I was even more bemused to realise the Starbucks with the really good wifi that Natasha and Boris were using was the very same one I was using. Maybe that's why my wee PC gets jumpy everytime I type in 'FBI', and, for some reason, I've been doing a lot of that lately - grin. Oh, to see the agent's face if he's ghosting me typing up that. Smirk.
World cup? Blah blah blah. So, Dr Who finale? I heard many were underwhelmed but I loved it. I don't need great galactic battles. I do need freaky boxes and freaky time travel and plastic romans and stonehenge and the fez! Well, maybe not the fez. Did I laugh too loud and too hard when they shot it to buggery (ever since I bought the Peanut Gallery that fez for his Xmas party last year it's been hard to make him go fezless, you've no idea. Never let a man get his hands on a fez, it quickly because bolted to the noggin, I speak from experience here). I loved plastic Rory guarding Amy for two thousand tears. I loved plastic Rory taking on the dalek. Hell, I just love Amy and Rory. They remind me so much of the old b/w companions (snarky and competent, not weepy and fan-girly).
I really liked the story, too. It was scary and surprising and it reminded me so much of the old tv shows I used to love watching after school so yeah, I'm loving the Moffat era. More Charlotte Sometimes, less Eastenders. This is a good thing.
Basically, I loved it. It was pretty much everything I wanted in Who that had been missing. It ticked all my boxes. I like it, even if nobody else does. I guess Mr Mofffat and I, being of an age, saw the same things and read the same things so we're of a mind when it comes to what makes Dr Who. Those kids of today can have their Roses redux when they run the show. For now I had my plastic Rory (very celestial toymaker, that, just a bit) and I am happy.
The weekend? Laundry and typing and nothing else. Not even telly (worked through Merlin, even, and it was a rare one that actually had both boys on the screen at the same time - mercy!). The front room is now such an impenetrable forest of damp washing that one has to cooee from the door.
While sorting the laundry that was dry(ish) I realised I have a lot of American baught underwear, and not just from the last trip, either. Is it because US hotels are not as friendly to the handwashing of smalls as your basic Brit B&B is, or is it that US food doesn't agree with this girl? Hmmm, possibly.
I never did make a big post on food because I never really went around snapping it, though I probably should of. The ShakeShack hstill holds a special place in my heart, so I'm not fussy. Friendliest service was the pub down on Fulton. It would have been another one up near the Rockerfeller but when I made the mistake of going back to it, having had such a good experience the first time, the second time they were so nasty they damn nearly made me cry, and I wasn't in the happiest place to start with.
But let's not bother about that. I'm miserable enough as it is (now they want a scrolling ticker on the web site - the fuck?). Let us talk of all the chocolate, and, had I known American chocolate had realy lifted their game, I would have brought home (well, at least you know I never sampled it until I got home). There was Ghirardelli from San Francisco, and all those weird and wonderful flavours from the chocolate factory in Seattle. There were hot chocolates galore on the west coast, where it was still cold and rainy, especially the nice one out of the rain in the cafe with the pink haired and pierced girls who took forever and a day to serve anyone but I guess it was all about atmosphere.
Oh, and that chocolate dessert restaurant in that old building with the velvet and, oh, the chocolate pot I had (the cheeky one that winked at me the moment I walked in the door, and didn't it just give itself up to me in sinful delight), and the port to follow. And this was after the best butter chicken curry I'd had in years and years and years in a wonderful little downstairs place that reminded me of those Indian resturants of yore. And apparently the place to go as everybody was there. And then my mate expects me to run up the hill to the bus stop? Good thing the bus stop had been moved downhill or there could have been an ick factor. It's been a while since I've feasted that well or indulgently.
And I don't think I even mentioned the really rude waitress in that place in the Pike Markets. Okay, so we'd done SAM and we wanted somewhere to sit as much as anything and we got waved to a table with a view and we did the right thing and we ordered lunch and drinks and we were chatting away and apparently, behind me, I missed this entire performance of eye rolling from the waitress wanting to move on. Now I knew it was a crowded tourist place but there was a spare table beside us and we were still eating and drinking and usually the deal is that they say something, ask if we want coffee, plop the bill on the table, something a little more than just pulling faces. It was only when we left that we got a volume of abuse and comments from the woman who wanted our table like "They can't make a profit is there's no turnover!". We were there less than an hour, we hadn't even finished our drinks. How rude. We huffed and puffed the rest of the day.
Honestly, it was a tourist joint, on a Sunday. People were going to, surely, sit at tables, drink, chat and admire the view. Sheesh.
A pity, because it had the superior clam chowder, though I liked the bowl I had down at Fisherman's Wharf, too. I hadn't had any in a decade. I had a craving. A definite craving. It's crazy comfort food I can't get here, like haggis.
