Saturday, May 31, 2008

Chocolate...a food that always brings happiness

It's been a chocolate filled week and I am more than okay with that. First Kaitlyn, Allison, her friend who I also knew from before Sam and I went to Max Brenner on Tuesday night for dinner and deserts. Max Brenner is known as "Chocolate by the Bald Man." Kaitlyn and I split a pulled pork crepe which was fantastic. I'm so glad she saw that on the menu. Then the four of us split three desserts all seen below.

(From left to right: Allison, me, Kaitlyn, Sam)

Yesterday after exploring the Metropolitan Art Museum Rebecca, Sharlene and I met up with Alina and Irasema at Serendipity. Where Rebecca and I split a "Can't Say No Sundae." It was extremely good and just the right size for splitting. I would have been sick if I ate it by myself. (Sorry this picture isn't that great, I forgot to adjust it from it's previous setting.)


Where in the World will Sarah serve her mission?

As mentioned in at least one earlier post I want to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I submitted my papers on May 24th and was informed yesterday (30 May) by my BYU Bishop that according to things online, my call had been issued. So I'm just waiting for the US Postal Service to do it's stuff and expecting it to arrive Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I'm really excited and can't wait to find out where I go!

This is the picture I submitted for my Mission Papers

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Memorial Day on/near the Water

On a Ship...

After sleeping in until about 10 a.m. Rebecca and I set off to have one of my favorite days in New York. We went to Fleet Week at Pier 88 where we went aboard the U.S.S. Kearsarge. It was huge! I was also glad I was able to do something actually pertaining to Memorial day. Plus it was a great experience to be on an aircraft carrier, which is what my Grandpa Westphal was on when he was in the Navy in WWII.

On a Boat...

After getting a burger at Galaxy Diner, Rebecca and I strolled through Central Park until we rowed our rowboat on the Lake in Central Park. It was way fun and it was such a beautiful day to do it.

On a Bridge...

Then Rebecca and I took the subway down and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was really enjoyable. At the other end we endured the line and some more of our friends met up with us and we got the famous Grimaldi's Pizza. Let me say this, it's not just famous because it's under the Brooklyn bridge, it is DANG good pizza. We then got ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, also famous for a reason. It's so creamy! Really is a great thing to do if you get a chance.

Our night concluded by walking back across the bridge to return to our home of Manhattan island. The coolest part of our walk back is currently the Brooklyn Bridge is celebrating it's 125th Anniversary, as part of the celebration at night different color lights are projected onto the bridge. It was awesome! And photography is a growing hobby of mine now, I took TONS of pictures and have picked out the best.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

America's Favorite Past-time

That's right baseball, better yet, Yankee baseball. I had the lucky opportunity to go to TWO Yankee games this week.

Wednesday- Orioles vs. Yankees

If you would have asked me Wednesday morning what I was doing that night I would have said "I'm going to Amateur Night at the Apollo." Although I still want to do this I was given an offer I couldn't refuse. While at work a friend e-mailed me asking if I wanted to go to a Yankees game tonight for free. I said, YES. A girl in my Relief Society presidency had four tickets to the game from work, and she thought they were for next week but she actually couldn't use them tonight. So Allison, Kaitlyn, Jared and I went to the game. It was a bit colder, about 60 degrees. Thankfully I checked the weather and knowing my tendency to be cold I layered up.

Coming into the game the Yankees had lost there last 4, with the previous night's score against the Orioles being 12-2, Orioles. So with that in mind I was so pleased to have the Yankees win 8-0! A-Rod hit two home runs, but was robbed of one of them because of some net thing. I was also pleased to see Joba Chamberlain, a Nebraska alumni pitch. He did a great job! I ended up buying one of my first souvenirs in the form of a Joba Yankees shirt.

Saturday- Mariners vs. Yankees

I almost didn't go to this game, not because I didn't want to. I had been going in and out of waves of feeling sick starting Thursday afternoon. I felt fine during the day at work but Friday night, let's just say it was bad. So I told Eric in the morning that I had been sick last night and to see if we could try to sell the tickets to someone else. After keeping some cereal down and actually feeling better after eating and having no success in selling the tickets, Eric and I went to the game. Thankfully, I was completely fine at the game and for the rest of the day.

