Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day weekend review

My mom and my brother came to New York for the weekend, so I got to play tourist along with them for a few days.

We went to see "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" on Friday night, and we all thought the show was hilarious. My brother and I decided not to try to get into the show as spelling bee contestants, although I'd like to think I'd have done well. My favorite part of the musical was the example sentences the organizers used for the spelling bee words. I didn't actually like the music that much, and a few of the songs went on too long, like the one for the little girl whose mother is in India and whose father doesn't make it to the bee. But I'd wanted to see this particular show for over a year, and I wasn't disappointed.

On Saturday my brother wanted to see Chelsea Market, so we went down there around lunchtime. We browsed through a few of the gourmet stores, and my only regret was that I didn't have a recipe with me for dinner on Saturday night. I was surrounded by all these delicious-looking ingredients but I didn't buy anything. We continued the food tour in Greenwich Village: falafel and shawarma sandwiches from Mamoun's, coffee from Grey Dog Coffee, and cupcakes from the Magnolia Bakery. Then we went uptown to Zabar's, to which my brother had never been before, and I bought an electric kettle, a non-stick skillet, and a potato ricer. Michael just got a different ricer and a pound of coffee. We went back to my neighborhood for dinner at Penang. (In case it wasn't clear before, this weekend was mostly about doing things to fill in the time between excellent dining experiences.)

We took my mom to brunch at the Delta Grill on Sunday morning. I'd been to the Delta Grill many times, but never for brunch. I had an omelet wrapped in a potato cake, which reminded me of the SNL "Taco Town" commercial, and we all enjoyed some of their beignets (which were good but not even close to the ones at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans). After lunch we had a few hours to see the Guggenheim Museum and the David Smith sculpture exhibit that was closing that day. The sculptures were interesting but didn't do much for me. I liked his earlier works better than the later ones -- Smith spent his last years combining found steel objects into artworks, but it looked to me like he was just throwing together anything he could find and calling it art. Sunday night's Sopranos dinner was James' version of Carmela's baked ziti, and all I can say was that it was worth all the effort James put into the dish. That was one excellent meal.

I took a few pictures of Times Square and Washington Square while we were walking around this weekend. I was happy to see that while the Beasty Feast pet store on Bleecker Street near my old apartment now has a new name, the same cats still live there. Bonnie, the mean old mama cat, was in her usual spot on the sidewalk just outside the store. I knew well enough not to try to pet her, but she did let me take her picture.

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