWEEPSTAKES did I win?  

rsndy, vernonica, tim & sal

I won a trip to NYC PLUS a Visa shopping card through Tim Gunn's GUIDE TO STYLE.  http://www.bravotv.com/Tim_Gunn/index.php

Just goes to prove that people actually DO win contests they enter online.  And this time it was ME! 

This is a photo of my friend Randy & me at the Bravo luncheon posing with a facsimile of Tim and his co-host on the show, supermodel Veronica Webb. 

I do have a photo of me with Veronica Webb but - note to self - a photo of oneself next to a supermodel always makes one look like a COW.  They are INCREDIBLY narrow, those supermodel gals.  

Anyway, the trip was for me PLUS one, so I brought my sisters.  Plural.  Both of 'em.   Because how do you really choose? And the nice folks at Bravo put us up at the W Hotel Union Square.

I am NOT HIP ENOUGH for the W Hotel Union Square.  No one is hip enough for the W Hotel Union Square.  

The W Hotel Union Square works OVERTIME at being hip, to the point of being square.  

I mean, EVERYTHING is a "w".  The front desk button on your phone is "Whatever, Whenever".  The "do not disturb" sign for your door says "When?  Not quite YET."  

You get the picture.  But here's a picture of my sisters, Carolyn & Paula, in their jammies in our $500 a night room.    

They're gonna kill me for this picture. 

$500 a night

Worth $500 a night?  The ROOM, not my SISTERS, you awful people!  

Well, there was another bed.    And Bravo paid.   And there was this view of Union Square.

union sq night

By night...

union sq. day

...and by day.  Not bad, eh?

But still.  $500 a night?  My first apartment in NYC cost less than that a MONTH.  Granted, that was twenty years ago, but the staff of the hotel was lovely, and then there's the location, location, location, and did I mention Bravo paid? 

So, the Bravo luncheon.  I took Randy, because my sisters opted out in order to walk around NYC.  They took The Immigrant Experience walking tour of the Lower East Side with a group called the Big Onion.  www.bigonion.com   Big Onion Walking Tours was started by a group of brainy grad students of history, and my sisters loved it. 

And the very next day, I got to do my own walking tour, taking them to some of MY favorite places on the Lower East Side.  

First, the FAMOUS Katz's Deli on East Houston Street.

katz's

Everyone who is ANYONE has eaten at Katz's and has their photo on the wall to prove it.  We sat by JOHNNY DEPP'S photo.  Sigh. 

Katz's has also been in a number of movies - most notably the "fake orgasm" scene in "When Harry Met Sally".   But Katz's is also super famous for their well-known slogan.

"Send a Salami to your Boy in the Army"  http://www.katzdeli.com/shopping/index.php?cat=salami

send a salami

I don't know if you can read that in the signs hanging overhead, but it doesn't matter.  Katz's sells the "Send a Salami" t-shirts and will send salamis wherever you want - even to your boy (or girl) in Iraq.  

But for us, no need for delivery.  My sisters bought my Dad his belated Christmas Salami, and then I, who brought a backpack, ended up lugging five pounds of GARLICKY KOSHER MEAT all over town.  Fun!  

That's OK, though.  Paula ended up lugging it home in her suitcase & informed me that when she unpacked, EVERYTHING smelled like salami.  

At least the TSA hasn't banned kosher meats.  Yet. 

Katz's is also known, obviously, for its sandwiches, which are as big as your head.  

sandwiches

So we SHARED.  A pastrami Ruben and a classic corned beef, and they were DELICIOUS.

I also walked Paula & Carolyn by Russ & Daughter's Appetizing just west of Katz's - http://www.russanddaughters.com/ -  the BEST in smoked and pickeled fish.  And thank GOD neither of them wanted me to haul some smoked salmon or pickeled herring around all day.  And then, just west of Russ & Daughters, is another famous eatery.

Jonah Schimmel Knishes.  Who LOVES Jew food?  That would be ME. 

knishes

FYI - a knish is kind of a little potato pie, and Schimmel's are ALWAYS baked, NOT fried.  Their slogan.  

When I lived in NYC, my fave birthday card to give people had a photo of Schimmel's on the front and inside it said "Best Knishes on your Birthday".  

I don't know.  It cracked me up.

But our trip to NYC wasn't all about eating.  It was also about shopping.  

Unfortunately, I don't have photos of us street shopping in Chinatown, Soho, Nolita, etc.  I was too busy SHOPPING.  

Then it was ALL about seeing friends.  Since it was such a quick trip, my fab friend Leslie bravely offered to hostess a cocktail party at her lovely home in Tribeca so I could see all my friends in one fell swoop.  

I arrived a wee tiny bit early, as the guest of honor should do so her hostess doesn't have to entertain people she doesn't even know.  (check Miss Manners on that one!)   And who greeted me?  

Leslie's ULTRA darling daughter LUCY, who walked down the stairs, proudly clutching her copy of "The Heights, the Depths, and Everything in Between" and proclaiming, "This book is about ME!"  

lucy!

Well, Lucy, it is NOW!  

Lucy also told me ALL about  "Sally-Swims-a-Lot" which is a character in the "Max and Ruby" series - http://www.nickjr.com/shows/max_ruby/parenting_features/meet_rosemary.jhtml  "Max and Ruby" are books (and a television show) I didn't even KNOW about, which is amazing since I AM Sally and I DO swim a lot.  

Hmmm.  Well, MAYBE I don't know "Max and Ruby" 'cause I don't have a three-year-old.  That MIGHT explain it. 

The next morning, after bibim bop for breakfast at a Korean restaurant, we made a trip uptown to the Frick Museum, www.frick.org, which is one of my favorite museums in New York.  It's in a real Robber Baron mansion on Central Park and boasts an amazing collection of Old Masters including a stellar Rembrandt self-portrait and a beautiful Whistler seascape.  

Then it was off to JFK for the LONG ASS flight back home, where I watched football on TV and ate my presciently purchased Jonah Schimmel knish.  

Now I'm here in rainy LA thinking about my next trip to NYC....which will be in late April.  

I'll be back in April because a documentary film that I produced, titled "LONG STORY SHORT" was accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival.  How 'bout THAT?  

AND I'll be doing some book visits through the Brooklyn Public Library.   Yippee!

But, alas, I WON'T be staying at the "W" again.

WHATEVER.  



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