Vacation From My Vacation

Summer break started on June 15 around 10am after I dropped off final grades and forms at the high school. The first week I had lots to do, the second week was a little quieter.

This week, though, we are in New York. Mister has business here and I have downtime. Yes, that’s right, Mister is calling this my vacation from my vacation.

What luxury! Yesterday, we had late breakfast/early lunch at Think Coffee on Bowery. Mister had a PB&J on wheat while I had an unremarkable mozzarella and tomato with pesto on “sourdough.” Sandwiches aside, I like the place with its calm interior and not-too-worn moss velvet couches. After we went our separate ways, I headed up Bleeker and ended up Purl Patchwork. I picked up several fat quarters with the plan to stitch them together into a baby quilt. We’ll see when it happens though I was definitely smitten with the idea (at the time). I stepped down a couple of doors to Purl to pick up stitch markers as I have nearly finished the second leg of the baby pants (from Hannah Fettig’s Closely Knit book). The pattern calls for 54 stitches cast on but those would be way too big, it seemed, so I ripped out the first leg and cast on 44 stitches. Or did I? When I joined my two legs, knit in Manos del Uruguay’s Cotton Stria (a yarn that looks good but is irritating to knit with — too sticky), I had to count stitches to place the stitch markers. Voila! I found one little leg was 40 stitches while the other was 44. Lucky me! I had a five hour flight to JFK and cranked out the other leg while watching back to back episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Flipping Out. (I am becoming a reality TV show junkie.)

The pants I’m working on are for a friend from work who is due the end of July. Even though I have zero need for more yarn, I wanted to find something to bring home. So, I picked up three skeins of Habu mohair boucle (less 40%), Nashua Natural Focus Ecologie Cotton in a lovely yellow (for my own pair of Fettig’s pants) and grey-ish (for the hearts), and a KnitWhits kit — an owl!

The damage didn’t end there, however. Our friends, the Manns, recently had twins. I utterly failed to pick up welcome gifts for the babies in April when they were born (another friend had a second baby in March and received her care package in June). I set out to find something for them. I stopped at Bombalulu‘s on W. 10th. Cute shirts, but I didn’t really want to buy something that says NY on it for New Yorkers (more specifically, Brooklynites). I picked up a two piece outfit for us, yellow with an old New York logo on it. You can wear that in California, can’t you?

Mid-afternoon called for a tea break with my friend Bryan and his fabulous boyfriend, Colin at Cafe Mogador in the East Village. We sat on the roof of their building for a while with their dogs Alex and Darwin (funny, funny boys!) before I headed back along E. 9th to the hotel and found Pink Olive Boutique and a twin set that will work out alright.

I almost picked up a onesie for us that is more of a romper, grey knit with a baby elephant following a mama elephant (holding on to her tail) but decided $68 was not in the cards at the moment. Instead, I bought Lentil a stuffed rabbit and a sleeper (?). I have officially purchased three items for Lentil. Whoa!

Mister and I had dinner with our friend, Upendra, at Degustation, a sushi bar that serves up tapas. Sushi bars make conversation among three people challenging, but it worked. We had the 5-course tasting which was just enough to satisfy without overloading us. I particularly enjoyed the suckling pig and its very crispy skin but I think Upendra and I agreed that the dessert, which I can’t spell, was fabulous in its simplicity. (It tasted like custard and bread pudding together but not too sweet).

I enjoyed watching the economy of energy in the kitchen with the chef, sous-chef, and (underling chef? chef in training?) working in three discrete spaces that seemed small yet perfectly suited to their tasks. This wasn’t the yelling scenario of restaurants I’ve worked in, but a cooperative set-up. The chef had several visitors, which is always nice to see.


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