Central Park, The Pond and Wollman Rink is great in the winter 8:38 AM

New York isn't New York without Central Park: its greatest natural treasure.  It's the fastest escape from New York without leaving the city.  For starters, if you don't know what to do because it's so vast then I suggest just getting lost through the myriad of paths that cut across the park.  The best starting point is at 59th St and 5th Ave (SE corner of the park) because you quickly access well known landmarks like the pond, Gapstow Bridge, and Wollman Skating Rink.   I would recommend starting your walk right before dusk because the city begins to light up and the view of the city from the bridge or the rink is amazing.

  • Walk directly to the pond first and you'll quickly realize that you've escaped the hustle and bustle of New York.  Walk to the Gapstow bridge and from there you can marvel at the juxtaposition of nature and cement buildings which create a unique harmony that can only occur in New York. 
  • Not to far from the bridge is the Wollman Skating Rink (east side b/w 62nd and 63rd St). The only fair warning here is that it can get crowded.  Fortunately, the rink is huge and somewhat circular - it's larger than a normal hockey rink and much larger than the skating rink at Rockefeller.   It'll be quickly familiar to you because romantic movie scenes have been filmed here:  Love Story, Serendipity, etc.


After a 2 month hiatus 1:58 PM

OK OK OK! Everyone has harrassed me about my looong hiatus from the blogosphere. Well, 2 months was a long hiatus but it's been crazy busy. So to add more submissions I'll start with my freshest memories and walk backwards.

Last weekend I felt like I was back in my twenties. The difference is that I'm certainly feeling my age now. Friday evening I dropped by one of my favorite lounges, The Park on Tenth Ave. It's so big for a NYC lounge/restaurant and the biodome setting is pretty cool too. I went over there with a female co-worker of mine who happens to live a block away -- we shall refer to her as "Gummy Bear". Though G-bear and I started hanging our very recently, she knows I'm emotionally incapable of maintaining a relationship as she now knows of my recent recovery from a devestating relationship. But let's think happy thoughts and not talk about relationships -- onto The Park.

We met up with my buddy Andrew of Hong Kong fame. I recommend going up to the 2nd floor for drinks and a little bit of pseudo-dancing. Once there I began my drinking ritual, opting for wine and then proceeding to my latest fav drink, Level Tonics. Being the bad influence, I encouraged Gummy Bear to drink as I returned from the bar with wine. Much respect to Gummy Bear because she is one determined chick. She recently ran a half marathon and hadn't drank in ages which is something I highly respect because I am also incapable of saying no to a drink (and gambling). So I apologize to Gummy for making her drink. Two sips later and she would need help walking a straight line.

The next day I proceeded to Sensei for brunch with Gummy and Jason, who is our common friend. Afterwards I drove off to the NY Country Club to shag some little white balls, ending with a horrific score of 94 -- tieing for best score with my friend Dave whom I've known since 5 years of age. If there's anyone that has done more than most, it's definitely Dave and you can see it all in his face. He's been there and some.

After golf I showered up and went dancing with one my closest friends, airSuz and her 3 lovely female friends. Fortunatley for me the ratio was great, but unfortunately I'm scarred and emotionally incapable. Nonetheless, we had a fun night dancing somewhere around bowery to hip hop. I'm sure I was the envy of many men dancing with 4 lovely ladies. Thanks Suz for being a great friend!

Work and moving to the west side 5:58 PM

Early on I was posting daily, now with a hectic work schedule and my move tomorrow to Chelsea I can't wait for this weekend so I can refocus on 50 first dates. I must admit though that I've eaten well the past couple of weeks, including a trip to the famed Per Se, but that's for a later post.

Today was near 70 degrees and it was gorgeous out. I was riding down the west side highway and saw numerous folks roller blading or strolling down the bike path. Towards Chelsea, there were a few piers or man made parks with people lounging around. Today would've been a great day to just sit with my lady and read or relax on the grass. Wait! I have no lady and I have no time because I'm still packing to move to Chelsea. Arrghhh! Till next time.

