Autumn in New York

We had a very eventful trip to New York in October.  I have so many memories from the four years I spent there during college, but have recently been so busy exploring my new home, California, that I've really only made it back to "the city" a couple times a year since 2006.  Visiting New York in Autumn is really the tops.

Some highlights:

Hanging out with Woody Allen at the Carlyle on the Upper East Side, like old friends.  It's not super publicized, but Woody plays jazz clarinet there on some weeknights during dinner, and we were able to score a primo spot!

We also scored choice seats to see the last night of Chita Rivera's three night cabaret run at Birdland.  She was phenomenal-- such a pro. 

Not all of the music we saw was performed by senior citizens!  We also had brunch at Cafe Loup in the West Village, where we saw my cousin Ray Parker play bass (he's the one in the middle.)  Delicious food, jamming music and a familiar face-- a great way to make a big city feel cozy on a rainy Sunday.

We shopped for hats at the JJ Hat Center, the city's oldest and largest haberdashery.  The salesmen there are so sharp, and really know their stuff.  Move over, Bogie!

Of course we had some great cocktails-- we hit up one of my favorite old haunts, the Old King Cole bar at the St. Regis (newly restored mural above.) 

Brett also said one of my favorite things of all time during this trip, when, at a bar, I informed him that I overheard the couple next to us complaining about their Grey Goose cocktails.  "I'm sorry," he said, "But I have no sympathy for the plight of the vodka drinker."

We met Dan and Katie for dinner at Otto, Mario Batali's pizza place in the West Village.  I know, I know, this image is kind of dominated by the big shopping bag-- Katie had just bought a birthday pressy for a good friend at Juicy Couture.  Lucky lady!

Bagels, bien sûr.

We wrapped up the trip with some quality time with family in Brooklyn.  A perk of staying with family for a couple of days is being able to play with their cute dogs.
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