Summary: Visited Mom and Dad; California Adventure and Disneyland with Dad; UC Computing Services Conference in Irvine; Okeanos at Aquarium of the Bay with Patrick; Family Kite Day Festival, America's Cup, and eating adventures with the Honmas and Nancy; Chicago and New York vacation begins
Dates on this page
Slept in a bit. Breakfast at home: peanut-butter granola with unsweetened soy milk. Rode Muni to UCSF Parnassus. UCSF shuttle from Parnassus to Laurel Heights. Supp app go-live followup. Orgchart work for Susie. Lunch: california veggie sandwich on wheat with pickle slice, water from my Contigo water bottle. Tan then gold shuttle from Laurel Heights to Mission Bay. Drupal user group meeting at Mission Bay. Muni to the Castro. Pre-dinner drink at Qbar with Patrick. Dinner at Radius (415-525-3676, 1123 Folsom Street) with Danny, Phil, Romy, and Drew. Donkey and Goat syrah. Appetizers: carrot soup for me and Drew, 6 oysters for Phil, pork belly for Patrick, butter beans for Danny, heirloom tomato salad for Romy. Entrees: I had fried chicken; Phil had pork chop; Drew had trout; Patrick, Romy, and Danny had lamb shoulder. Desserts: warm chocolate cake, panna cotta. Service by Frederick was mixed. There was a miscommunication and Phil received the wrong order.
Breakfast at home: one sliced cripps pink apple. Rode Muni to UCSF Parnassus. UCSF shuttle from Parnassus to Laurel Heights. Jazzee followup. Pushed orientation pages live for Shirin and Joel. Followup with closure of CCSC with Greg and Marley. More Jazzee followup. Incapsula review with Eric. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Added an item to our wordlist. Eric and I decided today to let our paid Flickr account expire. We didn't have much of a need for stats, and the other restrictions didn't bother us, either. Lunch at Mandalay with the comm team. Eric and I rode with David in David's car. Followup on a display name request from student MC. UCSF shuttle from Laurel Heights to Parnassus. Rode Muni home. Dinner at home with Patrick: delivery from Chaya Thai. Uber to SFO. JetBlue to LGB. Flight was delayed. On the flight I chatted with Maricela (a principal at a Santa Ana middle school) and Collin (an instruction coach with LA Unified) who were returning with many others from a conference for So Cal K-12 educators. We talked about Farm Table, Taylor Street Coffee House, Top of the Mark, and Colin (a first-person zombie movie from 2008). Picked up a rental car at Hertz at LGB. Hertz was the only rental car office that was still open at around 11:00 PM. Drove to mom and dad's.
Dad recently celebrated his birthday, and when I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate he suggested we go to Disneyland. After determining our best option for obtaining the lowest-priced tickets on short notice, we purchased at the AAA closest to Disneyland. Mom didn't want to go, so it was just me and Dad. She drove us there and picked us up when we were done. Today we visited California Adventure. Upon entering the park we paid $7 for a locker. You get a code to unlock it, and you keep the same locker all day. You can open and close it as many times as you want for the day—very nice. We rode Soarin' Over California, Tower of Terror, saw the Aladdin performance, watched part of a parade, ate lunch: chicken burger and cole slaw and sprite for dad, veggie burger and fries and unsweetened iced tea for me, visited Cars Land, rode Radiator Springs Racers, sat in on Turtle Talk, rafted the Grizzly River Run, shared a car on Mickey's Fun Wheel with some other people, ate Mexican food for dinner at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill. I returned to our locker and in the nearby restroom I changed from shorts to long pants. I stashed sun items in the locker and pulled jackets out. We rode The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure, then rested. We watched a 3-D movie called It's Tough to be a Bug. We used fastpasses to get in to the 10 PM World of Color water and lights show. We were forced to stand for over an hour. The first part was just holding our place, and the second part was the duration of the show. The show was technically a marvelous achievement, but I was very disappointed with the content. Yes, there were many colors, and yes, there was a song which included the phrase "world of color," but it wasn't about color. We didn't learn about color, and they didn't explain what they meant by "a world of color." It was basically short clips of many Disney films—a giant commercial. Near the end, it gets a little cheesy-romancey and then sequentially three Disney animation couples kiss. For me, it was a stark reminder that there are no Disney cartoons with gay men or lesbians, a bit of a slap in the face. At least Fantasmic! made an attempt at telling a story (even if it was a silly one). However, after the show ended from the comments I overheard people around me seemed to love it. Throughout the day and the park I saw signs for Karl Strauss beer, and I kept wondering, "Who is Karl Strauss?" and "Why haven't I heard about him until now?" Later I found a wikipedia entry for him and found that he's a real person with a real history in brewing. The new Cars Land is clearly for young boys similar to how A Bug's Land is clearly for toddlers. The eating options at California Adventure were very disappointing. Almost every eatery is now of the style where you order from a menu board, pay a cashier, wait (sometimes a pretty long time), then pick up your food from a window, seat yourself, then eat. The food is prepared along an assembly line, often with rubber-gloved cast members grabbing fistfuls of food (e.g., french fries) and dropping them in a paper tray. The cast member manual must say something like, "At Cocina Cucamonga, there's no need to be civilized with utensils; just grab and drop!" There were a few restaurants with full table service, but one that we happened upon included wine in the prix fixe menu and Dad didn't want or need the wine, so we skipped it. It's weird to me to see alcohol inside a Disney park. I find it ironic that California Adventure originally was about bringing all the best things about California together, but California dining is usually much better than the dining in the park. There are a few places where you can buy healthy foods, but it's mostly fruit or vegetable snacks, not meals. Ending the day with World of Color was unfortunate. I think I'd rather not do that again. And aside from the eating experiences the rest of the day was pretty good.
