Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend Wanderings - Albany

This was a pretty great week and weekend, so I'm sorry I wasn't on the blog much last week! On Wednesday, after work, I cut my hair!

The hair cut!

It isn't perfect (it was a student cut), and it definitely shows off my gray patches, but I really love it. Much easier to take care of, and now I don't put it up in a messy bun everyday, which is what I was doing when I had the long hair that you could braid and style and wear down and show off in the wind. I loved my hair long, but I never did anything with it, so I'm glad for something different and a little adventurous. The last time I did a cut this drastic was when I was studying abroad, so I feel rather cosmopolitan about it, as I did then.

On Thursday, I met up with Sarah for dinner at Delmonico's, America's oldest restaurant.


We've wanted to go for Restaurant Week since last year, and we finally found time to do it. The atmosphere of the place is wonderful and very old-world. The service was very good, and we split a bottle of their RW wine special, a Cabernet from Argentina, which we both liked a lot.  For an appetizer, I tried their Lobster Newberg, one of their specialty dishes, but unfortunately, I wasn't completely wowed.  It was good, but not exactly transcendent, like some other lobster I've eaten. The short ribs for an entree (they seemed to only on the RW menu) were really delicious, and I was glad to have followed my mother's rule of ordering short ribs if they're on the menu because they will be the best dish. (Roger seems to do this with duck. They're both always right.) And for dessert, we got the baked Alaska and the chocolate cake, and both were wonderful. It was great to spend a long dinner chatting with Sarah, and I'm so glad we finally got to check out this historic restaurant.

On Friday, Roger and I spent the morning in court, trying to get our landlords to give us heat. We will see how it goes. They now have an order to fix the radiator and the "alleged" heat condition (since the inspector came on an extremely warm day, the temperature indoors was legal on that particular day) within a month or so.

Waiting to enter the court room.

After that, I made my way upstate to Albany, to visit Shelby for my birthday and some snoe-shoeing!  She greeted me with some lovely sweaters and my favorite cake of all time, from Cocodotts. Their almond cake is so light and airy, it's one of my very favorite foods! We also grabbed some Five Guys for dinner (so sue me, fast food once or twice a year is not the end of the world), and then spent the evening catching up.

The lovely cake!

On Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to the Hot Yoga Spot for my first ever hot yoga experience. It was really wonderful. We did a gentle yoga class for beginners, because even though I've been doing yoga for 13 years, my back has been getting wonky in class lately and I wasn't sure how my body would react to the heat. I'm really glad we did, because class was tough! Sadly, someone got a little sick toward the end of class, so we had to open the door to cool her off and let her out, but she ended up being okay, and the last 15 minutes of class went on as usual. My favorite thing about the class was feeling, for the first time in a long time, like everything was new. I sometimes have a hard time with Shavasana lately and in this class, it was just like it had been for me when I first started yoga - a deeply relaxing experience. It felt so good to get back to that.

We decided that the snow might have melted too much for snow-shoeing, so after getting back to her apartment, we decided to try ice skating. Unfortunately, once we got to the rink, it was closed, so we ended up having to skip that, too. We made the best of it, and took a little walk around the Capital Buildings, and then walked over to Bomber's, a burrito bar that Shelby introduced me to when we were in college. After that, we did a little grocery shopping at a recently renovated Price Chopper, and Mike filled up a growler to bring to his friend's place that evening.

We headed back to their apartment to shoot the shit for a while before dinner, which we ate at a pub close to their house called the Ship's Pub, where they have the coldest Angry Orchard cider I've ever had. It was delicious, and went pretty well with the chicken sandwich I ordered. Mike headed out to his friend's house, and Shelby and I decided to rent a movie. We watched the Dallas Buyer's Club, which I really enjoyed. Matthew McConaughey was excellent and unrecognizable in it. I have no idea how it holds up against the other Oscar-nominations, since I haven't seen any others, but I can definitely tell why it was nominated. It's pretty rare that I see any movies, so two weekends in a row of seeing something felt really impressive to me.

The view from the bus home.

Sadly, I had to leave Albany pretty early on Sunday, right after enjoying a little more birthday cake for breakfast. I felt a small crick in my back on the bus ride home, and took a muscle relaxant just in case. I try not to depend on them too much, but it's nice to know I have them just in case. Since going off them in April of last year, I think I've taken a total of 4 in the past ten months. I spent the bus ride doing a little reading, and when I came back to a warm and sunny Manhattan, with all the snow melted and the subway ready to whisk me back to Harlem, I felt perfectly at home and at peace. Right now, it feels like everything is exactly where it should be.

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