Monday, May 26, 2008

A Weekend In New York

I went up to New York City for the Memorial Day Weekend. One of the places I had to go was Florent in the Meat Packing District.

When it opened in the 1970's, Florent was a 24/7 operation and its customers were club kids, transvestite hookers and the guys who worked in the Meat Packing industry. Once I went there, when the area was only just starting to get gentrified, and the waitress asked us if we would like to eat outside. Considering the view was of a bloody sidewalk across the street, I declined.

Well, the neighborhood has changed and the rent on the space was raised to $30,000 a month, so the owner is going to close it down on June 30.

The first time I went to Florent I was with a group that had reservations at a Chelsea restaurant. We arrived and the place was empty. Three of our party had not yet arrived and they would not seat us. One of the guys was furious. Grousing about how Chelsea had become way to obnoxious, he insisted we got to Florent. We did, and I went back many more times.

Once the song "My Baby Takes The Morning Train" by Sheena Easton came on the radio. Awful, catchy song that it is, people started singing along. One of the waiters turned up the radio and the whole restaurant sang along.

I will miss it. The mussels, the burgers, the breakfasts, and the desserts.

I also visited Korea Street for bibimbop, and China Town for Dim Sum. There was a Falun Gong parade in China Town.

Finally, I saw my cat, Ming.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Fun on Friday Morning

Its the Foreign Service Institute!

It got up to 81 degrees today, so I celebrated by putting on a short-sleeved dress and breaking out the legs. I got comments on how dressed up I was, but honestly it felt so good to be out of trousers and jackets.

We tend to get in early at FSI. There is an 8:15 shuttle and a 9:00 shuttle. Since training starts at 9:00, we have to be on the 8:15. So, we usually have a good twenty-five minutes to hang around. I decided I would go out and get some pictures of the Ben Franklin statue (he was our first diplomat) and the unofficial mascots - the geese.

My fellow OMS in training, Debi came with me and we got a bit silly. You can't tell, but I am putting bunny ears behind Mr. Franklin's head.

I have a joke about the geese really being robots that spy on people. Anyway, here is a picture of two of the plants trying to gain entrance into the building.