Breakfast at home: scrambled eggs, cinnamon roll, other pastries. Moved their FreedomPop Clearwire Wimax router closer to the window to see if it improved the reception. It did a little bit, I think. Speedtest result: 1.27 Mbps down, .88 Mbps up. Dad and I visited Disneyland today. After entering we took a photo with the train station in the background. Then we purchased a locker rental and dropped some stuff off. Today I remembered I had an iPhone app that told you the wait times for lines. I had forgotten to use it yesterday. We used the app throughout the day and it seemed like it helped a lot. First we rode Pirates of the Carribean, then Haunted Mansion, then Indiana Jones. We got in line for Jungle Cruise, but when we saw they had just diverted the line upstairs we ditched it because we didn't want to wait that long. We stopped in for a minute at Aladdin Oasis just to see what was there. (Nothing of interest.) We picked up a fastpass for Star Tours. We visited the Enchanted Tiki Room. Upon leaving they played a tropicalesqe version of "Heigh Ho" which I thought was weird. We rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. We waited 15 minutes at Carnation Cafe before being seated for lunch. Service was mediocre; upon sitting we asked that our very wobbly table be resolved and several minutes later after ordering we had to ask again and several minutes later it was finally resolved. Frequently I saw Joffery's Coffee on Disneyland menus. I had never heard of this company before and later learned it's a company based in Tampa and it's been around since 1984. We rode Star Tours. Since my last Star Tour, they have remodeled the boarding experience, ships, and the destinations. I don't want to spoil it, but this was the highlight of my two-day visit, and I very much enjoyed the trip. After Star Tours we watched the Captain EO Tribute, rode It's a Small World, saw part of Mickey's Soundsational Parade (which we ditched), saw a show at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree: Woody's Talent Roundup with Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, encountered Vidcon taking their group photo in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, rode the Mark Twain Riverboat, saw another show at the Golden Horseshoe Revue where we snacked (and I regretted the snack afterward): two Sprites and a chili cheese fries. Back to the Jungle Cruise, rode the train to Main Street Station, walked to the locker, I changed from shorts into long pants in a nearby restroom, we rested at the hub near the castle for a bit and did a bit of strategizing fireworks viewing. Picked up fastpasses for Star Tours. Rode the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage with music by The Bolts at Tomorrowland Terrace, where in line we chatted with a couple that met while working Legally Blonde: The Musical in (Vienna?), the woman from Texas, the man from Hungary. We found seats for the fireworks near It's a Small World. By the end of the day my phone battery was dead. The iPhone app I had used to find wait times of the closest rides drained the battery over the day. Train back to Main Street Station and then the lockers. The locker room had a few outlets, and weary, desperate guests sat on the floor near the outlets waiting for their phones to charge. We picked up our locker items and Mom picked us up at the small pick-up and drop-off area for cars and taxis. Back to their home. Packed. I had a late meal: chicken and tofu soup. Drove to Costa Mesa. Lance checked me in to Crowne Plaza. The next two days I'm at a University of California technology conference in Irvine at UCI. It's called University of California Computing Services Conference.
I'm in Irvine to attend the University of California Computing Services Conference (UCCSC) today and tomorrow. The theme is "keeping grounded while in the clouds" which I think is cringeworthy. Drove from the hotel to UCI Student Center, paid $10 for parking. Breakfast at the conference: yogurt. Opening session. Keynote: Dan Russell from Google spoke about information literacy, which he called informacy, and metaliteracy, which is being literate about being literate. He also said that academics need to teach crap detection. His presentation was called The evolution of literacy: why it never was what you thought it was and why it will become something you never thought it would be. His main point seemed to be that people need to learn how to learn rather than simply learn because we are presented with more new bodies of information and more new ways of finding useful information than ever before and that rate of change is accelerating. This talk reminded me of how people continually need to learn how to use public restrooms. We have automatically flushing toilets, automatically dispensing water and soap at sinks, automatic and manual paper towel dispensers, automatic hand driers. When these technologies fail, people must adapt. It also reminded me of how my mom when first presented with a cd jewel case was unable to open it because she didn't grip the case in exactly the right way. It also reminded me of when we were in our car miles away from home and I accidentally pressed the button on the garage door opener and my mom panicked and told me to press it again to close the door. Sessions: Choosing the best agile methods for your team, UCLA Events Online 2.0: UCLA's system for producing successful events, Data management applications with Drupal as your framework. Lunch: tuna salad on croissant, rotelle salad, and more that I can't recall now. Sessions: Web application and desktop security: the perfect storm, Vendor risks: evaluating the security of new technology. Break. Snack: trail mix. Sessions: iPad app development: from paper to efficiency at UCSF, CampusKit, Testing web interfaces. During the day I met Sal and Jeff from UCLA and met or encountered Abby, Kristan, Alvin, and Edel from UCSF. During the day I handled a few emails: Active Directory display name change for recent grad-turned-employee MC. Graduation page date publish for Cindy. Lab sites followup with Eric and Greg. Followup with Orlando about Acrobat XI Pro site license. Adobe software purchasing followup with John A. Lab sites: small styling fix. Day 1 of 2 ends. Drove to Steelhead Brewery (which it turns out was just across the street but I didn't know). Dinner at Steelhead Brewery with many others from the conference: I ate a small (bar menu) caesar salad, water. Drove to the hotel. Did some work late in the hotel room. Snack: 2 white chocolate chip cookies, trail mix.
University of California Computing Services Conference (UCCSC) day 2 of 2. K-cup coffee with nondairy creamer in room. Drove to the conference, $10 for parking. Breakfast in pieces throughout the first half of the day: yogurt, fruit salad, muffin. Chatted with Leslie Y and Eric M. Awards and closing, the conference ends. Today I think to speedtest the conference wifi at UCI. It's 20 Mbps down and up—pretty excellent. Lunch at Lee's Sandwiches: veggie sandwich, spring rolls with peanut sauce: about $7. Followup with Jesse A about Acrobat. Posted updated fall draft schedules for Lucia. SOP IT wiki: Jazzee user guide: uploaded the prereqs PDFs for Joel. More Jazzee followup. Discovered that I don't have and do need UCSF fonts installed on my MacBook Air. Learned that Mac font files on our network are not available to me on a Mac via VPN and I don't know why. Management activities. More Jazzee followup. Lots of lab sites launch prep. More Jazzee followup. Dinner at Sky Express (714-437-7198, 665 Paularino Ave, Costa Mesa, California) inside Mitsuwa Marketplace. Worked late.
Finished packing. Checked out of Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa. Filled the rental car with gas. Had trouble figuring out how to open the gas tank door. Answer: press the door and it will pop open. Returned the car—an easy process. SNA flight to SFO. Learned my United flight 322 was delayed about 95 minutes. Breakfast at Ruby's Diner: two eggs scrambled with grilled potatoes, english muffin with butter, 10 ounces of fresh-squozen orange juice, ice water, about $12 after a $2 tip. Found a desk with a power outlet and did some work on the office MacBook Air. The SNA wifi was annoying because you're limited to about 45 minutes before your session automatically times out and you have to renew a free session. Free wifi at SNA was 0.35 Mbps down and 1.49 Mbps up. Followup with Jesse A about the Acrobat site license. Calendar management. Asked Richie B for edit rights to drupal.ucsf.edu. On the flight they served beverages but no snacks. Taxi home. Lunch at home: veggie burger on pretzel bun. Rode Muni to UCSF Parnassus. UCSF shuttle from Parnassus to Laurel Heights. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Jazzee followup: summary messages. Worked with Eric on an issue with the footer nav on mobile. Responded to Louise C about an inquiry about our kiosk. Jazzee followup and documentation. Renslo lab site final go-live prep. Poster work for Cindy: AMCP, new draft. Calendar management. UCSF shuttle from Laurel Heights to Parnassus. A package from Tina had arrived but it looks like a computer cable, so I didn't open it. Tried installing KeePass for Rick but I had no admin privs. Rode Muni home. Dinner at home: spinach and cheese ravioli in marinara sauce. Installed Personal Blocklist for Chrome so that I could eliminate sites that fake Google into thinking their pages are new when they really aren't. petapixel.com, I'm looking at you. Weeded email forwarders. Dessert: one chocolate-covered cherry. Tested Jazzee issue #1850. Began uploading photos from Filoli.
