What’s your fav train?

Now that we live here I love seeing these random compilations of a New Yorker’s experience of life as we start to identify with some of these. Laughed out loud at this ranking of subway trains! We’ve been on lots of them and currently commute for work via the 1 train and use the C a bit to start journeys uptown.

Check it out: The Definitive Ranking of New York City Subway Trains.

Subway car to ourselves!1 train last week when we experienced a very rare empty car & it’s orange!

Staycation – Christmas 2013

Had a blissful time during Christmas and New Year this year – we took two days off work and combined with the statutory leave days and weekends we didn’t need to go into the office for 8 days … well we had one work day at the office to pack up to move Xero NYC (a.k.a. Fringe Division) from Astor Place to the bottom of Broadway in the Financial District.

We stocked up on groceries before Christmas so it was great to mostly stay at home and spend no money – although we did go outside most days to get coffee (of course), went to the museum of natural history one day and saw 3 movies: Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and Secret Life of Walter Mitty (all good). We had an NYC family Christmas Eve dinner (Moroccan chicken), movies and a rolled pork roast on Christmas Day.

The city was pretty quiet (except for Chelsea Market and the museum which attracted lots of holiday-makers). We also caught up on some TV shows we’d missed, binge-watched The Americans, Orange is the New Black and The Fall (all great!) I also knitted most of 2 Xero baby sweaters.

Staycation was great!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day quiet

Christmas Day afternoon tea & gifts

Skyping with family on Christmas Day

Christmas Dinner

Moving to a new office

Orange Girl’s Christmas Greeting 2013

First New York snow!

Yesterday we had our first day of snow in the city and we braved it! It was pretty exciting to wake up to a light dusting on the neighboring roofs and it stayed snowing most of the day. We managed to get some last minute Christmas gifts, get coffee and go to the grocery store and didn’t arrive home too bedraggled!

Woke up to snow!

First day out in the NYC snow

First day out in the NYC snow

First day out in the NYC snow

First day out in the NYC snow

Snow globe on a snow day #nyc

The snowy streets are bare except for the poor guys on bikes delivering take-out #nyc

Holiday party

We were out at the Xero San Francisco office last week and it coincided with their Christmas holiday party. It was a 20′s theme and I love these pics photo from the photo booth.

Xero US Holiday Party 2013

Xero US Holiday Party 2013

Xero US Holiday Party 2013

Christmas tree time

Christmas trees in New York arrive on street corners, wrapped up in netting and held up by wooden brackets. Brave souls (or guys out to make a buck) brave the cold weather in tents with wreaths and decorations waiting for us all to come out of our apartments to buy a tree, hoping we’ll want one of the big ones for $350.

Getting the Christmas tree

We walked a couple blocks to a neighborhood lot last weekend and met all the trees. We chose our usual small one and carried it home and decorated it with orange baubles and fairy lights.

Getting the Christmas tree

Getting the Christmas tree

Getting the Christmas tree

Happy Christmas!

Tree trimmed in #orange #xmas

Snowflake lights

These snowflake light adornments on the lamp posts in our neighborhood are very cool. They look amazing in the wintry dusk light.

Snowflake lights on lamp posts. Spring Street #nyc

Thanksgiving Dinner #7

We cooked our 7th Thanksgiving feast yesterday – started back in 2006 (hoping for an urban family tradition in NZ after having been in the States the prior year getting married when it was Thanksgiving!) and our first one cooking in the States was 2 years ago in San Francisco with Kara (last year we went to Bev and Dan’s).

We had a possible posse of 5 lined up but in the end it was a true family occasion with us and Cousin Grant. We had the usual menu lined up:

Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

Roast turkey with wild rice & cranberry stuffing
Homemade cranberry sauce
Kumara & orange gratin

Apple pie & cream

We finally got our hands on the turkey we’d ordered – thankfully not the 18 pounder (read that drama here!) and oh what a wonderful place America can be – the supermarket on Thanksgiving morning has LOTS of everything anyone could need  – fresh cabbage, fresh bread, plenty of dairy, sauces, pastry, flowers etc etc – not like a New Zealand supermarket running out of things when a food-based event rolls around the same time every year!

We cooked throughout the day with a couple of rest stops to catch up on The Mentalist and other than setting off the smoke alarm because the gas grill caught our crostini on fire, the food all turned out great and Cousin Grant was very impressed :)

Menus and run-sheets from previous years were consulted to check cooking times and reminisce

Thanksgiving menu prep

Out to get the fresh supplies in -1 deg C

Thanksgiving supplies

Made cranberry sauce from scratch – was a great batch this year

Thanksgiving prep

Good batch of cranberry sauce this year #thanksgiving

Ninja knife skills for the kumara (yams)

Thanksgiving prep

Bit of a rest and a small lunch snack

Thanksgiving pre - bit of a rest!

Turkey time!

Thanksgiving prep - turkey's up

Thanksgiving prep - turkey's up

Thanksgiving prep - turkey's up

Thanksgiving prep - turkey's up

Best husband in the world went out for afternoon coffee (mind you we were too scared to leave the oven unattended in case the gas caught the turkey bag on fire!)

Thanksgiving prep - afternoon tea!

Proud of the turkey!


Finishing touches on the crostini (luckily we had a long enough baguette and could make some more!)




18 pound Thanksgiving turkey

Long-time readers will know of our troubles with automated voice systems and the New Zealand accent (per this trouble we had with United Airlines scroll almost to the bottom where I transcribed a previous conversation (and still laugh now reading it!)) and now we’re having turkey troubles for Thanksgiving … we ordered a turkey for Thanksgiving while in the supermarket, we wanted 10 lb. We were told the brackets were 8-10 or 10-12 – in the true spirit of over eating we went with 10-12.

However, some guests are unable to make it so we needed to change the order to 8-10 which they told us in the store we could do by phoning with 48 hours notice and quoting our order number. So The Mister phoned this morning (I should’ve done it, alarm bells were going off when I realized they were asking him to leave a message with details of the change) but I didn’t want to be the bossy wife, so left him to it. Nice and clear, my order number is yada yada, I’d like to change my order from the 10-12 size to the 8-10 size.

Well …. thanks to AT&T he missed a call back from the supermarket, so they left him a message … “thanks for letting us know you want to change your order to an 18 pound turkey, larger size turkeys are very hard to come by this year so I hope this is big enough and you don’t change your mind again.” WTF??? Sigh. 8-10 sounds like 18 I guess. So he’s had to phone them back, alas, the answer phone again.

God I hope they get it this time, he shouted words like DOWNSIZE and SMALLER down the phone. I don’t fancy paying for and wasting all that turkey!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Update …

The Mister finally circumvented the answer phone service at the supermarket and spoke to a real person. Explained we wanted SMALLER … apparently by now there are no small turkeys left so we’re back to the original 10-12 for our small table of 3. We’ve found some good looking recepes for left-overs: Turkey Pot Pie and Turkey & Arugula Sliders so we’ll see!

21 November 2005 #8

It was pretty special to be in New York on our 6 years married anniversary and even special to be here again for 8 because this time, we live here. We only dreamed of this 8 years ago :) We wandered from our Astor Place office over to the East Side to Ninth Street Espresso, their original location that we’ve only been to 2 or 3 times. We got there in time for our 10.20am coffee. We had to leave our little coffee group – the entire New York office as it stands now at 5 – behind. Hope we’re still here next year!

21 November coffee date