A Look Back - May 2019

What an incredibly busy, exciting, and memorable month May turned out to be. Spring was in full bloom and we are just about to wrap up our first year on the east coast. But before we hit that milestone we had an incredible month to catch up on.


RECAP OF THE MONTH

This month could not have begun with a crazier start. On the first Friday the month, Jenn randomly texted me that she wanted to go out for dinner and so I made a last minute reservation at a place called Kilo which is a tapas and wine bar nearby. When we arrived we were asked if we had made two reservations and quickly responded that we had not. We were running a few minutes late so we weren’t sure what was going. He then asked if we knew anyone with our same last name in the city (like any family) we said no and he proceeded to tell us that he thought we had made a couple of reservations and had given ours away because he had literally just sat someone with the same last name. A minute later my third (not sure how that works) cousin came up and introduced herself and we chatted for a couple minutes. The first thing I asked was how does she pronounce her last name and when she said the “S” was silent I knew we were related. We promised to reconnect later and after a couple of Facebook messages and conversations with our grandparents we found out that our great grandfathers were brothers. We not only had a great meal but we met new family and have a great story to come out of it.

The following weekend we were out and about. We went to brunch and then for the first time to the brand new Hudson Yards. It’s been open for a few months or so but we just now made our way over there. The mall, the surrounding area (including the Vessel) were incredible. We loved walking through and seeing what I’m sure will continue to develop as a beautiful shopping area in NYC. That same night we went and saw Network with Bryan Cranston (more on that below).

It was only a week later that my parents came out to visit us here in New York. They arrived Saturday morning we took them out right away. My dad had previously asked for a “jam packed” itinerary and I might have gone a little overboard with two days printed out and ready for them when they arrived. After giving them a tour of our apartment we took them to a jewish deli (Fine & Schapiro) and then for a walk around Riverside Park. We let them rest for a bit before going back out that night to one of our favorite Italian places in the city, Cacio e Pepe and finishing off the night at Insomnia Cookies.

The next day was even more busy. We first went to Brooklyn to see the synagogue my great grandfather was the head of Congregation Mount Sinai. Sadly it was being redone so our pictures weren’t as great as we’d hoped. We then toured Dumbo before going back over the Brooklyn Bridge to the World Trade Center. My mom had purchased us tickets to a river cruise and so we quickly jumped in a cab to try to make it. Sadly although we arrived a few minutes before it was supposed to depart it had already left the dock and just begun its departure on the hour tour. We were all exhausted by this point so we took a taxi to my work (they wanted to see it) and then the subway back to the Upper West Side. We finished the day at Boqueria a great Spanish tapas restaurant in midtown right near Jenn’s work before calling it a weekend. We had such a fun time showing my parents around the city.

We then arrived at memorial day weekend, the weekend we had been excited for all month. We started off the celebrations at a restaurant I’ve wanted to go to far before we moved to New York. It all stemmed back to my 30th birthday trip to Paris when Jenn took me to Spring a restaurant from chef Daniel Rose. He closed Spring a couple of years ago and came to New York to open Le Coucou. And I’m so happy to be able to report that Le Coucou was not only “as good” as Spring it was better. We started off with two glasses of champagne and the Saumon aux Concombres, Vinaigrette Citronnée (lightly cured salmon with cucumbers, lemon and roe). It was a perfect way to start. Then we split the Quenelle de Brochet “Route de Reims” (champagne beurre blanc, caviar) which is hands down one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. I’ve never had such rich, simple textures come together for a more mouth watering dish. I literally teared up when I started to eat it, it was that good.

For our main course we both had a glass of red wine. Jenn got the Tout le Lapina (all of the rabbit) which was rabbit served in three styles and I had the Pigeon Grillé à la Catalane (catalan style pigeon, almond, red pepper, olive). Both entrees were some of the most exquisitely crafted and delicious things either Jenn and I have ever eaten. Its one of those meals where you sit back and cherish every last morsel of food.

We couldn’t stop there. We finished dinner with two desserts (because who really wants to split one). We had the Crêpe Soufflé au Citron (lemon ice cream, citron confit) and the Omelette Norvégienne (pistachio ice cream, flambée à l’eau de vie). Honestly, I couldn’t pick a favorite both were so good on their own. We left Le Coucou with our stomachs full and our cups running over, it was one of those meals that will forever live in the annals of our favorites of all time.

