Friday, January 28, 2011

Visit to the U.S.

For many years, January has always seemed like the lost month. There never seemed to be any assignments and the weather was challenging. On the plus side, the month appears to go quickly into memory.

This January was not much different, except that we left our home on Cozumel and made a two-week whirlwind tour of the U.S. We attended the annual meeting and seminar at National Geographic offices in D.C. (but, we missed the meeting due to bad weather at Charlotte, NC airport). The seminar was great, with the first speaker, Abelardo Morell, inspiring us with his "camera obscura"photos:

Other highlights were visiting with friends and family in Severna Park, indulging in crab cakes, steamed oysters and clams from Annapolis Seafood. The American Visionary Art Museum, featuring "outsider art" in Baltimore is a must see:

A leisurely, but punctual Amtrak trip took us to New York Penn station. Cold, but sunny, we made the trek to the Met to see the Stieglitz, Steichen and Strand photo exhibit, some interesting furniture and a cool exhibit by Joan Miro. A stellar dinner followed at Sfoglia on 92nd & Lexington. Terrific mussels, Berkshire pork chop, branzino and orrechiette with lamb sausage. It was early and the weather wasn't horrible, so we walked to Demarchelier at 86th and Madison for the Upper East Side French bistro experience. About what you would expect; nice atmosphere with attitude. Decent creme brulee and chocolate mousse cake.

The next day, with no meetings and everyone we know working or occupied, we head to the new NYC Italian food mecca called Eataly. Located near the Flatiron building on 23rd and Broadway, it's the creation of Mario Batali, Joseph Bastianich and his mother, Lidia. All things Italian, and the best of all of those things - with prices to match.

It would kill me to live in the neighborhood, because I would want to shop there regularly, which would cost a fortune. The selection matches the quality. The best fresh and cured meat, seafood, cheese, produce, coffee, gelato and baked goods are located among food stations that offer seafood, vegetable dishes, cured meat and cheese plates, pizza, and well . . . . just about anything you can think of that is Italian.

Standing at a table in the La Piazza section , we had a plate with five kinds of cured meat, five kinds of cheese, a tricolore salad with reggiano, a glass of Spumante, and a glass of rosato. $56 with tip. A bit more than a Cozumel lunch at the taco stand. However, it was good and everyone should go once. At least. (all above photos taken at Eataly)

Another delay at the airport the next day, due to freezing rain and snow, but we eventually made it to Albuquerque. A visit to the Apple store, a visit to Creede, raid the storage unit and the sad discovery that after 52 years in business in EspaƱola, NM, Matilda's is closed.

We're back home, we've applied for our work visas, which, when granted, will allow us to launch our Mexican business. Stay tuned for details.

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