09 January 2007

School is starting already!

It really does seem it just ended, but my first night of class this semester is tomorrow! I've spend several hours tonight getting things up-to-date (the syllabus will have to wait until next week, I fear) and playing with my new course blog, which I've linked here. Just an experiment.

Kerry and Kenny, have you switched over to the new Google Blogger (or whatever)? It's so much easier to edit and format . . . no need to learn silly html.

It pains me to say it, but go Gators! What a blowout . . . you make an SEC girl proud. I'm hoping I'll get to recount Christmas stories tomorrow night or Thursday.

02 January 2007

All right, New York first . . .

So, the weekend before Christmas (this would have been the 15th, 16th, and 17th) RP and I took the train from Union Station to Penn for a New York adventure! We got in around 8:30 on Friday night and went immediately to get food at a Korean restaurant. I had bibimbap, a delicious rice concoction. I have a new favorite cuisine - if Richmond had any such places, I would be several pounds heavier and many dollars poorer. We then went to Rockefeller Plaza to see the Christmas tree and ice skating, and walked to some of the department stores (Saks and Macy's come immediately to mind) to look at all the ornate display windows. The wonderful but exhausting weekend ended when we took the PATH train to lovely Hoboken where our hosts live.

It was a lovely time in many ways, not least of which is no one had anything really pressing to accomplish, so we didn't feel a bit bad about our late start the next morning. We walked along the Hoboken waterfront, which has lovely views of Manhattan, then took the train back to the city. We walked around the NYU/Washington Square area (apologies if I'm getting the geography wrong - I don't have my tour book handy) and had lunch at a restaurant devoted entirely to peanut butter! The Peanut Butter & Co Sandwich Shop, which is in Greenwich Village, had a truly fun menu (pictured here) of sandwiches and other treats featuring PB, and they have a line of gourmet peanut butters I've seen in Ukrop's. The Cinnamon Raisin Swirl is my favorite.

We walked some more (we did a lot of that!) along the lower west side (?) and had cupcakes at the Magnolia Bakery. I found them good, but a bit on the dry side. Thus fortified, we went to lower Manhattan, Ground Zero, Wall Street (also pictured here, decked out for the holidays), the financial district where our hosts work, then took the Staten Island Ferry, a free boat ride that provides wonderful views of New York Harbor as well as a good thirty minutes of sitting-down time.

Then it was off to Chinatown, Little Italy, and supper at an Australian restaurant, where I had a sausage roll (good), a meat pie (ditto), Brussels Sprouts (also good) and salad. (I should say that after all that walking I was starving, so cardboard would have been tasty, but the food at this place really was good.) Somewhere in there we happened upon a "new designers exhibition" in a school gym where young designers were selling clothes, jewelry, and accessories. I was very pleased to note that some of the knitwear was similar to the hat I'd knitted myself and had on.

The next morning we slept in (again), feasted on blueberry pancakes, and took the train back to DC. We had mostly daylight so we got to see some lovely East Coast cities in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. After a two hour car ride from Union Station (actually slightly more owing to a wrong turn I took that put me in a very dodgy part of Pennsylvania Avenue) I was back in Richmond in plenty of time to get ready for the next weekend's trip to Alabama.