Began a large upload of photos to Flickr. Rode Muni to UCSF Parnassus. UCSF shuttle from Parnassus to Laurel Heights. Timeline meeting with Susie and Eric. Comm team meeting with special guest James J. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Eric and I launched two new websites: Desai and Renslo. Lunch with Eric at Dolce & Salato (415-567-8640, 3613 Sacramento Street): potato chips, (turkey?) sandwich, iced tea for Eric; caesar salad with cornbread and limonata and water for me. rxforchange edits. Met with Michelle A about content issues with her forthcoming lab website. We chatted briefly with David afterwards. Eric and I resolved a problem with the footer nav. Chatted briefly with James and Eric about coffee and Keurig machines. UCSF shuttle from Laurel Heights to Parnassus. Installed KeePass and PharmAdMIT 2013 for Rick. The package (from yesterday) was indeed from Tina but it was hard to tell because the box looked like something else. (Apple gift card, gourmet toiletries, mendiants, card.) Dinner at Panda Express: panda bowl with brown fried rice and mixed vegetables: about $3. My fortune: Look towards the future but not so far as to miss today. Rode Muni home. Prepared a package. This morning's Flickr upload failed, so I restarted it and then it was successful this time. (Set is private until subjects have approved their photos.) Dessert: mendiants from Tina. Flickr tagging of Filoli photos. Sent and processed Flickr photo approval requests. Wrote a thank you card.
Breakfast: granola with fresh, diced royal gala apple and unsweetened soy milk. Rode Muni to UCSF Parnassus. UCSF shuttle from Parnassus to Laurel Heights. Various followup, calendar management. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Errand: mailed a letter and a package. Lunch at Hong Kong Lounge 2. Chembio and medchem styling. UCSF shuttle from Laurel Heights to Parnassus. Rode Muni home. Dinner at home with Patrick: chinese food delivery from Tseng's. Watched part of Dragon (2011) on Netflix DVD with Patrick.
Started laundry. Breakfast at home: two eggs over easy with grilled zucchini, green onions, and parsley; two hash browns; two slices of spelt toast; earth balance spread; 8 ounces of apple juice. Cut my hair, showered. Recharge Spa work for Drew: editing text, small web edits (USCIS). More laundry. Tried to take Muni to the Castro but the next train was about a 30-minute wait, so we drove instead and found a parking space pretty easily on Market Street. Saw Matt Alber give a free, short performance in Jane Warner Plaza with Donna Sachet MCing, part of the Live! in the Castro series. I enjoyed the performance, and it was the first time I had seen him perform dance remixes of his and others' songs. An odd thing about that space was that several times the streetcar pulled through, cutting off about half of the audience. Afterwards we walked in the Castro, had beverages from Harvest Market ($7), then ate an early dinner from the happy hour menu at Wasabi Bistro, Patrick's first time there. Food and service both excellent. $31 after a $6 tip. We drove to Pier 39. Parking was such a mess that we pulled into the first lot available: $30 flat fee. At Aquarium of the Bay we saw the opening performance of Okeanos, a modern, acrobatic dance performance with a dash of environmental education. Micah, an acquaintance of Patrick's from the gym, is one of the performers, and we chatted with him briefly afterwards. Home.
Muni and BART and walking to 18th and Guerrero, met Danny at Tartine at 9:45 AM. The line was extremely long, perhaps 40 people in line, so we went to Dolores Park Cafe (501 Dolores Street). I had a veggie scramble with fruit and english muffin and hot water. Danny had an almond croissant. Afterwards we did some urban hiking: Seward Mini Park, Kite Hill, and Storrie Park followed by fresh-squozen orange juice at Cafe Flore. We split up at 18th and Castro. Danny went home. I did some shopping at Walgreens before heading home on Muni. Nap. Early dinner: leftover mu shu shrimp. Did some catching up on journaling. Finished watching Dragon (2011) on Netflix DVD with Patrick. Dessert: melon. Late meal: leftover mu shu shrimp and rice.
Pre-breakfast: a banana. Left home at 6:44 AM. On the way to the bus stop, I saw Muni bus 66 pass my stop 4 minutes early. I took Muni bus 48 to 19th Avenue, waited about 8 minutes, caught Muni bus 28 to Judah, waited about 10 minutes, caught Muni N-Judah to UCSF Parnassus, missed a UCSF grey shuttle by about 5 minutes, waited 15 minutes for the next one, arrived at Mission Bay at about 8:10 AM. Staff development day with OSACA and OEIS in Rock Hall 202. Breakfast: I had a cinnamon bun and apple juice. Cindy, Frances, and Shirin: Welcome and Warm-ups. Ellie Goldstein from Office of the Ombuds: Communicating in Difficult Situations. Lunch with the group at Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd). Appetizers: calamari and shoestring fries. I had dungeness crab mac and cheese (which was really cavatappi and cheese, $18) and could not eat it all so I passed it around for tasting. Everyone loved this dish for its creamy, smooth sauce and herbed breadcrumbs. Others ordered chile-spiced fish tacos ($14), shrimp louie salad ($18), bacon cheeseburger ($13), king salmon with polenta ($24), fish and chips ($15). Frances K: The Changing Landscape of Education. Felicia Mercer and James Lyda from Student Health and Counseling: Student Wellbeing & Mental Health—what to look for, what's happening at UCSF, and how to help. Rode Muni T and L to home. Dinner at home with Patrick: veggie pizza from frozen, minestrone soup from the Whole Foods deli, hot water. Did more catching up on journaling. Folded laundry. Read the Hyperloop PDF following today's announcement.
Rode my bike to UCSF Laurel Heights. Cleaned schmutz off my shoe and bike pedal. It looked like I stepped on an apricot but I don't remember doing so. Set up Time Machine on my MacBook Air using a Seagate 2.5-inch external hard drive. Encountered the encryption-hangs-at-80-percent problem again, forcing me to cold restart, reformat the drive, and set up Time Machine again without encryption. I really need to stop expecting hard drive encryption to work flawlessly. Handled an urgent request from Mitra. Lots of email followup. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Chatted with Eric about the people content type and affiliations. Chatted with Susie about org charts and /about/admin. Responded to a question from Mari G about Chapter Three and Drupal. Late lunch at JCC: salmon and cream cheese wrap, creamy broccoli soup, water from my contigo water bottle. About $9. Met with Eric and Kevin L: training. Jazzee followup. Posted an updated schedule for Lucia. More /about/admin edits. Supp app presentation web page update for Joel. Lots of email followup. Worked late. Prepared special notices. Rode my bike home. Dinner at home: a banana; steamed white rice; leftover chinese food: mu shu shrimp, battered fish, two custard buns; some tortilla chips. Wrapped some gifts.
