Christmas in New York 2006

Hold your mouse over the photo to see the captions of those I’ve managed to write down, and click on the photo to be taken to the album.  From the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, the Swarovski Star in the same area, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the holiday displays of Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany’s and Lord & Taylor, have a taste of the holidays with the New York flavor in it.  Happy holidays everyone! 
Storefront display of Flowers of the World on 55th Street
The Swarovski Star on Rockefeller Center
The tree at Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree standing tall
The Angels seem to have been redesigned this year
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Saks Fifth Avenue 1
Saks Fifth Avenue 2
Saks Fifth Avenue 3
Saks Fifth Avenue 4
Saks Fifth Avenue 5
Saks Fifth Avenue 6
SAKS: In search of the perfect snowflake
SAKS: Birdhouses
The Burberry store on 57th
The Louis Vuitton Flagship store on 57th, decked w/ the same lights as those in its Paris store
Bergdorf Goodman Goodies
Tiffany's all decked out
The Trump Tower: Nobody's getting fired this season.. not even Ms. USA
Lord & Taylor: Santa in the snow
Lord & Taylor: Skating in the park
Lord & Taylor: Dancing dolls
Lord & Taylor: Find the Pinay New Yorker in the picture
Lord & Taylor: Santa hard at work
Lord & Taylor: the toys in Santa's Shop
St. Patrick's up close
Tiffany's 4
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Tiffany's 3
Tiffany's: No blue box, it's silver this holiday season
Tiffany's: Guess who is wearing that pink coat?
Bergdorf Goodman: Dressed to Party
Bergdorf Goodman: Polar Bear calling
Bergdorf Goodman: Dress to the nines
Bedgdorf Goodman: Lady in white
Lord & Taylor: Santa's helpers
Lord & Taylor from across 39th Street
Lord & Taylor: Santa going over his list
Lord & Taylor: A group of carollers
A silly elf helping Santa with his list
Lord & Taylor display on 39th
The star on 57th and Fifth Avenue

On my reading list: Joie de Vivre

I requested two books from Alan this year which he obliged: Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living  and A Year in ProvenceI started reading JOIE DE VIVRE yesterday and I managed to finished the chapter on breakfast this afternoon.  I enjoy reading the book because of the way Robert Arbor relates the French philosophy about eating, food and life in general.  It’s a meticulous guide not just to what they eat, but how they eat it and why they eat it the way they do.  Arbor dispenses his own brand of wisdom while giving the reader an insight into his personal history.  Each page rings true of the subtitle of the book “Simple French Style for Everyday Living”.

For starters, breakfast is simply toast, butter and/or jam or honey and coffee — but despite what seems to be lean fare, it is a time to spend mulling about the day ahead.  As Arbor aptly ends his chapter, he says “My advice to you is to enjoy your breakfast and to give a quick thought to each day’s potential.  This is the first big step in discovering joie de vivre.”

Lunch at Bar Americain

I left the office at 1PM and had an unscheduled lunch date with Alan in Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain on 52nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues.  This is one of the things that keep our relationship “fresh”.. we sometimes “regress” (if you may call it that) to dating — and it is something that try to make time for. This is one of Alan’s current favorites for lunch near his place of work, so it was convenient and fortunately, there was a table available.

For starters, we had the Artisanal Ham Tasting which Alan himself recommended I try.  You get three different preparations of the same ham (a special ham from Kentucky whose name I cannot now recall).  The portions are really a single serving only and are not to share.  The ham was served with a mango salsa as one of the three varieties, another between a bite-size biscuit and the third atop mozzarella cubes in a special sauce.  (Our waiter, Kent, described each one to us with such flair your mouth starts watering just thinking of the flavors he is describing!)

My entree was the spice rubbed Hanger Steak and served with Fries Americain (which is still French Fries to me).  Alan had his favorite Burger Americain, also served with Fries.

Don’t be fooled by the name and its menu proclaimed as regional American cuisine because the restaurant takes it French twist seriously.  (Yes, it’s spelled Americain — not American.)  The fries are not served with ketchup but actually with two different mustards and a mayonnaise concoction.  (I would suppose you can ask for ketchup, but they won’t give it to you unless you ask.)  The steak was a good portion but again, a single serving only.  The burger, though, was a man-size burger.

For dessert, Alan had the expresso as we shared the 5 fruit crepe.  Magnifique!  It was quite a meal!

Alan and I never quite run out of things to talk about during moments when we’re by ourselves like this.  I guess we’ve proven that marraige doesn’t mean silence at the dinner table just as what one saw in the movie TWO FOR THE ROAD.  It may be Bar Americain or Wendy’s — or even just coffee and some marble loaf cake at Starbucks — I always fint these dates very special because it’s part of our “couple time”.

Alan and I actually sat by one of the tables by the wall on the left