a quintessential day in nyc

Brunch in Brooklyn, walking and shopping in Soho, drinks and a late lunch in the West Village, followed by bourbon and bocce in Brooklyn until the wee hours…
Shopping in Soho – Kaitlyn, Andrew, Ian, Karen and Jon on Broadway

Grabbing a late lunch at Ditch Plains – Karen, Ian, Kaitlyn, Andrew and Jon

Karen and Andrew contemplating an orange at Ditch Plains.

Ditchdogs! – the best hot dogs in NYC at Ditch Plains where they take all beef dogs and smother them in homemade macaroni and cheese. Tastes like a little piece of heaven.

Ian and Alan at Union Hall in Brooklyn, surveying the scene on the bocce court.

Alan makes the competition weep.

The cheerleaders – Kaitlyn and Andrew.

Doing it for the fans – Karen checks her phone for bocce stats to see if Alan and Jon have reached the undefeated record.

The bocce kings – Jon and Alan

Jon surveys the damage, but the pirate girls finally beat the dynamic duo in a match to the death.

A look back at the long list of casualties.

nyc surprise

The cat’s out of the bag! I flew to NYC for a surprise visit which we unveiled at Do Hwa in Soho. There I was sitting at the end of the bar, my back turned to the door, and my head buried in a newspaper. As Kaitlyn and Andrew were sauntering in to sit at the bar I swirled around and said hi which was followed by screams and hugs. Happy New Year!!

one can only hope

I often wonder why certain world events stand out to me, why some strike me deeper than others. Benazir Bhutto’s assassination yesterday is one of those events. On the surface my interest has piqued alongside the recent pop culture focus on the region including Khaled Hosseini’s heart wrenching book A Thousand Splendid Suns and the surprisingly comedic yet ultimately tragic storyline of the film Charlie Wilson’s War. Though both focus on Afghanistan’s tumultuous past, that country’s link to Pakistan then and now is undeniable.

But Bhutto’s assassination takes me back more than twenty years when she was the first democratically elected woman of an Islamic country. For a young politically active woman I was enchanted by her poise, her courage, and her place in history. Watching her fall from grace through years of political corruption and exile mirrored my own disenchantment with American politics and election fraud, most notably following the 2000 election. Although I know Bhutto’s return to Pakistan was not hailed by all of its citizens, she still represents what democracy could mean in a country now ruled by a general who took power by military coup. Her return mirrored my own hope, paired with the upcoming election for a new American president, that either a woman or a minority could legitimately be elected to lead our country.

One can only hope. I can only hope.

(photo – New York Times)

davis cup

OK, so I love tennis and I just moved back to Portland so it was surreal to think that these two worlds would collide just three months after moving back. But that’s exactly what happened when the United States Tennis Association selected Portland to host the finals for the Davis Cup between the US and Russia. To get a sense of how rare this is, the US has not been in a Davis Cup final for 3 years, won the Davis Cup for 12 years, nor hosted one for 15 years. I just seemed to be in the right place at the right time. However, when the event sold out in less than 20 minutes I thought I’d miss the whirlwind event. But I volunteered to help behind the scenes and found tickets online a week before the event so Lee, her sister Anne and niece Lindsay (both of whom flew in from Montana) watched the US team on the final day of matches.