Found a fortune cookie fortune in the pocket of the pants I put on today: You will soon receive an unusual gift. Rode my bike to UCSF Laurel Heights. Completed MyExpense paperwork for the UCCSC trip. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Helped Rick resolve a problem with PharmAdMIT. Responded to entering student LP regarding a question about Microsoft Office. Followup with Rodney about installing Acrobat XI Pro for the computers in the lab. More web edits and orgchart work for Susie. Followup with Shirin about webcam installation. Posted supp app workshop page live for Joel. Joel also had a request regarding how to merge data between two Excel spreadsheets, so I spent some time learning the VLOOKUP function and got what he needed done. Followup with Louise C about a kiosk submission. Followup with Sara about the Roy Lab website. Followup with Chris W about server access. Forgot to eat lunch. Snacked on garlic sunflower seed clusters in the late afternoon. Eric D and I rode Muni to one-week-old The Beer Hall (1 Polk Street) for Simon S's going away. He's leaving the neighboring clinical compliance unit and asked us to join. I met Jean, Peggy, and John from his unit as well as the bar owners Drew and Jennifer who were friends of Simon. The bar was packed and included many patrons who worked at nearby Twitter (1355 Market Street). We ate delicious, $5 grilled cheese sandwiches from the melt.com food truck parked outside (one of The Mission, two of The Classic with tomato). I had a beer from Stone Brewing Company called Cali-Belgique IPA which I liked. Beers here seemed to be atypical and with unusual or interesting flavors. The restroom has some rather fancy features that I won't spoil. If you visit, check it out. Rode Muni home. Created playlists of songs in my collection related to Chicago and New York or New York City. Did some catching up on journaling. Late meal: cream of mushroom sauce over leftover steamed white rice. Watched Star Trek: Voyager "Timeless" on Netflix instant watch. To bed late.
Breakfast at home: one fresh, sliced white nectarine. Doctor appointment: Hewitson. Met a new student at his office named David. Jonathan made some adjustments to my left orthotic. I'll try it out for the next few weeks. Early lunch from Cheese Steak Shop (415-346-3712): 7-inch original veggie with provolone and no peppers, $4.56. UCSF shuttle from Mt. Zion to Laurel Heights. Web edits for Cindy and Susie: BSIC becomes Instruction Lab. Followup with student MC about AD display name and email address. Jazzee followup: add another admin for Daliah. Gave Rodney some advice about purchasing a new Mac laptop. Tried purchasing the quote that John A sent me two weeks ago but couldn't figure out how to do it, asked Joanne P for help. Answered a question for Greg about CSS. Did some content work with chembio. Followup with CP about VC and SSL. Asked ITFS to install Acrobat XI Pro for OSACA. Rode my bike home. Snack: blueberries. Started watching Star Trek: Voyager "The Omega Directive" on Netflix instant watch. Dinner at home with Patrick: kashmiri curry chicken, leftover steamed white rice, spinach bolani, hot water. Finished watching Star Trek: Voyager "The Omega Directive." Dessert: one small scoop of chocolate ice cream. Did some catching up on journaling.
Breakfast at home: one fresh, sliced white nectarine. Followup with John M about installing Acrobat XI Pro for OSACA. Lots of followup with a AD display name change request. Followup with Lynn and Marley about SSL for VC. Submitted a work order for a hallway poster for Cindy (AMCP). Followup with Michelle A about her forthcoming lab website. Followup with Chris W about server access. Chatted with Dianne H about BearBuy and was able to place the order for three perpetual licenses of InDesign CS6 for Cindy, Lucia, and Danielle. Followup with Jesse A about distributing Acrobat XI to students. Small web edit for Paula on the associate deans page. Submitted a directory information change request to ITS on behalf of student CH. Chatted with Mari G who had questions about Drupal; I referred her to Courtney and John and the Web Starter Kit. Doctor appointment: got a hearing test on the recommendation of a friend, hearing is normal. Didn't eat lunch today. Late meal from Bunn Mi: vegetable bahn mi, water. Rode Muni home. Late dinner at home: leftover kashmiri curry sauce over leftover steamed white rice. Watched Captain America: The First Avenger on Netflix instant watch. Late snack: popcorn, sesame crackers.
Day with the Honmas and Nancy. I was preparing breakfast when I received notice that they were a few minutes away from picking me up, so I put my granola and diced royal gala apple in a chinese to go box and ate it while we drove to the Presidio for Family Kite Day Festival. Several hundred people attended this event which was moved from (I believe) Chrissy Field to Main Post due to the America's Cup event. We ate and drank well, both free and paid food and drink from festival vendors, including Hint flavored waters, BBQ pork sandwiches, savory and sweet empanadas, CLIF bars, kettle corn. The day was mostly sunny with some overcast skies. Wind strength varied greatly throughout the day. One minute there were several dozen kites in the sky, and the next minute only two. The kids made their own kites at the Walt Disney Make-a-kite Pavilion. Activities included making a small kite, flying a kite, making a pinwheel, walking a tightrope (or rather a modern kind of tape that acted as a tightrope but I don't know what you call it), face painting, watching House of Air staff bounce on a trampoline, receiving a duck caller from a person dressed as a duck working for a company that sold window remodels, and the catch-the-kite-tail contest. At around 1:00 PM we walked closer to the marina to see if we could watch today's America's Cup race. I watched for a bit but after seeing nothing interesting I accidentally fell asleep on the ground in the sun while the others watched nearby. My sister woke me some time later, maybe less than an hour. Afterwards it was time for their customary San Francisco ice cream experience, Ghirardelli Square. Along the way the group changed plans and we instead drove to Polly Ann's Ice Cream for a quieter, faster, simpler ice cream experience. Parking was free and about 50 yards away. Lani got Four Cs (cherry, chocolate, champagne, and something else), Nancy got black sesame, Kiana got a milkshake made with root beer ice cream, Jeremy got bumpy freeway (rocky road), I got cherry vanilla, and I can't remember what everyone else got. We then bought pastries at Cafe Bakery then drove to San Tung where we had dinner. The meal was delicious but the service was awful. Yes, the service is frequently unpleasant at San Tung, but this was worse than normal. Our order of steamed rice did not come out even after all our dishes were delivered, and even after we notified wait staff of this error. Some time after the second time we reported the error it was eventually delivered to a table next to us before that table rejected it and we flagged down the deliverator and we finally received it. Nancy had ordered chicken wings to go, and they were delivered to another table next to us who left it behind after they paid their check, arose, and left. The order was taken back to the kitchen, and we spent the next 15 minutes trying to resolve the problem. Lani asked for a refill of hot tea twice before it arrived. Our server never returned to our area after taking our order. Other wait staff ignored us when we had our hands in the air. Other tables around us were in similar straits; hands in the air, complaints of "where is my check?", waiting lengthily for to go boxes or water or tea. During this fiasco there was a constant crowd of people waiting to get in, and I don't understand why people put up with such awful service. The food here is good, but it's not so good that you should endure this service. By the end of our meal I distrusted the staff so much that I double-checked their work at every step: did we get the right leftovers back? did we get the right order to go? We never received fortune cookies, but other diners did. This place is awful and I vow to never return. We ate won ton soup, two orders of chicken wings, black bean noodles with seafood, beef with snow peas, mixed vegetables, steamed white rice, and maybe one or two dishes I can't recall. Afterwards we returned to my place. Nancy picked up the suitcase she dropped off in the morning. The Honmas gave me beautiful, firm tomatoes from their front yard garden as well as two electronic candles from Mom and Dad. Late meal at home: leftover saffron rice with leftover kashmiri chicken sauce.