Anyway, there was the great Thai and fish and chips down by the water and they really were great fish and chips. Crumbed, not battered, and I've discovered that's the way I like 'em (alas, only ever get 'em battered here, and, locally, 80% batter, 20% fish, at that). Himself always has fish and chips down by the water and he's right, it's the only way to go.
Meanwhile, on the summery side of the country, I found some places selling bubble tea, one that sold it as a thick shake, which is just wrong. You could suck yourself inside out of tear a whole in the fabric of time and space trying to suck up the little balls in a thick shake. No, wrong, not right. Fortunately a block away there was a tea shop that made 'em just like they do in Strathfield. Better yet, the shop bore the legend "the joy of sucking balls", seriously, it did. Ooo-er. Okay, so I'm juvenille enough to have sniggered everytime I walked past it (or usually into it). It also served English Breakfast tea, before I sourced my own supply (all praise PG Tips), for which I was eternally grateful. There's little a cup of tea can't ease (except of course missing out on seeing Matt Bomer for the sake of damn fools who now want a ticker on the website).
Staying in K-town, there was a lot of kimchi, and good kimchi it was too, and noodles and rolls and whatnot aside from the burgers I was fetching because they were cheap and quick and I was on holidays, dammit, and I never get to do junk food at home. I wouldn't have gone quite so burger crazed if I had (I usually go KFC crazed in Blighty because there's one around the block from the hotel and it's always still open when the better options have closed). The Korean food? well, I work in Little Korea here, so that was same old, same old. New York wins on the kimchi, though.
Did treat myself to a couple of non snacky options, but as I think I've mentioned before, the two salads were thick with gluggy dressing and the sticky orange chicken dish I had was nice but they put me at such a terrible table I just couldn't enjoy it at all. Why not seat me in the corridor out the back with all the rotten cabbage leaves and old tables and be done with it?
Sometimes, it really is the atmosphere and, I gotta say, for a 'hospitality' industry that supposedly survives solely on tips, the service was quite genuinely shocking at times, even by Sydney standards (which is to say, very bad indeed). And it's a pity that the shockingly bad stand out more than the nice warm or indifferent folks I dealt with, but they do, maybe because of the drama and theatre that was involved with some of them (and this was always before I arrived at the difficult subject of the tip, which remains arcane, but, folks, treat me like I'm not gonna tip well and don't be surprised at the result, is all I'm sayin', because there are some crazy but chipper taxi dudes out there who'll tell ya I can be very nice when given a modicum of encouragement).
Oh, those taxi rides. Where to start? The big one in the dark and rain in Seattle (yeah, I bus/trained it back but it was late, dark, pissing down, I hadn't slept or eaten and I'd lost my printout of getting from airport to hotel and sometimes ya just gotta cab it for the sake of thinly stretched sanity and besides, the view was pretty), or the guy who was thrilled I was Australian because Dr Hollows had done such fine work in his home country, work he was so proud of, or the crazy guy in the Ali Baba pants who drove so fast and so wild I thought for sure I wasn't going to make it, but what fun!
Back to food. There was my fave cafe, that was sort of just up the road and around the corner a bit from Union Square, which was a little too high pressure touristy and I wanted somewhere I could wallow and this one just spoke to me and it had these lovely old French windows and the Euro staff were a little too keen on the Euro trash disco (played LOUD) and they had no English Breakfast tea but the lack of try-hardness worked for me and I am bemused to note that White Collar really did film just around the corner from it, after all, if those stills are anything to go by (hey, I know that street!). It's like they were stalking me, filming in places I'd found and enjoyed just by gettting slightly lost, more than anything else. The first time I found the cafe I'd been looking for a church and a museum. Did I mention the Merchant's House? A cute little private museum of a crumbling old house furnished with knick knacks and a lovely garden to sit in. Such places are my bread and butter but I originally found the cafe while waiting for the dang place to open, as I'd wandered down in a third of the time I'd estimated, so I strolled about and as it was vaguely near where my pal used to live, so I knew if I headed east I'd hit cheap eats, so I did. Voila.
Oh yeah, that's the sad thing. My ankle had finally, finally healed and I was walking all over the place and ever so pleased. Well, guess which eejit fell off the Somme like track of old fence palings Himself had laid across the soggy giant feral kitty litter that was formerly our lawn and garden. It was soaking with rain and frost, I slipped, I rolled on my bad ankle and now it hurts all over again. And I've got to walk several kms this evening. So not fun. So much for that, then. This is what I get for being smug, for just a second. Other folks seem to get awaty with 24/7 smug, but not poor old muggins muggins here. Pride definitely went before a fall.
Typing? Still slogging away. All typing and no writing. It's very dull. And I told myself I couldn't rip off Chandler, until I got to a bit I knew had been ripped off wholesale. That's precedent, that. Heh.
Would rather be typing now, but no, I must present demonstration tickers for their perusal. I know it puts food on the table, but really, such crushing submission, it burns.