Local Color: New York, NY

What better time to schedule a trip to visit to my publishing house and drop in on relatives then the Passover and Easter holidays? How so very convenient for all involved. When I was setting the dates, all I was concerned with was planning our trip to coincide with son E’s school break. It hadn’t even occurred to me that something might be going on during this time, despite all the Lent talk at my parent’s house and the prominent kosher displays at my local supermarket. But everyone was very gracious and welcoming. P, J’s aunt, hosted us for a tasty and educational Passover dinner and my editor wrangled her boss and the Kensington publicity director into a last minute Thursday lunch before everyone bailed for Good Friday. Even the weather cooperated, sort of. On my big meet-and-greet day it was sunny and warm then rainy the next, sunny again and so on and so forth. But I had some great food, good conversation, big laughs and did lots of walking. There isn’t a better way to experience Manhattan. And thanks to my dear friend J, we got to see places we wouldn’t have otherwise since he travels mainly by foot. I can’t wait for my next excuse to visit, but I plan to bring more comfortable shoes.

Why so glum? We’ll we were on our way to the Empire State Building and after my last hair raising elevator ride to the top I was in no mood to experience it again. Fortunately for me, the wait was two hours long and then it started raining. Anyway, the view is much better at night so maybe next time. Or not. The funny thing about Manhattan is anywhere you are you are always in Manhattan. Though definitely not the place you want to visit for a relaxing vacation, there is so much to see and do. And just like Paris, merely walking down a street is an experience unto itself.

A small pizza at one of the many pizzerias named Luigi’s you’ll find in New York. I’ve had better pizza (but not in France) and was slightly disappointed as I remember my previous visit here being far tastier. (In San Francisco my favorite pizza comes from Marcello’s on Castro St. In Santa Monica we ordered Abbott’s but I can take it or leave it. At our new place it’s all about Coop’s. Freaking worth the move just to be in their delivery area.) New York bagels, though, lived up to my expectations. I picked up a dozen before we left on Sunday at Bob’s Bagels on York Ave. I hade a wheat and son E had a cinnamon raisin that was too good to be true. Most definitely will be going there again in the future.

No we didn’t eat at O.G. and weren’t even tempted to. We did have a fine meal at New York institution, Mr. Chow’s. P’s boyfriend A took us out for a lovely meal and we all enjoyed sampling various dishes and a lively conversation about a wide range of topics. So very New York. Of course, I hadn’t packed an appropriate outfit and had to make due with bits and pieces of other outfits. Next time I’ll make sure to pack at least one nice thing. After all, just because I lead a fairly boring and pedestrian life in L.A. doesn’t mean I have to dress it.

Times Square
. Never, ever again. If I ever feel the need to see a Broadway show, I’ll get my tickets the civilized way and order them over the Internet. To be fair, my good friend J said it was extra-crowded due to the holiday and the fact that it was a Saturday. Still, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was suffering from sever sensory overload, with the crush of people, the cars and cabs. The noise level was unbelievable. Everywhere I turned it was louder and more annoying to the point where I just wanted to run screaming, there by adding my own pollution to the area.

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