Laundry. Breakfast at home: one egg over easy, one hash brown, one slice of spelt toast with earth balance spread, 8 ounces of apple juice, hot water. Made try tai chi signs for Patrick for Gap Wellness classes using Nerfect's Heavyweight found via FontSquirrel. Began packing. Labeled stuff. Washed my bike. Cleaned the bike pump. Purchased The Matrix Trilogy HD on iTunes for $17.99 and downloaded the first film. Mended a holey pocket in a pair of jogging pants for Patrick. Altered a pair of shorts to fit better. More packing. Dinner at home with Patrick: indian food delivery from Clay Oven West Portal. Watched The Matrix (1999) in HD via iTunes download. Dessert: one small piece of dark chocolate. Did some catching up on journaling. Late meal: small bowl of leftovers from tonight.
Breakfast at home: one quartered royal gala apple, water. Began loading my laptop with movies purchased from iTunes: Blade Runner 30th Anniversary Edition HD with extras ($14.99), The Matrix Trilogy HD ($17.99). Rode my bike to UCSF Parnassus. Followup with Zach S about sharing a wiki. Answered a supp app question for Daliah. Followup with Tran about Acrobat XI Pro installations. 1-on-1 with Rodney. Sent Sharecase reminders. Replied to Abby D about a kiosk request. Web edits for Lisa: prospective student calendar dates for preview sessions and supp app presentations. Followup with Tran about computer names. Handled a request from Chris W about setting up staging for his site. SOP IT wiki: Jazzee documentation. Followup with student CH about updating system information. Web edits for Rick: catalogs. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Web edits for Mitra: /about/admin. One small web edit for Sara: kidney project team. Followup with student GK about email address change. Followup with Sara G about the Roy Lab website. Updated the OSACA introductions presentation. Followup with Marley, Lynn, and Rodney about VC and SSL. Followup with John A about purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud: we need a new quote. Replied to a request from Shirin to order a new iPad for Danielle. Calendar management. More staging followup with Chris W. Answered a computer requirements question for student XQ. Edits for Desai Lab: added her CV, added a redirect. Chembio work: added remaining images. Helped Joel with Excel: more VLOOKUP. Chembio: responded to David's review. Installed application updates, Apple updates, Acrobat XI Pro for Mac. Skipped lunch today. Rode my bike home. Movie downloads successful and complete. Did some packing preparation. Dinner at home with Patrick: leftover bolani and indian food, water for me, yogurt drink for Patrick. Finally caught up on journaling. Recharge Spa work for Phil and Drew. Snack: freeze-dried sour cherries. Late meal: double order of seaweed ramen from a package.
Did some packing. Rode my bike to UCSF Laurel Heights. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Web edits for Cindy: curriculum. Followup with Adobe InDesign order with SHI. Chris W's request for a staging area is complete—hooray! Edited a welcome message to students about technology requirements. Handled a support request from Kevin L: "This field has been disabled because you do not have sufficient permissions to edit it." Sprint end meeting with Eric, Paula, David, and Greg. Snack: a banana from View Cafe: 60 cents. Followup with ITS about various issues. Followup with Daliah about a Jazzee issue she reported. Followup with Rodney about TreeAge licensing. Answered a question about technology requirements for entering student EM. Followup with a problem reported by Sue A about our PharmCAS page. Listserv management: added two names to one of the fraternity lists. Followup with an Active Directory display name change. Followup with Michelle A about her forthcoming lab website. Downloaded and installed SiteSucker 2.4.5 for OS X. I'm using 10.8.4 and it crashed upon launch. Restarting the computer did not resolve the problem. Repairing disk permissions did not resolve the problem. Uninstall and reinstall did not resolve the problem. Disk Verify reported no problems. I sent an email support request to the author, Rick Cranisky. Lunch at the JCC: vegetable soup, turkey sandwich on fancy hamburger bun. Met with Sara G about the Roy Lab website. Worked in Drupal with lab websites and our preview site for PharmD resolving issues and encountering new problems. Chatted with Eric to resolve some of the problems. Rode my bike home. Dinner at home with Patrick: penne with meat sauce made with tomatos from the Honmas. Recharge Spa work for Drew and Phil. Trip planning. More packing. Replaced a 35-watt halogen light bulb for the light fixture above our kitchen sink. Late snack: star pasta meal from a can, water.
Breakfast at home: one red plum. Rode my bike to UCSF Laurel Heights. Linkchecking, kiosk work. Chembio review meeting with David. Paula showed me how to make our copier convert paper to PDF. More PharmD curriculum edits for Cindy. Current students and student handbook new pages for Cindy. Replied to Ed C about a clinpharm site that's hosted by SOM. Drupal work: chembio and other work, some with Eric. Late lunch at Pasta Pomodoro: ravioli di margo: spinach-ricotta ravioli with blue cheese sauce, ice water. $13 after tip and a $3-off coupon. Bought snacks and gifts at Walgreens. More curriculum edits and chembio work. Followup with Tim C and John A about purchasing Creative Cloud. Followup with Daliah about a Jazzee issue she reported. Tidied my office a bit, rearranged the placement of the phone and the scanner and the iMac. Chatted briefly with James J. Rode my bike home. Dinner at home with Patrick: Patrick had a salad, I had leftover penne with bolognese sauce. Purchased and downloaded the Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) iTunes bundle with extras to my MacBook Air ($24.99). Continued packing. Cut my hair, showered. Continued packing. Late meal: corn and vegetable soup from a can. To bed late.
