One of the things that had me busy for a bit was a visit by my girlfriend, Pam. Because we're in a long-distance relationship and don't get to see each other all that often, we usually end up trying to pack too many plans into not enough time, but I think we managed to have fun regardless. As has become a tradition of sorts, her first night here, we picked up some wonderful Turkish food from Sultan Gyro and ate it at home.
Pam and I finally had sushi together on Thursday the 19th in Hoboken at Teak on the Hudson, where I also enjoyed a lychee saketini. (A martini made with sake? What's not to like?) We decided to visit Queens for a change, since we're forever wandering Manhattan, but I misjudged the subway stop and so it took us longer to get to Astoria Park than I'd intended. No matter: we eventually escaped from the squirrels (even the black one) and found our way back to Stand4 in the Village and cooled off with some tasty shakes and sweet potato fries, before heading back home to watch "The King's Speech." What an inspirational film...
We met Pam's Flickr friends Kasia and Elizabeth in New Brunswick on Friday, and while it poured on the ride down, the rain let up shortly thereafter, and the four of us walked around the Rutgers College Avenue campus, and Easton Avenue and George Street. Ice cream at Thomas' Sweet was a must (mmm, raspberry ice cream with Kit-Kats blended in...), and I got a picture of the three young ladies trying to elicit a whistle from William the Silent, to no avail.
We four (no, Silent Willy wasn't invited after impugning their honor) then had dinner at Old Man Rafferty's, where my martini (pomegranate!) proved a lot less difficult for the bartender to pour than Kasia's.
Speaking of pomegranate, Pam and I paid our usual respects to Rosa Mexicano on Saturday, dining at the Lincoln Center location after a quick early bite at Nanoosh, visiting some indoor and outdoor fairs around Manhattan, coming across the Dance Parade (a few times), stopping for beers, and checking out the Manhattan Mall. Freshly-made spicy guacamole and a few frozen pomegranate margaritas really hit the spot, and I didn't even mind (too much) that we'd just missed the train back to Lyndhurst and had to head to Rutherford instead and take a cab home from there. We'd done too much walking already...
After breakfast at the Lyndhurst Diner on Sunday, Pam and I attended Susan and Brett's wedding at Mayfair Farms (in the 'good' Orange) and had a blast! It was Pam's first time at a Jewish wedding, and her first (and very possibly last) time seeing me in a yarmulke. The bride was beautiful, the groom was dashing, and we looked pretty damned good ourselves. Stephanie (Susan's sister), Nicol, and Barbara were at table 6 with Pam and me, and we all enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
You know you want some of this...
Pam asked me to drive her car on the way back from the wedding, and we took the long way home, heading west on Eagle Rock Avenue and traveling through Roseland and the Caldwells before moving eastward again and on to Lyndhurst. It was nice to think that she trusted me to drive her car, and the night drive and the company and the music made it all feel very special.
I pressed Pam to come up with a place for lunch on Monday, since we'd been eating at a lot of the places we'd been before and I wanted to do something different. She surprised me by picking Ruthie's, a barbecue and pizza (!) place in Montclair, and then Ruthie's surprised me by having an amazing barbecue chopped brisket sandwich and thick, tasty fries. We'd hoped to do some walking around Montclair after the meal, but it was just rainy enough that it wouldn't have been worth it, so we headed back to finish up the laundry instead. Dinner was a margherita pizza from Chris', and some garlic knots. I'd intended to finally show Pam "Spaceballs" (no, it's not a condition I got during my visit to the moons of Saturn), but while I found the DVD case easily enough, the disc itself appears to have gone missing. We ended up watching a few episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" instead, which seems to be a really funny show.
Pam left on Tuesday morning, but she left something behind, too. In fact, we'd exchanged albums that had had a profound impact on each of us. I lent her Tori Amos' "Little Earthquakes," which I've played so many times since a friend turned me on to it back in '92 (almost two decades and eleven albums later, it's still my favorite by Tori), and Pam lent me Ben Lee's "Awake Is the New Sleep." I'll write another post about the two albums later, once I've been able to give Ben Lee's work a little more attention, but I will say that I already love "Get Gotten" and "Ache for You."
Needless to say, I miss her (and I think she misses me, too), but we've already got plans to see each other again in August for her birthday. Absence makes the heart grow fonder... but visiting is pretty, and visiting is good. In the meantime, there is of course a pictorial documentary known as the Gallery... of Death! Go peruse the photos. :-)