• 01May

    Had a great night out last night with Lana. Since getting our regular babysitter back we have started to get out again and I have to say it is awesome to be in NY. Being able to step outside your door and have thousands of places to go makes date night pretty sweet (and has the added bonus of being able to be a slacker on the plans). 

    When we hit the street yesterday all we knew is that we were going to walk down to the Village and find somewhere new. This is sometimes harder than it sounds for us. After wandering all over the West Village and then down Bleecker we wound up outside a fairly nondescript restaurant called Gus’ Place. Since we both love Greek we decided to give it a shot. Turned out to be a good call. Started with some Saganaki, Lemon Soup, salad and Greek wine (all amazing, but the Saganaki won in my books). Then moved onto Souvlaki. Lana had lamb, I had chicken. Both were great. To finish it up we had some Chocolate Baclava with Greek yogurt. We will definitely be going back there :-)

  • 10Dec

    There are certain advantages to living right in the thick of things here in Manhattan. Whether it be amazing food, access to the cities parks/attractions, the nightlife or pretty much anything you can think of, it is all at your doorstep.

    This past weekend I took Emma to her first musical. It was a play based on one of her favorite cartoons, Max and Ruby. She absolutely loved it. For a whole hour she sat mesmerized by the actors singing and dancing. At the end she decided we had to go back.

    To my point though about the advantages of living where we do. To get there we hopped in a cab outside our house and got dropped off in the village. A quick walk and we were at the theater. After the show was over we walked over, found another cab and then stopped for burgers at the restaurant at the base of our building. The whole trip took less than 2 1/2 hours. It was simple easy and pleasant. Not only that but there are a dozen other things just like that that I can start taking her to now. When we lived in CT that just wasnt the case.

    I gotta say, I love NY!

  • 19Nov

    I love American Thanksgiving. Why you ask? Because we get two days off and it feels like an actual holiday. Starting on Wednesday afternoon things begin to wind down (some would argue the whole week is a little slow) and for four days life becomes about hanging out with the family, eating well and generally enjoying your surroundings. In Canada we have Thanksgiving too (it actual pre-dates the US holiday) but since it is just one day off it feels more like a long weekend with the opportunity to stuff yourself. Plus since we reside in NYC this year we will be checking out the parade and the massive balloon characters live. Should be a blast!

  • 01Nov

    Wow! That is really all I can say about Halloween in New York.

    The day started with me on the train from Boston (a little tired from a night of great fun the night before of course). Had a relatively quick board meeting then it was off to get dressed up with the girls. After much wrangling and finagling we were off to the Museum of Natural History for some trick or treating and fun. What a zoo! Kids and chaos everywhere. The girls loved it though and Emma got to see dinosaurs so the night was deemed a success. Then back on the subway, got everyone home and settled in. At that point I was tired enough to sleep but then the tweets started coming across about what a freak show the village was. My buddy Murray IMd me and that was enough to get me off the couch and out for a walk. I can say it was well worth it! I have never seen so many costumed people. The Halloween parade ended near my house so we just started walking through the crowds and wound up at Union Square on a patio having a beer watching the show. Amazing. Definitely planning to get a babysitter for next year so we can really go out and enjoy it! Pictures will be on Flickr when I get a chance.

  • 14Oct

    Well just got back from my the last teaching session by the Dalai Lama at Radio City and I have to say it was amazing. I didnt get to see all 5 sessions but did go yesterday to the afternoon one.

    Yesterdays session was very intensive in analyzing the 70 verses on Sunyata. As a matter of fact we spent so much time on the first 20 or so we ran out of time. To be honest it was very hard to follow for the un-indoctrinated but to be there and see a packed hall hanging on His Holiness’s every word was awe inspiring. At the end of the session he cracked a joke or two said a prayer and was off.

    Today’s session was equally as inspiring and thankfully, a lot easier to follow and understand. He started by taking questions and at one point was very delighted that he had been asked on how we could take his teachings out into the streets and into our every day lives. He said he had been meaning to do this and now he felt right to do so. Apparently it is a buddhist tradition to only teach things that have been asked about. Since we had asked he felt ok instructing us on that topic (he got a good laugh out of this one)

    After his Q&A he then went on to finish reading the Stone Cutter Sutra which I guess he had started at a previous session. This was really amazing. With little or no interpretation he just read in his native Tibetan language. At times his voice seemed to hit surreal notes and his pace was amazing. The entire place was following the story even though a good portion of us did not speak the language.