Awoke early. Breakfast at home: one sliced red plum, granola with unsweetened soy milk. Uber to SFO. SFO to ORD via Virgin America. On the flight a flight attendant announced that someone on the plane had an allergy to nuts and requested that everyone not eat anything that contained nuts. I thought the request was unnecessary, but I complied. I had complimentary tomato juice with ice and watched Star Trek (2009) on my MacBook Air via iTunes purchase. During the flight I considered having a turkey wrap ($8) and had added it to my cart but did not purchase it. After the flight at ORD I had lots of unpleasant transit experience trying to buy a CTA train ticket: many machines out of order, many with very specific restrictions (e.g., cash only, credit only, 3-day or 7-day pass only, etc.), instructions unclear (e.g., do I need a 7-day pass or a 7-day pass with Pace? what is Pace?), only two humans to help what was at the moment about 30 travelers. CTA blue line to Monroe: $5. (Summary: To travel from ORD to the Loop load a CTA pass with $5. Insert the pass into the turnstile, remove it, then enter the turnstile.) At Monroe it was unclear how to exit the station with a large suitcase without climbing a huge staircase. I asked a CTA employee who directed me to exit via Chase Bank, which was a suitable, unintuitive solution. I found myself next to a large water fountain in Exelon Plaza: beautiful. The air was muggy and a rain shower had recently passed. The weather felt tropical to me, and I'm accustomed to experiencing this kind of weather in something other than a forest of skyscrapers, so this is a new experience for me. Matt left his nearby work location for a few minutes to welcome me to Chicago. He had had a dental emergency earlier today, so we discussed the change of plans that resulted. I needed a meal, and Matt recommended the cafe at The Berghoff, so I walked there while he returned to work for another hour. The cafe was not open, so I entered the restaurant which was open but ate in the bar which was livelier. Battered cod, shoestring fries, very small side salad, iced tea, $23 after tax and tip. Pricey, but the batter on the cod was heavenly and the meal was exactly what I needed within the timeframe I needed it. The shoestring fries surprised me; they were more like finely grated potatoes rather than julienned potatoes. (Wikipedia does not clearly explain the difference, and it appears that shoestring fries popularly refers to both of these kinds.) The decor is mostly semi-luxurious dark wood with large paint portraits of presumably the Berghoff family. Staff was pleasant with one server appearing to be brand new and very inexperienced. The host kindly held my suitcase while I ate. After I finished, I met Matt at his work building. We walked about 12 minutes to a train station and missed a train by a minute, so we bought tickets from a machine which were cheaper than if we had purchased them on the train. We boarded the next train, then rode to Park Ridge where Matt arrived about 30 minutes late for his emergency appointment and quickly had an issue resolved. While waiting I sat in the courtyard at Park Ridge Public Library where I observed a man brushing his teeth, then later I observed a wild baby rabbit eating grass in the garden. We rode bus 81 to his and Jaime's apartment in Lincoln Square. Said hello to Jaime, rested, planned dinner. Matt drove us to Andersonville where we ate dinner at Hopleaf then ate ice cream and cake at George's. Jaime had a chocolate cupcake, Matt had strawberry swirl and oreo frozen yogurt, I had #yousalty?! (salted caramel ice cream with sea salt fudge ripple and salted cashews). Ice cream very tasty, Jaime was not that pleased with his cake. Back to their apartment. To bed late, around midnight. I have never walked so much with a suitcase before. It exhausted me. My first impression of Chicago: I have never been in a city quite like this, and so far I'm impressed with its character.
Awoke too early, around 5:00 AM local time, got up. Logged in to Jaime and Matt's wifi, ran a speedtest on speedtest.net. It started out relatively fast at 9 Mbps then stabilized at 5 Mbps and never finished after several minutes. Troubleshot a problem with my MacBook Air in which upon logging in Finder appeared to hang. It was caused by a network resource shortcut placed in the Finder sidebar. After removing that the problem went away. Restarted. Reran the speedtest: 26.44 down, 5.76 up (Comcast). Wrote in my journal. Pre-breakfast: corn flakes with milk, water. Walked to Rockwell Station. On the way I stopped at an unnamed coffee shop which I later learned was called Beans and Bagels. I ate a small plastic container of organic blueberry yogurt ($1.50) and an onion bagel with cream cheese. If I return, I need to ask them to go easy on the cream cheese. Brown Line to Adams/Wabash: $2.25. Bought a CTA 7-day pass: $28. I was last to leave the apartment this morning, so I unknowingly locked Jaime out by locking all the door locks before I left. He was not feeling well and returning home, trying to get in to rest. I took the Red Line and in about 15 minutes met him at Sheridan Station and we exchanged keys. I returned via Red Line to Adams/Wabash and began exploring, encountering the Art Institute of Chicago. I was a bit hungry so I ate at Terzo Piano. Complimentary bread and olive oil; pulled chicken sandwich with Moroccan spices, apricot-orange, goat cheese, pistachios, watercress ($14); Susan Feniger’s curry coconut caramel corn ($4); ice water. When I asked if the pulled chicken sandwich was spicy, the server replied that it does have a spiciness to it but it's tempered by the sweetness of the apricot orange. There is some truth to that, and although it was spicier than I would have liked, the interesting combination of flavors was worth the mild unpleasantness of the spiciness. The caramel corn was also intriguingly flavored and textured and would be a perfectly decadent snack if it weren't marred by frequent occurrences of unpopped kernels. I took a few photos from the Terzo Piano patio. Only 3 hours before the Art Institute closed, so instead of visiting the museum today I explored Millennium Park: Lurie Garden, the Great Lawn, Cloud Gate, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Wrigley Square, Boeing Galleries North and South, Crown Fountain. Rode the Brown Line back to Jaime and Matt's place. Left a voicemail message for Patrick. Rested and napped. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria with Jaime and Matt: medium deep dish cheese. Although I liked the cheese, overall I was not impressed with this pizza; Paxti's is to me a much better Chicago-style pizza than this in that its crust tastes richer, and the sauce is thicker. Malnati's puts more cheese on it than I prefer. Walked to Boystown. Progress, Spin, Berlin, The Closet. Late snack at Pie Hole: Jaime and I had one mushroom pizza slice each. Home.
Slept in. Quick breakfast: one italian plum, corn flakes with lowfat milk. Brown Line to The Loop with Jaime and Matt. Had some difficulty finding Chicago Water Taxi. Took the water taxi to Chinatown, $10 each for an all-day pass. We arrived very late to lunch at Cai (312-326-6888, 2100 S. Archer, Chicaco, Illinois) with Paco, Anna, Gabby, Diana, Jaime, and Matt. We talked about Moodle, Drupal, Calatrava, Firefox OS. Service at Cai was mostly poor; twice I helped myself to a nearby stock of items like disposable chopsticks, napkins, etc. because servers ignored our table for long periods. Some interesting touches with the cuisine here: the potstickers are fried once on top and again on the bottom making them crispier than normal and I liked this; one dish I've never had before: a vegetarian egg roll rolled in rice noodle provided an interesting contrast of textures and I do not recall seeing this dish anywhere else; peanuts in the sticky rice with chinese sausage were perfectly roasted—very crisp. Recommended, but expect poor service. In this restaurant if you want a fortune cookie, pick it up from the large bowl at the cashier; it is not served to you. My fortune: Executive ability is prominent in your make up. Lucky # 7, 10, 25, 28, 53, 23. Afterwards some of us got dessert at a nearby bakery/cafe: a smoothie for Matt, custard tarts for Anna and Paco. We visited the Nine Dragons Wall, then returned to The Loop via water taxi along with Paco, Anna, and Diana. We walked to Trump Tower where we failed getting seated at The Terrace due to a 90-minute wait. Instead we walked to Holiday Inn Cityscape Bar for drinks, meeting Gabby (who drove) and Danny. Jaime, Matt, and I tried taking the Brown Line but failed due to no funds on Jaime's card and no way to reload it at the station at which we were. Walked to another station. Red Line to Belmont. Walked to Sidetrack in Boystown. I checked my backpack, and we had drinks, chatting with Chad and Ander, both from Michigan State. Dinner with Jaime and Matt at Pingpong: complimentary shrimp chips and cold hand towel, a Shanghai Jazz for Matt, sushi and summer roll for Jaime, tofu and vegetables for Matt, a different tofu and vegetables dish for me. For dessert we shared a Great Wall Brick. Complimentary chocolate-dipped fortune cookies. We were so full, but we ate them anyway. My fortune: "It is quality rather than quantity that matters. Do a good job." Service was very good, cuisine was excellent. I recommend it. $85.10 after a $12 tip. Back to Sidetrack so that I could retrieve my backpack. We rode a cab to Big Chicks where we got drinks and danced. We rode a cab back to Jaime and Matt's place. To bed very late. One of our possible plans today was an LGBT night at a Chicago White Sox game but we ended up not going.
