Angela did not fare much better (but at least she looks alive...). They are on the train, on their way to New York City (!) to see Vincent and Martine. They are very excited, because they have not seen their friends since August.
They arrived at the Hudson Hotel, near Columbus Circle, at 3:00. The hotel is very VERY trendy. Maybe too trendy for Angela & Guillaume. This is the escalator that takes you from street level to the lobby of the hotel. In the background, you can see a lit area. That is the Hudson Bar. During the day it is quiet and not much happening. At night, you can hear the music on the street! It is very crowded, and there are ropes that prohibit people from entering unless you are "someone" or know "someone" (or are a guest of the hotel).
Vincent and Martine left after dinner plans were made through the hotel concierge (who seemed a little bothered by any request at all, but made a nice recommendation anyways) at Craftsteak, a nice steak house in the Meatpacking District (where else?).
Angela and Guillaume took a taxi to Craftsteak. The taxi left them in front of a building marked with the number 85. Craftsteak was number 85. So, they entered into the front door.
They were greeted by a very nice black man in a shirt and tie. He appeared a little formal, and perhaps a bit abruptly said, "Can I help you?" to which Angela responded, "Yes, we have a reservation." He said, "If you have reservations here, you're going to jail for a long time." Guillaume and Angela thought for a moment that he was joking, but he didn't smile. Guillaume said, "Is this a jail?" The man said, "No sir, this is the FBI!"
*gasp* FBI! Angela and Guillaume thanked the man politely and immediately left the building.
The restaurant was at the number 85 right next door. Whoops!
They ordered a bottle of champagne and waited for Vincent and Martine (who made the same mistake and went into the FBI building too...).
Craftsteak is one of a few restaurants owned by chef Tom Colicchio, who is also the judge on the US television show "Top Chef," that Angela just started watching this year (she likes food). We were not disappointed at all! The decor was beautiful, modern but warm. The food was wonderful, the wine was very nice, but of course, as always, the company was the best. Angela isn't the giant that she appears to be in this picture. Don't worry Vincent and Martine, she won't eat you!Here is everyone on their way out of the restaurant, happy with full bellies.
They took a taxi to the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Vincent ended up in the front seat. He looks a little like a Ninja.
They went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, at Columbus Circle. Vincent and Guillaume ran into a guest that they knew from the Crillon Hotel!
They had a very nice view of Columbus Circle from their seat in the lounge. The view is a lot nicer than this picture!
At 1:00, everyone met at John's Pizzeria, "no slices" is written on all their t-shirts. (I guess they don't sell pizza by the slice.) But it was very good. We had 2 pizzas for 4 of us.
It was a very crowded restaurant with a long line. Vincent and Martine arrived before Angela & Guillaume, and found 4 seats at the bar!
This time, Guillaume got the frontseat. In the US, we call this: riding shotgun. The first known reference to "riding shotgun" in print occurred in Western pulp fiction in the March 27, 1921 issue of the Washington Post's "Magazine of Fiction," in a story entitled "The Fighting Fool" by Dane Coolidge. It was used to refer to riding as an armed guard in the front of a stagecoach. Now, it is used if there is a group of people getting into one car, and someone wants to sit in the front seat. As soon as the car is in sight, the person yells, "Shotgun!" and they get to sit in the front seat.
They saw the big tree at Rockefeller Plaza, although during the day, it doesn't look as impressive. It's hard to see the lights. Or maybe when you see it live. On TV it looks huge and beautiful! It's big, but...We should have told the photographer that he didn't have to take a picture of the other man taking the other picture of us. Seriously. And maybe get the tree in the picture.
This view is from the "Top of the Rock". You can walk all the way around the building, and there are no bars obstructing the view, unlike the Empire State Building.
So, Guillaume to the rescue!
They took a tour inside, also, and saw a big picture of some NBC studio stars. This is Angela and Guillaume's favorite, from The Office. Vincent and Martine's camera took a better picture, but we don't have that one yet. Perhaps they will email it to us!
After we left Rockefeller Plaza, everyone went back to their hotels to get ready for dinner at the River Cafe. This would be our second time there, and everyone was looking forward to it. First, they planned to meet at the bar at the top of the Peninsula Hotel. Unfortunately, upon arrival at the Peninsula Hotel, they found out that the bar is closed. They knew that it was closed in the summer when Claudia and Cyrielle went, but we didn't think it would still be closed.
They decided to go directly to the bar at the River Cafe. They took a taxi to Brooklyn and found the perfect seats, overlooking the water and the New York City skyline.
They had a wonderful dinner, as usual. Angela was too full for dessert, but she ordered this one just so she could take a picture to share. It is a chocolate "Brooklyn Bridge".
Also joining them for dinner were Vincent and Martine's friends, Axel and Phillippe, who now live in Lille. They are a very nice couple, and Angela and Guillaume hope that they will see them during their next trip to France!
Here are our beautiful friends Vincent and Martine.
And Phillipe and Axel.
And the remnants of another perfect evening with friends in New York, that ended far too soon.
Angela and Guillaume apologize for the delay in the blogging! They arrived home Sunday night, and everyone worked all week with no time for fun. We hope it was worth the wait!
They now await the arrival of Romain on Wednesday! They have tickets to TWO ice hockey games (Nico, they will take pictures for you!), and perhaps are planning a little trip, maybe to Florida, maybe to Canada. Who knows? You will probably find out here... stay tuned!