Living in New York you get kind of used to having a revolving door of visitors. It’s one of my favorite things about living here. It takes very little convincing for your friends and family to come to you and see a snapshot of your life.
The week after I got back from Texas, ES and KC came down from Boston to visit. It was Valentine’s Day weekend as well as President’s Day weekend (for clarity, that means I had Monday off from work). I’ve known ES since high school so natch (naturally. ugh, slang I’m so sorry I used that) we had a triple date weekend with RLP and NR. I know these initials are a pain, but bear with me. This is a public blog, after all, and the only thing anyone has consented to is being my friend. I’M ON THIN ICE HERE. (I’m writing this late at night, could you tell?)
Okay, moving on.
This was KC’s first time in New York, so we knew we had to go all out. Spoiler: it was an excellent weekend.
J and I kicked it off at our place by hosting homemade Valentine’s Day dinner (more social than last year’s quiet festivities). We decorated the apartment with adorable heart balloons (okay, this was mostly my initiative) and RLP supplied mood-setting candles. Here’s a photo of J preparing for everyone by getting in some crucial video game time.
We made an amazing seafood stew, roasted carrots (of all colors!) with kale, and RLP made some festive pink heart-shaped pasta with a delicious beet-dyed cheese sauce.
It was such a happy evening with wonderful friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a day of love.
The next day we had reservations for Ssam Bar’s Rotisserie Duck meal. KC is a huge fan of Chef David Chang, so we knew we had to take him to one of the many Momofuku restaurants in the city. This meal is so fun for a group. It feeds 3-6 and requires advance reservations and it is worth. it.
First, they brought out the whole rotisserie duck that was stuffed with sausage just under the skin. Then they took it back, sliced it up, and prepared it as the picture shows below. I am drooling just thinking about it. To eat it, you take one of the thin pancakes (kind of like a roti or tortilla) and stuff it full of whatever you want — duck, sausage, mint, basil, lettuce, kimchi, rice that has been drenched in duck fat, you name it!
It was the absolute perfect amount for a group of six. At the end of the meal they serve you a rich broth that was made with the bones from the duck you just devoured. It was heavenly on such a cold day.
Afterwards, we stumbled around in the freezing wind to walk off the lunch. We went to Stumptown Coffee, Washington Square Park, and eventually to The Blind Tiger to get a few beers. The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. On Monday we met up again for a dinner at Koreatown to enjoy some Korean barbecue and on Tuesday they went back to Boston. I will say that there’s just something about old friends that remind you of how sweet life can be. Sometimes the city can wear you down and you can feel inadequate, that you constantly have to hustle just to keep up. But then you see someone (or many people) who you’ve known for so long and things just click and you realize you are enough. More than enough. We all need those reminders and sometimes it doesn’t sink in when you read it in a blog but it’s true. You are loved by so many and sometimes you need to make sure that you’re making enough time and space in your life for those you love and who love you back.
Which is a GREAT segue to my mom’s visit! She visited for four short days in March, when the weather was still trying to figure out if it really wanted to be springtime or not (mostly, it was very cold).
I suppose it’s my fault for moving across the country, but I always envied my friends whose parents could visit for a few days — just swing in for a brunch and be a part of everyday life. Living so far from my family, each moment that we spend together ends up being a vacation, which is great but I want to be able to share so much more! When I was home for winter break, we talked about ways to see each other more. With my mom’s busy schedule — working a crazy tough job and training for half marathons (!!!) — we decided a short trip would be best. I managed to find a great deal on tickets and she flew out for an extended weekend.
We visited the MoMA, saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway (with the original John Cameron Mitchell!), wandered through Tiffany’s on 5th Avenue, and ate delicious food. We went on walks, cooked dinner, talked about everything under the sun, and drank warm drinks. I got to show her my apartment and neighborhood in the East Village — just a small glimpse of what my everyday is like. The time spent felt far too short, but I’m hoping it won’t be long until the next time. I’m already thinking of places to take her for her next trip out! And hopefully my dad can make it, too.