Slept in. Brown Line and Pink Line to Little Goat, a hip and popular diner in West Loop. Brunch with cousin Angel and her husband Jonny, and their daughter Claudia at Little Goat. One-hour wait. Smoked french fries, macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs, tempura mashed potatoes, blueberry pancakes for Jonny, bull's eye french toast for Angel, parathas burrito for me. All the food was excellently prepared. The smoked fries are particularly addictive. Since Jamie and Matt couldn't make it, I bought some pastries from the cafe to go. Pink Line and Red Line to Osterman Beach. On the way I got lost and ended up at Fulton Beach. Matt met me by car not long after I arrived. We sat in the shade near the volleyball courts for a few hours. Afterwards stopped at Joey's Soda and Snacks (1946 West Montrose, Chicago, Illinois 60613) where I bought some gifts. Then we ate at Fountainhead: for Matt: pulled pork sandwich on pretzel roll, side of cole slaw; for me: cobb-like hearty greens, egg, bacon, buttermilk bleu cheese, carrot, red onion, cucumber, smokedchicken, yogurt ranch dressing ($12). We were pretty hungry, and this food was tasty and disappeared quickly. Then we got drinks at a bar called Scot's. Back to Jaime and Matt's place. Showered and rested. I helped Jaime back up his user folder and reinstall Windows 7 due to a corrupted user profile possibly due to a computer virus. To bed late.
Slept in. Brown Line to Adams/Wabash. Visited the Art Institute of Chicago, stopping for a bite to eat at the downstairs cafeteria which I liked very much and recommend. I met Matt afterwards. We got Chicago char dogs at Gold Coast Dogs, then we chatted briefly with Angela and Rachel outside their booking agents workplace. Brown Line to Jaime and Matt's place. I started a load of laundry. Showered, rested. I did more work setting up Jamie's laptop. Lost a sock. To bed late.
Slept in. Found my sock in the laundry room on the floor. Finished folding laundry. Breakfast: five italian plums, water. Brown Line to Chicago and Brown, bus 66 to Illinois and McClurg. Light meal at Fox and Obel (312-410-7301, 401 E. Illinois Street, Chicago, Illinois): pre-made turkey and ham sandwich from the refrigerator case, Honest Tea: Just Green Tea: about $8. Bobby's Bike Hike with guide Karen: Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour. The only other person on the tour was a woman from Toronto. The tour stops and highlights: the outside of the Museum of Contemporary Art (where a farmer's market was taking place and where Amanda Ross-Ho's The Character and Shape of Illuminated Things was recently installed in the plaza and where I accidentally fell off my bike and scratched my right leg in a few places), Oprah's penthouse apartment at Water Tower Place, the 1899 mansion by James Gamble Rogers owned by Hugh Hefner (1340 North State Parkway), the Wooden Alley between North State Parkway and North Astor Street, Streeterville, along North Rush Street, into Old Town, a Sears kit house, St. Michael's Cathedral, an Abraham Lincoln statue (but not the one by the history museum—another one). We stopped at Lincoln Park Zoo for a 23-minute break. I purchased a chocolate and vanilla twist soft-serve ice cream ($4.36 after tax) which disappointingly disintegrated in my hand faster than I could eat it. The texture of the soft-serve was not exactly correct even though it tasted correct—too watery. We rode across a North Lakeshore Drive overpass, saw the view from the south end of Grant Park which included Navy Pier, then rode along the water back to Bobby's Bike Hike East Illinois Street and North McClurg Court. An excellent bicycle tour—I highly recommend it. About $45 after a very generous tip. Rested at Fox and Obel with an Honest Tea: Lemon: $2.40. Walked to Hancock Center, waited for Jaime and Matt to arrive. We attempted to visit the Signature Lounge but failed because I was wearing a tank top and did not have a shirt with collar and sleeves. Disappointment. We took a cab to Jaime's car then drove to dinner at Ruxbin (851 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois). We wanted to get a drink afterwards and stopped at Jackhammer but saw that it had no customers, so we instead drove to Andersonville and drank at ?. We drove back to Jaime and Matt's place. Packed. Reviewed transit options for tomorrow's travel. I'm flying to New York City and need to figure out how to get from JFK to the Lower East Side. To bed very late.
Matt drove me to ORD through a lot of heavy traffic. I ate the classic breakfast at Ice Bar inside the airport: scrambled eggs, alderwood-smoked bacon, sourdough toast, small side of fresh fruit. Service by Barbara was infrequent but friendly when it arrived. $16.02 after a $2 tip. Watched Star Trek Into Darkness on iTunes before and during the flight. JetBlue #906 from ORD to JFK. Our plane was rerouted to Syracuse due to poor weather in NYC. Delayed a long time for refueling because JetBlue has a small presence at Syracuse and consequently limited staff. While waiting to leave Syracuse the cabin became very uncomfortably hot for about 30 minutes. Arrive at JFK many hours later than expected. Purchased a ticket that combined the $7 off-peak fare for the LIRR trip from Jamaica Station to Penn Station with a $5 AirTrain exit fee. Caught the 6:42 PM LIRR to Penn Station with only a few minutes to spare. Waited in line at the wrong ticket window to purchase a 7-day unlimited pass. FYI, a 7-day unlimited pass cannot be added to a MetroCard purchased simultaneously with a LIRR ticket. The 7-day pass was $30 plus $1 for the new MetroCard fee. Arrived in Penn Station, exiting at West 34th Street and 7th Avenue, had my New York deer-in-headlights moment seeing the giant displays above the train station entrances/exits. Walked to 6th Avenue, walking in the wrong direction at first. I didn't realize until later how long this walk was. (Chatting with BK and Kel later I agree with them that it's less work to take the J train from Jamaica Station even though it feels like it takes much longer. Indeed, in hot weather or with a large suitcase it's smarter to avoid the non-airconditioned spaces and the poorly accessed stations and the urine-smelling elevators waiting for the M or the F). Waited about 12 minutes in a very hot subway at West 34th Street / Herald Square Station for the F Train, rode to Delancey Street / Essex Street. Walked a few blocks to Holiday Inn Lower East Side (150 Delancey Street). This hotel is recently new. Check-in was fast, simple, friendly. Dinner by myself at Via Tribunali: vesuvio calzone, house red (today = sangiovese). The calzone was huge, and I could eat only half of it. I took the rest with me to drinks and chat with Brian and Kelly at their apartment on Attorney Street. Realized that Apple Notes no longer displays my NYC to do list and I do not recall having deleted it. Back to the hotel. To bed very late.
