Friday, June 25, 2010


Bittersweet is what best describes last weekend as we waived goodbye to MT who decided to move back to the UK after 2 years in the Big Apple. After FM's departure just a couple of weeks ago, I feel like I can't really handle any more friends leaving for a while now!

MT and I have been close friends since we met in London 6 years ago. I will miss her more than words can express but will always feel incredibly grateful and lucky that we were able to share our experience of the City together and having her here (she moved a year after I did) shaped it in so many ways. She not only helped me feel more at home but also made it a lot more fun as we have always been partners in crime when it comes to going out and partying!

The farewell events started on Thursday night with a long night of drinks at the very Parisian looking Bar Artisanal for the main party with all of MT's colleagues and friends. Followed the next night by one last evening at MT's apartment where we diffused the rather emotional atmosphere with plenty of jokes and laughter and a few glasses of champagne.

 On Saturday morning, I had planned for MT and I to take a walking and eating tour of Astoria, which was very interesting. I fell in love with Astoria. Unlike Brooklyn (or at least the few parts of BK I know), it still feels very much like Manhattan with a similar energy and buzz, albeit a little more laid back and the visit was also a real sensory experience. While the area is known for its Greek heritage, it's actually incredibly multi-cultural and we sampled everything from freshly made, smooth and creamy mozzarella and spicy pork sausage at Dave & Tony Salumeria, to Lebanese sweets and Colombian pastries. One of my favourite tastings was in fact a Chilean hot dog from San Antonio Coffee Shop which had avocado, sour cream and fresh spicy salsa on top of it.

 On Saturday night, 8 of us gathered on KM's rooftop deck and had a picnic and sipped wine while watching the sunset over Hell's Kitchen on one side and the Hudson River on the other, and talking well into the early hours of the morning.

We somehow found the energy to all meet for brunch the next day at Boqueria and then spent the afternoon walking around Soho and Tribeca.
A few hours later and it seemed like a great idea to go for Blue Crabs at The Hideaway, which they have on specials on Sunday and Monday nights. It reminded us of last year's roadtrip when we shared the same meal in Baltimore : a pile of steaming, spicy (from the Old Bay seasoning) crabs poured straight onto our table and armed with a hammer and other torture instruments to extract (with much difficulty) the delicious flesh. And finally, for "desert", we hopped in a taxi to the new Mermaid Oyster Bar on MacDougal for a dozen Blue Points.

While I am exhausted from the lack of sleep, the excess of alcohol and the sheer range of emotions I have felt in the past couple of weeks alone, I am so happy that we all gave both FM and MT the send-off they deserve.

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