The Yankees had a great game. The offense was fantastic, Giambi and Abrera each had a home run helping add to the total of 16 hits. Joba also made another appearance he is making his transition from closer to starter. He pitched for two scoreless innings (6th and 7th). All this helped form the 12-6 win against the Mariners. It was also a beautiful day, in the low 70s, partly cloudy skies. You couldn't ask for better baseball weather.

Sometimes I forget about how much I enjoy sports until I attend or play them after a long respite. In some ways I feel myself going back to my elementary school days where I was glued to Sportcenter. Now I find myself checking the Yankee's stats and rankings. I really believe sports can be a great thing, in moderation, of course.

Now, just because I can hardly go an entry where I don't talk about food...

I must tell you where to get the best slice of New York style pizza that I've had thus far. It's about a block or two away from the stadium on 161st St. right before Walton Ave. It's the one on the side of the street farther from the stadium (I specify because there is a pizza place on the exact opposite side of the street). It is so good and only $2.50 a slice. I ate it before the game on Wednesday and had to come back again and Eric and I ate there after the game on Saturday.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"New York is Very Culturally Competitive"

This week I went to two performance and almost went to a third, but I'll explain that in my next post. One being the Juilliard Senior Dance Showcase on Monday and the other being Mary Poppins on Broadway on Friday.

Juilliard Senior Dance Showcase

Eight of us from the Comms intern group waited outside for standby tickets for about an hour. Thankfully we got into the show and had some good times while waiting. One of my favorites being Sharlene, wearing my skirt (I brought jeans to change into) as gloves/shawl I'm not quite sure.

The show was good, it was modern dance. Some of it was weird, but some of it was just amazingly beautiful. There was this one that was hilarious called "Girl with a Microphone." It didn't have as much dancing in it as the others but it was more like a mini-show and was very funny. I'm also in love with a black man from Brooklyn named Nigel. He had one of the most graceful, powerful dances I've ever seen.

Mary Poppins

I've really wanted to see Mary Poppins but every time I've gone to the box office they were not doing student rush tickets and I cannot afford it unless there is. At the end of the work day on Friday I got a text from a girl in my ward "Do you want to come to Mary Poppins tonight for $30?" I replied that I was interested but found out that someone had claimed it before me. Rita (a new intern for LDS Public Affairs) and I were going to see if we could get rush for Hairspray when my friend texted to say we could try to get our own rush tickets for tonight. So we decided to give it a try and we got them! Plus we sat next to our friends.

I had really high expectations for Mary Poppins. I'd read reviews stating it was the best of the Disney's on Broadway. Well my high expectations were met! It started a little slow, but I quickly fell in love with it. By the end of the show I felt like a little kid again, seeing the film performed live just for me.

I was first impressed with the amazing set and props! They had a lot of set changes and they were all done so timely and efficiently. They did so many changes while two floor to ceiling pieces crossed stage when the two intersected a huge piece of scenery would APPEAR! I was just amazed, with that and the house. And the magic of Mary Poppins, I couldn't figure out how they did a lot of it. It was fantastic.

Next the song and dance numbers impressed me; the new songs were fantastic and the arrangements of the old were all awesome. I just bought the new rendition of "Step In Time" on iTunes and I also liked the new songs "Practically Perfect" and "Anything Can Happen."

I also really liked how they developed the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Banks. It really added to the story. It gave additional layers of depth as to why Mary Poppins is needed to help bring this family together.

It's so good, I really loved it. I was so mad I had to leave for about 5 minutes of the second act to "be sick." It brought me joy to see so many happy kids and adults at curtain. I really appreciate having something on Broadway an entire family could enjoy.

It's so hard to compare Disney to Shakespeare and throw in Abba when trying to pick my favorite show thus far, but if it can be done and I had to, I think this is my favorite.

A Food Weekend

So as you've noticed I haven't blogged this last week so I'm going to catch up. This post is about last weekend 16-18.

Friday it rained again. Thus far it has rained every single Friday night. Rebecca and I decided to go to the Columbus Circle mall and go to Junior's.

