May 25th, 2003



Had a very fun, relaxing day on Saturday.

I went into the city and met ozzdo and irnbruise and k for dim sum at Dim Sum Go Go. We ate a lot of food - just the way dim sum should be - and left pleasantly full. We went to the Tea & Tea on Mott St. afterwards for bubble tea.

After bubble tea we were thoroughly done with food, and we hopped on the subway and went to their apartment, where we spent the next few hours having a "retro gaming" day - playing old NES games, as well as some N64 games. We started off with a "four player" game of Super Mario Brothers 3 - playing a 2 player game and just alternating. I found that I suck at that game, at least compared to them. (In all fairness, though, they all obviously had a decent amount of experience with it and I don't remember ever playing it.) K seemed to know almost every secret and trick, it was pretty impressive to watch. After that, we played a real four player game of Mario Kart 64 for the N64, which was fun. Oz whipped our asses, but I did decently - I think he came in first 10 races and 2nd 4, and I came in first 4 and 2nd 10. (L and K had never played before, so it really came down almost to 2 simultaneous 2-player games, between me and Oz and between L and K.)

We had some chips and beer while we played, and once we all started feeling hungry we went to a nearby bar/restaurant and had dinner and drinks. I can't remember the name of the place, but it was decent - the "New York" Cheese Steak (basically a Philly cheese steak with a new name - she said it had cheddar as opposed to swiss like on a philly cheese steak, but I've never had a philly cheese steak with swiss, so either she's full of it or I've never had a real philly cheese steak) was surprisingly good, actually, the meat very tender and tasty, and with a good amount of onions and cheese on it. The fries I remember from last time I went there - in desperate need of seasoning. Even after pouring salt and pepper on them they still tasted bland, so I just went with ketchup.

After a long, relaxing dinner we finally went to the Amsterdam Billiard Club and played pool for a couple of hours. It was a great place - not too crowded, relaxed vibe, and didn't seem too expensive to me ($29 for a table for 2 hours, unlimited play, and they've got various specials that can make it much cheaper). It was the first time I played in 10 years (and even then it was literally maybe 5 or 10 games total - ever), and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised - I certainly wasn't fabulous but I did pretty well considering my utter lack of experience (I had to ask how to hold the pool cue, because I wasn't sure, and we had to refer to the rules sheet on the wall several times). I did better when I started, I think, probably because as it went further on I kept thinking about it more rather than just relaxing and shooting. I found myself over-analyzing shots and often totally flubbing shots that I had made earlier in the night (and by flubbing, I mean doing things like moving my hand and barely tapping the cue ball instead of hitting it cleanly, so it rolled an inch or two before stopping). I had a lot of fun, though, and it was great getting reintroduced to the game in an environment in which I felt no pressure.

(I was invited to go out and play pool with some coworkers on Friday night, and while I was too tired and grumpy to want to play, I wouldn't have felt comfortable asking most of them things like "Uh... so how do I hold the stick?" or for other pieces of advice, and the kind of trash talking that can go on is fun sometimes but not when you're just learning. So that was nice - and next time they ask (assuming I don't already have plans like on Friday) I'll be able to go in with a little confidence - not that I'm good, but that at least I won't look like a moron.)

All in all I had a really nice day. Thanks to my hectic and... unusual... life I've rarely had the chance to just hang out and have fun with friends like that, and it was really great. Must... do... again!
  • Current Music
    chris thile - how great thou art

My cousin at Carnegie Hall!

Another busy day today - I went to see my cousin Karen perform at Carnegie Hall. It was her first time performing there, which was very exciting.

After the performance, we went for drinks at the uber-cool Hudson Bar, one of two bars in the Hudson Hotel. The place is trendy and cool, definitely not my normal sort of hangout - so hip it hurts. The decor is eclectic, ranging from ultra-modern to antique, with a bit of hunting-lodge thrown in for good measure. You get to it by going into an unmarked glass door, and then up an oddly-lit escalator, and suddenly you emerge into what looks almost like a hunting lodge as envisioned by some modern designer, way too cool for someone like me - and apparently frequented by celebrities.

Anyways, here are two scans from the playbill:
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  • Current Music
    Maurice Ravel - 03 - String Quartet in F Major (Second Movement)