The view from above the orient 5:46 PM

Last Thursday evening I was with my coworkers dining at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and before we proceeded to dinner, we had cocktails at the lounge adjacent to the reception on the 35th floor of the hotel. What I really enjoyed about the lounging area was the great view overlooking Columbus Circle and of Central Park south. The wall of windows stretched from the floor to the high ceilings and as I looked out over Central Park, I was reminded of how views are scarce in this city. Most of us probably live in a condo, coop or apt that overlooks a street or another building wall. I once had the luxury of overlooking Madison Park from the 21st floor, with a not to distant view of the everchanging colors of the Empire State Building. Anyway, if you're willing to spend $15 on the house specialty drinks or sip Pinot Noir, the view is well worth it. You can either drink in the lounging area or go into MObar. Just ignore the people, enjoy the view and enjoy the company. Make sure you get front row seats to Central Park South.

Been a while 8:05 AM

For the past few weeks I've been running around for work and for play, and finally I'm recovering from my sleep deprivation having slept in 2 Saturday mornings in a row to the comforts of my own bed. Well, I'm back to blogging again and I hope to be back in full force. So what's been the cause of the sleep dep?

Multiple trips to the west coast since the New Year's hasn't helped, but the past 2 weeks have included trips to Las Vegas, LA, Chicago, Philly and Columbus Circle. So what have I learned in these travels?

  • 24 is the best DVD to watch when flying long distances - Jack Bauer is the coolest dude
  • I appreciate space over hip. This week I was at the Hudson Hotel and Mandarin Oriental in the TW center, and though the Hudson has some cool bars and lounges, it's definitely NOT worth staying there. When I walked into the room, I was trying to find a door to the other room b/c I couldn't believe 100 square feet of space is legally allowable for a hotel room. I think hostels are bigger in Europe. So go to the Hudson to lounge, and check out the billiards/library room in the back and prepare to pay $6 for Fiji water. Now the Mandarin, that's a whole different story with incredible service. Yeah you'll pay double for a room, but you get quadruple the room size and premium service. Did I mention the world class spa?
  • The Wynn was overhyped, but still a strong buy in my book. Great looking crowd AND cocktail waitresses, but the interior design wasn't so good looking. I didn't get the amoeba and flower carpet combination, and the color palette wasn't so subtle. The bathroom was very nice and the rooms were large, but they do need to upgrade the Gateway (really a computer company) flat screen TVs. However, I do appreciate the details of Mr. Wynn, from the soap to the very very comfortable pillow, bed and blanket. Just need to hire a new interior decorator.
  • The W in Westwood was a bit pretentious. When I first arrived, the main entrance to the hotel was roped off with a line of folks -- reminding me of the NY club scene. Luckily, we were staying at the hotel and of course they waved us through the side rope. Now I kinda get it, but do you really need to rope off the entire hotel entrance?
  • So when we were not hanging out at the hotel, we were at a Lakers game or playing golf. It occurred to me that the main difference between doing these things in your thirties vs. the twenties is that you have more money to bankroll the gambling and you don't have to cruise Expedia for the best deal at the Excalibur.
OK, thats whats happend the last couple of weeks, now let's get back to 50 first dates.

Beautiful Day - don't let it get away 6:09 PM

It was a beautiful day today in NYC with 60 degree weather. Everyone was out and about and it made me excited about spring and outdoor dates. Central Park was buzzing with roller bladers, dogs, bicyclists and people lounging on the grass. Since we got a little taste of spring today, I thought of prematurely rolling out some outdoor date ideas since Spring actually starts in about a week.

  • Picnic on the west side highway
  • Drinks at an outdoor lounge i.e., Maritime Hotel
  • Riding bikes or roller blading around the loop in Central Park
  • Drinks at the boat house in Central Park

Sleep deprived 9:03 PM

Sorry for the week long hiatus from blogging. All the trips to the west is finally catching up to me and I've been unable to function in the evenings. Unfortunately, one more west coast trip to LA for the oscars.... NOT. Actually to go play golf and watch the Lake show versus the Pistons and then down to Philly for the first half of the week. New and fresh date ideas coming soon.