We weren’t done with good eats then. The next day we went back out and rode bikes along the Hudson from 68th street all the way to the World Trade Center. We had lunch at El Vez and shopped at Brookfield before going back home and resting. We then went back out and had dinner at Danji a Korean tapas restaurant that was out of this world. The highlight there were the wings which in my opinion were some of the best we’ve ever had. Before we went to see Kiss Me Kate we even stopped off some great desserts at Bibble and Sip (a place we frequented a few times when we vacationed here in 2017). The evening was capped off by the amazing performance of Kiss Me Kate.

Sunday we kept it pretty relaxed, stayed home for most of the day (outside of going to see Aladdin in Chelsea). Our Monday of Memorial Day weekend we rented a car from Avis about ten blocks from us and for the first time since moving here drove out of the city and explored. We went off to Storm King State Park where we did a 3-mile hike that looped up and down and around the Hudson river. It was a gorgeous day and an unbelievable hike. We got the bug not only to go out hiking but also to explore out of the city a bit more. It was quite the perfect day.

And that wrapped up the month of May. It was a busy month with a lot of activity, a lot of great food, theater, and movies. It might be the best month we’ve had since moving to New York and I think its only going to continue to get better from here.


TV WE WATCHED

What an incredible, emotional month of TV. Without burying the lead the end of Game of Thrones has now come and gone and even now a few weeks removed I’m still sad that it’s over. I may be in the minority but I loved the final season. It wasn’t as smooth as the first couple of seasons of Game of Thrones but it was still a really fun, insightful and often shocking show to watch. We also saw the end of Veep a show that Jenn and I both love and are sad to see go.

We also were introduced to new shows like I’m Sorry and Ramy. Of the two Ramy is a show that kept me thinking long after we finished the season. Given that in a month we’re going to be Egypt it was great timing to watch a show about a first generation Egyptian’s life in the US and his desire to rediscover his roots in Egypt.


BOOKS I READ (OR LISTENED TO)

It turned out to be a sort of odd month for reading. I read It’s Superman for GamersRead which was a complete slog. I also chose to read Catch-22 with the recent release of George Clooney’s show on Hulu which looked good. I’ve been wanting to read Catch-22 for a while but I just didn’t love it. I get the hype and the reason people call it a classic but it wasn’t for me. My favorite book of the month was the slow burning but incredibly engaging Where the Crawdads Sing. Not a book I’d normally read but I adored it.

 


MOVIES WE WATCHED

May turned out to be quite the movie month. I was feeling lazy so one weekend I watched Eighth Grade, Cold War, and The Favourite all movies I’ve wanted to see. Cold War was probably my personal favorite of the three but I really enjoyed Cold War, although none of three can be considered “uplifting.”

But really there’s a bunch of big movies we saw this month. Starting with the spectacular end to the 27 movie long saga culminating with Avengers: End Game which Jenn and I both loved. Towards the end of May we went and saw the live action remake of Aladdin which was far better than we thought it was going to be. And we ended the month going to see Rocketman a truly great movie.

By far the most uplifting movie of the month was Bring Down the House on Netflix following four women running for congress, most notably AOC, who comes out of this documentary even more inspiring than I thought she was already.


THEATER WE SAW

I’m not sure why it took me so long to add this section of the monthly posts but we’re now going to recap the plays, musicals, ballets, symphonies and operas. This month we saw Network starring Bryan Cranston. a show we were going to see earlier in the year but Jenn was sick so we sold the tickets. We re-purchased the tickets and are glad we did. Although Network is not a perfect play the acting of Bryan Cranston along with the spectacle of the set made for a really enjoyable evening.

One of our favorite shows of the year was Kiss Me Kate a fun, easy going, and really beautifully constructed musical. The entire sold out crowd was enjoying every song, and I’ll never forget the opening number after intermission which was over ten minutes of some of the best dance and tap dancing I’ve ever seen.


GAMES I'VE BEEN PLAYING

This might have been my busiest month of work since joining Citi last year. So I’ve been using my video game time as opportunities to just mindlessly play a game rather than go through a massive story. Mostly been playing a lot of sports games which are quick and easy.


2019 GOAL TRACKING

Goal #1: Read 33 Books: I've read 18 books and am currently way ahead of schedule to hit my goal.

Goal #2: Run 300 Times: I’ve run 150 times so far in 2019. On track to hit the goal.

Goal #3: Keep Weight Under 140: I've yet to go over 140lbs

Goal #4: Eat at 12 Michelin Star Restaurants: Four so far, currently one behind plan.

Goal #5: 12 Monthly Recaps: 5 for 5.