Junior's is also known for it's cheesecake, but we got dinner as well. Junior's also serves pickles before your dinner arrives, plus beets and coleslaw. I actually liked this coleslaw! But the pickles were far inferior to Carnegie Deli's. For my meal, I had the "Something Different," consisting of beef brisket between two potato pancakes served with au jus and a side of applesauce. (I didn't take this picture and this one has syrup instead of au jus, you get to choose, but thanks mom for finding it!) It was very good, very big I took it home and had a friend put it in her fridge. Then there was cheesecake. Rebecca and I both ordered the Chocolate Mousse, their best kind. The chocolate mousse portion was quite amazing, it just melted into you mouth. The original cheesecake portion was good but I believe Carnegie Deli wins for having the best original cheesecake recipe.

So my personal comparison of Carnegie Deli and Junior's:
-Pickles and other complimentary food: Although you only get pickles at Carnegie Deli they are a knock out of the park. So good! The first and only pickle that has gotten this none-pickle-eater to wish for and think about pickles.
-For a full meal: I prefer Junior's they had a lot of choices and I really enjoyed my "Something Different."
-Cheesecake vs. Cheesecake: Carnegie Deli wins. Junior's is good don't get me wrong, it's just Carnegie Deli wins. Period.
-Ambiance and "feel:" Although I like Junior's roominess (not found in NY often), Carnegie Deli is special. It has the pictures of famous people signed lining their walls and the giant pickle at the entrance.
-Price: At Carnegie Deli I got one of the cheapest sandwiches at $15.95 at Junior's I got an average priced meal at $14.95. At Carnegie Deli the cheesecake was $9.25 (or 9.75, I can't remember which) at Junior's it was $6.25.
-Service: Carnegie Deli wins. They were so fast, but not pushy. He also read our minds, we were thinking of splitting the fresh strawberry cheesecake. He came by and we said "we'd like to split..." "fresh strawberry cheesecake?" he said. It was amazing.
-Misc.: Carnegie Deli only takes cash.

Both are really great, when my two separate sets of visitors come, I plan on suggesting Carnegie Deli for a slice of cheesecake.


Our Comms Interns group went to the Museum of Natural History, which was fun. Afterwards a group of 10 of us went down to Little Italy. Little Italy basically consists of Italian restaurants, gelato shops and souvenir shops. As touristy as it is I got something from all three. We split up into two groups to eat. We ate at a place I believe called "The Grand Italian Food Center" I'm not quite sure, it was one of the most affordable restaurants there. Although the service was slow, (they have a major hierarchy problem) the food was amazing! I got the chicken parmigiana and it blew my mind. It was the best I'd ever had.

Rebecca and I got some gelato. I love gelato, they have a gelato shop on Center street in Provo called Maestro's and I would frequent it as oft as possible. This was on par with Maestro's if not better, I got pistachio very tasty.

It was getting kind of cold and threatened to rain so Rebecca and I kept popping into the souvenir shops more to try and stay warm while the group that went to the other restaurant got gelato. But while in one of them they had really cute hats. I'd always admired these kind of hats and had thought about buying one, as long as I got confirmation that I could pull it off. I put on the first one I saw and asked Rebecca if I could pull it off, she said I could and I began to peruse for one in a preferred style. I then tried on this brown, black, navy, beige and white plaid/striped one (as seen to the right). I go to the mirror and this woman in the store says "You must get that hat. That other hat was good you were matching with your outfit, but this hat is SO YOU!" Rebecca says that's actually about what I was going to say. I thought it was hilarious that this random woman says "it's SO YOU!" Needless to say, I bought the hat. It was a really fun, food focused weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rachel Ray Owes Me...Big Time

So Thursday afternoon the Shumways and I were walking to Grand Central Station on our way back from the UN along 43rd Street. As I'm walking a step behind the Shumways, I see some glass falling right in front of us. I quickly said "Look out!" The Shumways and those who were walking the other direction as well stopped as glass came crashing down only a few feet in front of us.

We crossed the street to look at what had happened and just in case anymore glass was going to fall. It was evident that the glass came from a broken window pane on the 3rd floor.

What building housed this faulty, falling glass?

