Our trip got off to a mixed start — Greg forgot to take the Swiss Army knife out of his pocket, so he had to put it in the trash. But, having made that sacrifice to the travel gods, we were able to get two seats together on the plane due to one person not showing up. We ran into a young friend who wished to remain anonymous (“Don’t print my name, my Dad would freak!”) who was off to Morocco with a group from her high school for a month-long trip. Have fun, nameless one!
Here she is gamely holding the traveling sock.
We checked into our murky and oddly stylish hotel, The Hudson, which has a great location near the SW corner of Central Park and Columbus Circle. After a walk down Broadway as far as Times Square, we came back to meet some friends from the Gunroom for dinner at the Carnegie Deli:
from left, me, Abbie, Wanda, Hugh, Greg, and Larry.
The Carnegie Deli is a warren of rooms filled with people eating enormous plates of food. We were led back, back, back to an empty table, and quickly brought menus and a bowl of pickles. Such pickles – half sour and full sour, crisp and fresh! Despite warnings about the portion sizes I ordered a chopped liver sandwich and Greg got a Reuben. The chopped liver was a mound roughly the size of a softball, resting between two slices of nice seedy rye, unctuous and delicious. The Reuben was reminiscent of Mt. Rainier – enormous and draped in white, which in this case was melted cheese. The corned beef was flavorful, lean, moist, and piled high. Why can’t one find corned beef like this outside of New York? The stuff I can get at my local upscale grocer’s is very nice, but in a different class altogether.
Despite not all being members of the clean plate club, we ordered a slice of strawberry cheesecake to share, and I think everyone had at least one forkful of the tangy, creamy goodness. Larry manfully finished it off, with an able assist from Hugh. And the hilarious thing was that this quintessential Jewish deli had a 100% Chinese waitstaff, and a Hispanic kitchen crew. I guess the founders have all retired to Palm Beach.
Thursday, Greg had a meeting with his editor, Betsy Mitchell of Del Rey Books. The sock came along
but was too tongue-tied to make a book proposal. It was quite impressed with the view of New Jersey, though.
We then trekked downtown, Greg to meet with the publisher of Quantico, and me to meet with Lisa at School Products. She’s put up some great shots that capture the utter fabulousness of the store, but I’ve got a picture of the proprieter asking her, “The question is, how much yarn do you need?”
A lot, evidently. That stuff on the counter, not counting what’s in the basket? All Lisa’s. It’s an Investment, she says. I was a bit more circumspect and only got two skeins of merino laceweight, and . . . err . . . a pound of silk.
Lisa also bought a pound of the silk, and is talking about knitting a wedding dress overlay for some incredibly lucky friend. I’m thinking maybe of weaving a painted warp shawl, but the yarn has to age a bit first.
We rendezvoused with Greg on the street and Lisa led us into the bowels of the subway for a quick trip back uptown to the area of our hotel. In dire need of refreshment, we got bottles of ginger Kombucha and a box of raspberries, and settled into a little pocket park for lots of fibrous chat.
We admired The Iceman Cometh Sock, which is truly delicious
and Lisa showed us the current Laceball Cap, which she had hoped to finish in time to wear that day, but you know how that goes. Then she obligingly held the traveling sock
before pulling out the incredible
Yarn Hog Kitri Shawl. This object, when completed, will slay Spanish knights at 20 paces.
By the way, Lisa has made the most amazing knitting project bags, which I didn’t get pictures of. She says she’ll someday maybe make a pattern available, or find a manufacturer, or something. I sure hope so, as they are the completest thing, with well-thought-out places for every little tool, and safe yet accessable storage for knitting projects. I did remember to get her to sign my copy of her book
Lobscouse and Spotted Dog, an amazing cookbook of foods mentioned in the Aubrey/Maturin books by Patrick O’Brian. She co-wrote it with her mother, the late Anne Chotzinoff Grossman, and if you look closely at table at the left of the photo, you’ll see a clear sticker on its backing with a scanned and printed copy of Mrs. Grossman’s signature, which Lisa affixed to the book. A very sweet and touching gesture.
We could have talked all day and far into the night, but I needed to get ready for the evening, so we parted ways with promises to meet again. I snagged a sandwich to nourish Greg before The Big Event, and Lisa went off to score some skyr.