Wherein We Feel The Need… The Need For Cheese

Whew! What an exhausting week! We’ve been meaning for the last six days to write a post about our marvelous trip into New York City with Kristin, but every evening we’d get home from work and just collapse in senseless heaps on the couch. It’s been rough, and strange, because we can’t figure out why we feel so pooped. I guess it must be that our lazy summer has well and truly ended. If that really is the case, at least we got to send it off in festive fashion, with a photo excursion to Grand Central Station and a long, delicious lunch at Artisanal Bistro.

Lunch At Atisanal September 2008

Our day started at the crack of dawn, as we caught a just-after-10:00-a.m. train into the city, along with everyone else in Central NJ. Seriously, we had to STAND the entire way from Princeton Junction to Penn Station. This made no sense to us, but we managed to keep our complaining to a minimum, and arrived in NYC in one piece.

We had no real plan for what to take pictures of until we got to street level and noticed the Empire State Building.

Empire State Building with Bird

Awesome NYC landmarks! That’s what we’d take pictures of!

And so we wandered slowly to Park Avenue, soaking in the atmosphere of an insanely muggy day in the city, taking snapshots, talking cameras in the manner of three people who don’t really know what they’re talking about, and giddily anticipating cheese. When we arrived at Artisanal, we were greeted by a group of protesters who were trying to impress upon our decency as human beings that this restaurant we were about to enter serves “sweatshop fish”. Which… um… okay? We’re sure that’s a serious problem, and if we ate fish, we’d think twice about ordering at the cheese bistro, but other than that, the event most notably prompted Kristin to say, after we navigated our way through the angry gathering outside Artisanal, “I didn’t realize we were eating at an abortion clinic today.” Heh.

Despite the inhumane working conditions for the fish and/or fish workers producing Artisanal’s seafood, our meal was a total delight. We went for wine/beer and cheese flights, which turned out to be smaller than we anticipated, so we followed that course with the most exquisite grilled cheese sandwich made with taleggio (and a less exquisite one made with cheddar, apples and bacon — it would have been better without the apples), and then had extravagantly, outrageously scrumptious desserts (a chocolate/hazelnut masterpiece topped with vanilla salt, and a hugely boozy baba au rhum). Three hours after we arrived, we hit the road again, slightly tipsy and fully sated, and it seemed the fish sweatshop crisis had passed, because the protesters were gone.

We decided we should spend some time walking a few blocks up Park Avenue to visit Grand Central Station for photo ops. It was at this point that Kristin broke out the TTV devices, letting Pookie get her first taste of it.

TTV Pookie

TTVing is not something that comes naturally, but Pookie was getting the hang of it by the time we got to Grand Central.

Facade of Grand Central

We proceeded to spend ages inside the station, taking bazillions of the same pictures over and over again. But what can we say? We just loved those chandeliers.

Ball of Lightbulbs

Christmas Ball

Light Fixture and Marble

If you want to see the best of the 300+ shots we took, the collection is here, and Kristin’s pictures are here.

We followed our chandelier photo shoot with a desperate attempt to get burritos at Burritoville, but it was closed by the time we finally got over there.

September 13 2008

Sadly, it seems that might have been our last chance for Burritoville. Poor, poor Pookie.

We walked dejectedly back to Penn Station from the abandoned Burritoville, and, sweaty from the humidity, feet aching from the walking, cameras resting from a hard day’s workout, we got back on the train home. Thank god there were enough seats for us, because we struggled to stay awake on the ride home. As soon as we were settled back at Maple Hoo, pajamaed and munching on Hot Pockets on our couch, we started emailing with Kristin to find the next date we can field trip into the City. What a delightful day! (And yeah, shirtless guy at Penn Station, I said “delightful”. You can just suck it.)



Filed under Away From Home, Dining Out, Fancy Dessert, Pictures Worth A Thousand Words, Worth Selling Your Soul For

12 responses to “Wherein We Feel The Need… The Need For Cheese

  1. GAH. Your pictures are so lovely! And the cheese, the delicious cheese!

    (Have I mentioned I am making you all scones to celebrate your Dallas arrival? BECAUSE I AM!)

  2. Thanks! It was hard to choose just one flight of cheese at Artisanal. I could have just ordered one of each. Mmm… Cheese.

    Are we going to get to eat these scones? I love scones!! (I might have to make some to warm up for our trip to Dallas! :D)

  3. Are we going to get to eat these scones? I love scones!! (I might have to make some to warm up for our trip to Dallas! :D)

    Yes, you are! Delicious, raspberry jam filled scones of awesome! I made some for the family this evening, so I shall take pictures.

    Everyone gets some! Whee. :)

    I wish we had some place like Artisanal near us. I’d be ALL OVER THE CHEESE. I am envious. And the General takes such good pictures (although I am sure you ladies are part of that equation as well). I just want to steal Grand Central and keep it in my pocket. :)

  4. I’m so excited for scones! And, in the meantime, to see your pictures of them, as a stand-in for the real thing. :D

    The General is SO awesome. Granted, some of these pictures are from the old camera (which, I can’t tell a lie, is a marvelously good camera), but we’ll give The General all the credit.

  5. hg

    Okay so you’re alive. I was getting really worried! I mean, nary a peep from Maple Hoo! (And yeah, yeah, I could’ve looked at that other blog you have)

    Sounds like you had a great trip but then any trip with cheese is bound to be fantastic. Or, cheesetastic. Fromagederful? Quesolicious?

  6. I really felt like we’d fallen off the face of the planet, so I’m glad to know you’d be there to worry if something bad happened. :D

    I think the correct term is “quesolicious”. Definitely.

  7. Oooh, I like fromagederful!

    HG — watch the mail. *walks away whistling*

  8. hg

    Of course I’m here to worry!

    Ooooo!!!! Mail watching is one of my favourite past-times! By the way, I sent something a while back to you… Did anything ever arrive? The girl at the post office was a real tool and 3 of the 5 things I sent came back so odds are I won’t be surprised if you’ve been left hanging.

    And on a random feline note, last night I woke up with Hada on my face. ON. MY. FACE.

  9. We did get an adorable card in the mail from Hada and some other person, I don’t know who. Heh. (Boomer was very excited to see Canadian stamps.)

    That’s too funny that Hada was on your face! Unless she was trying to suck your breath out. That would be less funny…

  10. Oh no!!! Burritoville is really closed!! I feel so bad for Pookie! At least she has some touching photos to remind her of the loss…

    This was an awesome, cheese filled, photofrenzied, tiring day! My plan to be way overstaffed at work has worked perfectly, so just name the day and I’ll be there again.

    Also, I googled “sweatshop fish” in an effort to understand the plight of the oppressed fishmongers, and the only relevant link that came up was your blog. So clearly, those protesters are not getting their point across.

  11. Also, I googled “sweatshop fish” in an effort to understand the plight of the oppressed fishmongers, and the only relevant link that came up was your blog.


    And seriously, I don’t think we can do this again soon enough! (Although our traveling hither and yon all October may put a spanner in the works scheduling-wise…)

  12. Pingback: Wherein We Discover, Again, That Dorie Greenspan Is A Genius « IPB Living

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