Slept in. Happened upon a cool candy store called Economy Candy. Lunch at 'inoteca (212-614-0473, 98 Rivington Street at Ludlow) with Brian and Kelly: we shared: salad of beets, oranges, pecorino, mint & hazelnuts ($12); panini of smoked mozzarella, grilled zucchini & peperonata ($11); panini of prosciutto, mozzarella, basil pesto & pickled red onion ($11); mozzarella in carrozza ($10). Kelly went to work. Brian and I walked to (I think) Spring Street Station and took subway train 6 to 86th Street Station. We walked to the Guggenheim Museum and realized when we arrived that it was closed today. We walked to and visited Neue Galerie which held German and Austrian art, including works by Gustav Klimt. We ate in Cafe Sabarsky: sachertorte and espresso mocha for Brian, chocolate and cherry torte and iced tea for me. We split, and I returned to the hotel. Dinner at Wolfnights: Teen Wolf (falafel wrapped in a fig and pomegranate wrap: pickled red onion, grilled scallions, toasted sunflower seed, pickles, sesame sauce), water. Barhopped in East Village: Easternbloc where at an event called "My Chiffon is Wet" DJ Paisley Dalton spun diva tunes most of which I had not heard before and where I had a Blue Moon and met Ruby Roo. Then I visited The Boiler Room but did not stay long. The Cock was charging a $5 cover, and I was already resigned to end my night so I did not enter. Back to the hotel. To bed late.
Slept in. Breakfast at Doughnut Plant (379 Grand Street, New York, New York): cafe con leche grande, peach yeast doughnut, creme brûlée doughseed, $9.25 and worth every penny. These doughnuts are amazingly and seemingly perfectly delicious. I ate the doughnuts in the shop next to French lesbian tourists then took my coffee to go. Walked to and sat in Seward Park. Decided to visit MOMA today. Rode the subway M train from East Broadway to 47-50 Streets and Rockefeller Center. Along the way I got lost in the subway, and I also purchased bandages from Rite Aid for the scratches on my leg from the Chicago bike tour. Decided to abandon the MOMA plan and instead visit the Top of the Rock ($27). The experience was breathtaking. Today was a bit hazy but the view is astounding nonetheless. Also fun were the surprise entertainment in the elevator and the lighted, interactive installation in one of the rooms at the observation decks. I took lots of photos. Wandered around Rockefeller Center. Purchased a saturn peach and a pear from a farmer's market vender at Rockefeller Center. He accidentally failed to give me the correct change, but I persisted and got all my change. Snacked on garlic sea salt sunflower seeds which I had brought with me. Took an M4 bus a few blocks south along 5th Avenue and exited near the New York Public Library. I explored the library a bit and also sat in the Rose Reading Room to charge my phone and plan my next move. Back to the hotel. Changed into long pants and a polo shirt. Late dinner by myself at Yunnan Kitchen (212-253-2527, 79 Clinton Street, New York, New York): grilled tofu shao kao ($5) with spices on the side, stir-fried mushrooms (sawtooth herb, Benton’s ham, peppers, $11), Alphabet City Easy Blonde ($6): $28 after a $4 tip. My fortune: Winning starts with beginning (30, 43, 15, 23, 5, 1). Back to the hotel for a nap. On the walk home I stopped in front of a sushi restaurant that had no name. After a minute or so a chef emerged and gave me an introduction and a very sexy matte black with gold foil business card: Sushi Ko. Chef's choice meals starting at around $70. Nap. I had wanted to go to FairyTale Lounge (500 West 48th Street, New York, New York) because Cazwell was supposed to have been spinning, but I left what I felt was late and didn't think I would make it early enough, so I didn't try. Instead I barhopped in West Village, viewing from the outside or stopping only briefly at various places along Christopher Street and Grove Street.
Slept in. Breakfast to go from Russ and Daughters (212-475-4880, 179 E Houston Street, New York, New York): pastrami-cured salmon with chive cream cheese on sesame bagel, $13 after a $1 top. Delicious, but overpriced for a bagel with salmon and cream cheese. Service and experience was nice, though. They seem to have the world's thickest waxed paper. I sat at a nearby intersection and ate my bagel listening to car drivers stuck in heavy traffic. Not long afterwards Brian asked if I wanted to join him for brunch. I had just eaten but I said I would join and have a small bite. Brunch with Brian at Family Recipe (212-529-3133, 231 Eldridge Street, New York, New York): ginger shiitake and kale dumplings, crispy bao buns, and for Brian a bloody samurai (a take on the bloody mary). The food was excellent; I recommend it. The business card is made from a very thin wood (perhaps balsa)—very sexy. We did not order dessert, but with our check we received a nice surprise: two lemongrass macarons - such a nice touch. Brian's parents arrived today from Portland via an airport in New Jersey, and they were coincidentally booked at my nearby hotel. We met them in the lobby as they were finishing check-in, and the four of us hung out in their room chatting. Kelly joined us with perfect timing exactly after Brian had said, "Where is he?" We intended to get an early dinner at Spitzer's but along the way we encountered Antibes Bistro (212-533-6088, 112 Suffolk St New York, NY 10002) which had just opened and was enticingly empty and consequently promised more quiet than Spitzer's could. We ordered an asparagus appetizer, coriander salmon, chicken under brick, and seared New York strip. Koko joined us mid-meal. Afterwards we walked to Il Laboratorio del Gelato for dessert, then back to Brian and Kelly's place to chat more. Around 10 PM I returned to the hotel and showered and napped. Around midnight I took the subway to W 43rd and 6th and had a late meal at The Halal Guys: gyros and chicken over rice with white sauce, bottled water. I went to Boxers at 742 9th Ave at 50th Street in Hell's Kitchen thinking that Cazwell was spinning but learned upon arriving that he was doing a show in Columbus, Ohio, and that DJ Paisley Dalton (who spun when I was at Easternbloc on Thursday) was spinning in his place. I met Luis and Miguel. A sexy gogo boy wearing only a hand towel and shoes danced atop a covered pool table. After a long island iced tea, I met Drew (whom I met on last October's Atlantis cruise) at Barrage and was introduced to Dan, Dana, and Greg. Afterwards Drew and Dan and I danced at The Ritz where I met Marcus and Grady. Rode the subway home. Just before arriving at the hotel thick raindrops began to fall and lightning bolts filled the sky behind the Williamsburg bridge. To bed extremely late.