The Rachel Ray Show studio

I'm just glad I saw it, said something and that no one got hurt.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some New York Firsts


...Trip to H&M: I had heard of the wonderfulness of H&M many times before from my roommate Sarah. It would normally go like this (especially freshmen year):
me: That's a cute top, where did you get that?
Sarah: H&M

two weeks later

me: Oooh, I like that outfit, especially your (insert clothing item here) where did you get that?
Sarah: H&M

repeat occasionally for two and half years
So Thursday new friend Rebecca and I went there and I bought a new blazer/jacket (I've now come to the conclusion that I am addicted to blazer/jackets; I have 6 here and more at home). My newest one is hunter green, that fits fantastically. As seen below:

Since the picture is so conveniently here, this is a perfect moment for another first...

...Shakespeare play on Broadway

I almost didn't go, not because I didn't want to, I had trouble sleeping the night before and could get to sleep until around 4 a.m. We had intended to leave at about 9 a.m. to try and get matinee tickets. I told Brian there's no way I could be awake for the show even if we did get the student rush tickets. He said he would go by himself and let me sleep and if he got the tickets then I would have an additional 3-4 hours to sleep. Brian's a good guy. Thankfully that's exactly what happened.

The show was amazing! This was the first time I'd seen Shakespeare performed by someone other than a student, whether it be college or high school. So with it being on Broadway it had professional actors and a HUGE budget.

But the most anticipated aspect of seeing MacBeth was to see Patrick Stewart play MacBeth. Yes, Captain Picard, Professor X. My favorite bald actor, (I think I can say that safely), Patrick Stewart. And did he deliver! He did an amazing job. He was very expressive in a very appropriate Shakespeare way. The rest of the cast also did a great job. The set, props, costumes, images projected on the set's walls, etc. were all top shelf.

It's limited-time show and will only be on Broadway for another two weeks (the 24th). I was so glad I saw it. As a side note I think my accolades for it at work has persuaded my boss Ahmad Corbitt to see it, I know he's interested at least.

Speaking of work, this leads me to another first...

...United Nations Meeting

Wednesday and Friday I attended a combined 3 meetings at the UN. With official badge clipped on (with the best ID picture I've had in ages) I am able to walk almost wherever I want. The Shumways, who are on assignment from Salt Lake basically to attend the UN and establish relationships with Ambassadors, showed me around the UN including the General Assembly, the Security Council, ECOSOC and the other meeting places for the remaining organs of the UN. Unfortunately, none of those councils were in session. But there's still time. Though to my and perhaps your surprise one of the best parts about going to the UN is eating at the UN Cafeteria. I would suggest you go but you can't go unless you have a badge. The cafeteria has a good variety of food choices (I chose chicken quesadilla on Wednesday and pulled pork on Friday) at a very reasonable price, but the best part is the East side of the cafeteria has floor to ceiling windows that look out on the East river. It's such a good combination.

Another good combination is pineapple and Canadian bacon which happens to be what I had on my first...

...New York slice

After Rebecca and I went to H&M and some other things we along with an intern from BYU-Idaho went to the "Hot and Crusty." What a great place, it wasn't fancy or anything but it had a good variety for pizza, lots of options for sandwiches, panini's or wraps, and tons of dessert options. And it wasn't crazy expensive! I was really pleased with my first New York Slice. It's quite good, although I'd say I'm more of a thick crust girl, I see some very good aspects of the thinner NY style; I'm a fan. Secondly, I was pleased to experience such a slice at a good price. My slice was $2.75! That's awesome, you can practically buy it with your change.

Which leads me to my final and perhaps most unique NYC first, my first...

...picky beggar?

Right outside of my subway stop on 125th and Broadway is a McDonald's. It's been convenient and cheap (gotta love the dollar menu) to have so close to home. So after leaving with my dinner tonight I came face to face with a beggar. Normally I do not give to beggars, but to the charities that help the homeless, but for whatever reason I decided I would give this man whatever change I had. I pull out my only change, a quarter, and extend it to the man. He says "I can't do anything with that," and turns away. I although somewhat confused as to what had just happened, put my quarter back and began walking. I still can't quite get my head around it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"It Would Be a Shame to Miss New York in the Spring"

Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail" knew what he was talking about.

Today was a gorgeous day. After work I decided I would take advantage of the beautiful weather, good lighting and my birthday present (a new camera, thanks Mom and Dad) and take some pictures at Central Park and Verdi Square.

Here's the proof that New York in the Spring is the best: