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    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    *****
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    *****
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    *****
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    ***
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    ***
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    ***
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.
    **

Donut Plant

I forgot to mention, we went to the Donut Plant yesterday for Drew’s send-off breakfast. It was awesome, maybe the best donuts I’ve ever had. We got the tres leches and blackout cake-style donuts and a vanilla cream-filled coconut and a strawberry jelly and vanilla glazed yeast-style. The vanilla cream was NOT a dense, thick pastry cream, it was more of a liquid. I should have taken pictures, but I didn’t. These defintely rival the donuts from Top Pot in Seattle, which I now find to be a little too big and sweet.

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Weekend Wrap-up

We dropped Andrew off with the YMCA staff members yesterday for his first week of camp. He was pretty excited to go and I hope he comes back complaining that he couldn’t stay a second week. He is going to camp McAlister, up by Hugenot, NY. The activities of the day are canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, etc. No cell phones or PSPs allowed. Hooray! I hope he has fun.

Afterward, we stopped at the mall at Columbus Circle for some iced-tea (it was HOT yesterday), Kelly hit J-Crew for a little while and then we went to meet a few friends at the Central Bar to watch the Euro Cup Finals. Everything was packed, but we were lucky enough to get access to the newly opened upstairs and great sits by the projector.

Unfortunately, Germany lost 0-1 to a better Spanish team. Germany did well for the first 10 minutes and again later in the second half, but Spain just handled the ball better and took a lot more shots on goal. It sucks that the only goal was really just a miss-step on behalf of a German defender and his goalie.  My favorite player, Lukas Podolski, was a non-factor as was much of the German offense.

Now we wait for World Cup 2010 in South Africa…

Barcelona!

While on vacation last week, I stumbled across a “special” fare to Barcelona. So, K & I quickly determined the best dates (Nov 6-16, right after her NY marathon) and booked our tickets. Total fare per person on this nonstop flight was $325! Including taxes and fees! What a deal! Now, I’m trying to find someone to trade my United upgrades coupons for American ones.

Of course, with the American dollar being worth almost nothing, I’m not sure how we’ll keep the rest of the trip inexpensive. Kelly assures me she is willing to go backpacker style – one backpack, no suitcases, stay in hostels – and with it being November, I’m sure we can find some inexpensive accomodations. The current plan is only to spend a couple days in Barcelona and make it up north to San Sebastian and Madrid (maybe me a big loop?). If anybody has any suggestions or has access to a place to stay, let us know!

Only in NY: Waterfalls


That’s what I saw on my Thursday run. I kept running, but noticed several people watching the waterfall, a couple of people taking pics, with what appeared to be professional equipment and a reporter with a TV crew. Fearing the wrath of the summer sun, I just kept running, hoping to finish my run before it got to damn hot. Continue reading

Pizza, Pizza

After random book club members dispersed, John, Molly, QB and myself stuck around Solas for some more chit-chatting.  Luckily QB got another couple of drinks because we were kinda threatened by the bartender there, who was annoyed that we had the back booth but only bought drinks at happy hour prices.  Whatever, it’s not that the bar was crowded, and honestly, we just made the bar look better.

Anyhow, we were going to part ways, but then Molly came up with a brilliant idea:  see for ourselves if the line at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza is really shorter after 10:30pm.   So ok, it was 10pm, but we just couldn’t wait any longer, especially after having talked about it compulsively the day before during our exploration of a new Chinatown spot, New Chao Chow.

One word to describe the famous artichoke pizza:  HEAVENLY!  Simply and truthfully put.  That’s what the pizza is.  Artichoke and spinach swimming in the gooyest, creamiest most delicious cheese.  OMG, must go there again.

The three of us are now obsessed with the place.  In fact, QB, as myself, devoted a whole post to her transcendental artichoke pizza experience.

My Food Post

UPDATE: Seeing how I almost never read a post before publishing, there were a bunch of spelling errors and randomness. I cleaned it up a little.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about my take on food for awhile. As someone who loves to eat, drink and learn about food, I spend a decent amount of time going to restaurants, cooking at home and reading about food and traveling and I think I have some useful insight. I’m by no means an expert, but again, this is a blog. You’re reading this on the internet. I promise it isn’t worse than anything coming out of CNN or MSNBC or Fox News and I think, it is a lot better. But you decide.

BTW – This is a LONG post.

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Snedecker Wedding, Back in NYC, Drew Here

We’re back in NYC after about a week in the NW for me and a few days for Kelly. Our trips back are usually pretty busy and this one was no exception. I was going back for work as well as to attend my friend Gabe’s wedding as a groomsman. On top of that, the weekend before our house renters decided that they wanted to move out on July 1. Finding a new renter was paramount to the trip. So, if you didn’t hear from me or Kelly, it was because our plates were incredibly full. But no worries, we’re back in July for 3-4 weeks! More to come on that later.

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