Sunday, May 22, 2016


OK - last time I got a chance to post we had just seen the brilliantly dark and funny Hangmen at National Theater Live... then kind of sort of all hell broke loose----

Well actually what happened was we headed in different directions- Phil went back to Chicago to spend time with our dear friend Aase who was in from Denmark and I stayed behind to work on closing up the Florida condo.  I am still doing that but in the meantime we finally closed on the new condo in Chicago and moved out of our three storage lockers and into the new place.

We had nearly two hundred boxes (after we downsized! mind you) so this is still a work in progress- but in about three solid days of work - exhausting work (my fingers ached for days) we got almost all the boxes unpacked... we are down to about 25 at this point and two more solid days of work should put us past the finish line... but those days still lie ahead...

why? because we had a long planned trip to NYC to celebrate a belated birthday with our friend Alix. You don't turn five (a whole half a decade old!) every day you know! So we dropped everything and took off to spend time with Alix, mom Laure, dad Arno, and our own three decades old Jeremy...

There are photos - of course LOL- and I will start with a favorite and old "friend"  for lunch... the Grand Central Oyster Bar...

and then go back to chronological order- the condo looked SOOO roomy before we put all our junk in it- LOL

a small part of the boxes- about 50 of them broken down- more than half had to be filled with the paper the movers used to pack everything in so we could only flatten so many...

my first square foot of organized space-

the guest bedroom bed did get made in case we had unexpected guests LOL

the chest I use for all my travel gear in the master bedroom also got unpacked and organized -

two hall tables also got set up and ready to hold items the first in the bedroom hallway and the second by the front door- the chair is still holding up empty boxes - hence the weird angle of the photo- LOL

once the boxes have been unpacked we can start to hang things on the wall- that's when I know it is home - the art work goes up...

we also got the guest room closet organized (holds all the things we used to have in the laundry and front hall closets.  But - this was as far as we got... however, we did have our guys Tim & Peter install two new toilets and two new bathroom cabinets and take out hardware in the front hall closet so we have some on site wine storage and take care of several niggly maintenance items - so we are getting there... slowly but surely...

then it was off to NYC after 3 days of unpacking-

we started the trip at Juni- with Jeremy and his friend Kate - a very interesting woman and artist - sharing some excellent conversation during a fabulously artistic meal- I will post the menu course by course and follow each course description with photos- but first some amuse courses and miscellaneous fun stuff-

cranapple hearts-

truffle truffles - mushroom truffles made to look like chocolate truffles -

outstanding "olives" made from marinated grapes served in flavored olive oil-

a saffron spread with piment d'espelette for the terrific mini baguette style bread- in olive, plain or rosemary... along with a fab green olive tapenade to spread as well-

the hand towels for refreshing - opened up when doused with hot water from a kettle-

on to the courses! between us we had all three starters- shown in order

on the second course we did the crab and pork belly - shown in order

the fish course- we chose the salmon and the black bass-

for "meat" course we had the duck and the veal-

and to finish some mignardise-

another great meal at Juni-

the next day we had lunch at Gotham Bar & Grill on 12th- we had two terrific starters - seafood salad and the tuna tartare- followed by a burger for me and miso soy glazed black cod for Phil-

then for dinner we met Laure and Alix at Racine's NY and had another wonderful meal- which was compliments of Laure and Arno-

amuse of mushroom soup- yum! we had the veal tartare (excellent) and the white asparagus (fab!) but no photos- we ate them before we remembered to take pictures LOL Laure & Alix shared the fluke.

for the mains - Phil had duck and I had the fregola morel "risotto" - Laure & Alix had the red snapper. it all looked wonderful and tasted even better.

Panna cotta for me and tart for Phil-

 then on to lunch at the Oyster Bar (a regular stop)

clam chowder-

oysters- blue points-then well fleets

we liked them LOL

a lobster roll for each-

a stop before heading out- you get to the toilets through the counter seating and the saloon-

I hope this place never closes (it did for a short period a few years ago for some reason- but it came back exactly the same) because I love going here and it is so cool that the million oyster project is happening around NYC to sustain the oysters there- so we will always have plenty to eat! YEA!

that night we went to Laure's for dinner of a lovely tomato and avocado salad and a wonderful pastry wrapped tenderloin of pork with olives and lemons - with sides of fiddle head ferns and spinach followed by a flan.  Alix got to have her dinner on the roof deck while we finished a few started bottles of wine and watched the ships go by-

yes that is the Statue of Liberty in the distance -

our final day - we didn't really want to haul our luggage to Katz's so we picked the 2nd Avenue Deli for lunch- Phil started with soup and then had pastrami - I had a bagel with lox -

 we headed to the airport and I flew to Tampa and he to Chicago where we are now working on various home projects getting ready to meet up in Chicago in just a few more days- after meeting with our property check guy and getting all the porch furniture cleaned up and inside for the rainy season (summer) in Florida...

it has been an eventful real estate year - since last July when we put our house on the market and sold it twice in the fall - the first people never came up with the earnest money and the second people were somehow amazed to find the wine cellar had a board with mold on it... so we left and took it off the market-

we put it back on in February and sold it but the contingencies of the inspection and attorneys and mortgage approval were stress inducing - meanwhile Phil went through the sale of two of his buildings with different ownership groups- finally the house closed and we found a condo- and finally that closed...

and in that time we also had trips to Dublin, Cuba, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Transdniestria (and Odessa.) so it is no wonder the time flies by so quickly... from  July 1- June 30th we will have spent a lot of time in transition... but settling in will be all the more sweet because of it.... stay tuned... we are off on the road again in a week...Phil to Ireland and TB and me to Canada... my namesake and more...

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