    He then went on and finished up the 70 verses with larger generalizations and explanations of groups of verses as opposed to diving too deep on any particular one. It was much easier for me to understand and we quickly ran through the last 50 (number 70 really pulled it together :-)).

    Then to end it off he gave personal advice on how to live and take his teachings with you in everyday life. This for me was the best part. It gave a really interesting glimpse into buddhism and the degrees to which you can adopt some of its tenets to make your life that much better. He stressed that quite heavily actually that the religion did not matter as much as the commitment to serving others and doing no harm.

    After the teachings were officially over there were several prayers and then Richard Gere gave a speech which amongst other things mentioned that he has agreed to return to NY in 3 years for 10 days of teachings. That would be quite an experience to be sure.

    Not sure what to take away from it all but I have to say it was quite a moving experience. Much of what he spoke of really rings true and can actually be applied to everyday life. If you get a chance to see him dont hesitate. He is truly larger than life and a man of true spirituality.

  • 13Oct

    Went and saw an old friend from high school at a Students for a Free Tibet benefit on Wednesday. I have mentioned Lhadon on here before when she was being ejected from China for her pro Tibet work. They gave a very moving talk and hosted us with some drinks and appys before and after. The timing was good I guess and Lhadon offered us tickets to go see the Dalai Lama while he is in town giving teachings. Lana and I are splitting them up as one of us has to stay and cover the girls. I am going to a teaching today with Todd and then another tomorrow with Murray. Lana is going to go to the last talk which is a public talk on peace and prosperity.

    I am really looking forward to it and will try to give my impressions of it here afterwards.

  • 05Oct

    Well it took about a week and a half to get back on top of everything but I feel like I am finally there. Not reacting to stuff rather initiating it now. Thank god because I hate not knowing what is going on or feeling out of the loop. Seems like when you leave for a bit things are never the way you left them :-)

    On another note we have a friend in from out of town. Todd is hanging out at Murray’s house for the next 10 days or so and if the last trip was any indication we better stock up on beer (and I mean lots of it). With babulya coming down Lana should be able to get out for a night or two with us all as well. Woohoo!

  • 29Sep

    Well we made it back from the vacation safe and sound. It was nice to take the time away and just hang with the family but it is nice to be back as well. So many things going on at work, the girls have a whole new set of classes and the city itself is buzzing. It doesnt hurt that the weather has been positively Summer like as well.

    All in all its been an excellent start to Autumn. I hope everyone else is doing well and thanks again to everybody who hosted us on our trip. It was truly a pleasure to see you all and we look forward to doing it again soon eh!

  • 14Aug

    Jeff Pulver has a blog post up detailing his frustrations with an experience he had while trying to exchange a TV at Best Buy and subsequently their poor customer service.

    I get this all the time. The interesting part to me is to see the difference between big chains and smaller operations. Living in NYC we are lucky to get a lot of exposure to the smaller operations. Whether they be delis, electronics/computer stores, restaurants etc it seems that NY has an extensive number of independent businesses. In almost all cases I find there to be intense customer service on the part of the smaller outfits and quite the opposite at the larger end of the scale.

    But back to Jeff. In his case he bought a TV, didnt open it for 40+ days and then when he did it turned out to be broken. When he tried to return it the entire store seemed to not give a crap about his problems. The first problem is that their customer service really let him down. They obviously dont know this in the store but Jeff is a gadget freak. I imagine the guy spends more on electronics in a year than some small countries. For that reason alone they should have tried to appease him. Their second and larger problem is that Jeff is now telling his story to his audience on the web. Again, Best Buy probably doesnt know this either, but Jeff has a HUGE audience, many of whom have met him and person and genuinely respect him. The only way Best Buy can recover from this is to listen to Jeff’s story and get him a new TV. If they want to take it a step further maybe they would even address the apathy displayed regularly by some of their employees (in all fairness I have had some very good experiences with Best Buy employees).

  • 31Jul

    Since moving to NY three months ago we have gone out more than we did in the entire preceding 3 years. Whether it is a simple night out for appies and drinks or a trip to see the String Cheese Incident we have definitely been taking advantage of the city life. Tonight we are going to see one of Lana’s favorites, Rocco Deluca at the Bowery Ballroom.

    Cannot wait!