This was my first time experiencing the wonder that is the annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival in the great New York City. It was a wonderful evening of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’, and barbeque eatin’. With my admission ticket, it bought me a magical sampling glass so I could enjoy an ALL-YOU-CARE –TO-TASTE sampling of beer and bourbon. I, of course, focused on bourbon as I’m really not a beer man. Not to mention various nibbles, such as maple bacon, along the way. continue reading »
I vividly remember the day she called to share the news.
Emma: “Rich, guess what?”
Long pause…I already knew what she was going to say.
Me: “You got it, didn’t you?”
Emma: “Yes, I’m going to be a partner”
Me: “Well Done, Emma … Congrats, Partner!”
I thought it fitting to share an old photo as the header of this post. You see, it was taken back in 2008 when we were enjoying a weekend in Stockholm, Sweden away from the client site in Germany. Not only was it a great weekend of sightseeing, but I remember our joking around about her future promotion to partner. More specifically, I remember we joked that I would deliver a speech to commemorate the accomplishment. continue reading »
I’d like to dedicate the following brief post to my super-fantastic buddy, Meghna. You see, Meghna was recently engaged and was extremely excited to tell everyone that was willing to listen all about it. Her future hubby pulled out all the stops to make it a memorable gesture. It really is a sweet story. I encourage you to ask her how it went down, even if you’re a complete stranger, as I’m sure she’d be willing to oblige.
Anyway, the day she shared the details of her romantic tail was also the day of our practice’s happy hour. We have them from time to time, and all are strongly encouraged to attend. As we made our way to our festivities, Meghna shared he story once again. She politely smiled, and said: “Rich, I hope you don’t mind as you’ll be hearing it for the third time!” She was wrong as I was hearing it for the fourth time, not the third.
We finally arrived at the Highbar, which was supposed to be some trendy roof-top bar. I have it admit…It was pretty damn sweet. Here’s some well-earned marketing collateral to describe the essence of the locale: continue reading »
As I prepare to move onto my next project in Washington DC, I recently took a moment to reflect back on my long term project that has now concluded in New York City. It was challenging to be sure, but the experience and relationships I forged during that period were incredible.
I’ve always made a point to document my significant travel experiences, both good and bad, so I never forget. To be honest, that’s the “true” reason behind why I blog about my travels. So I don’t forget! Haven’t you ever gone on an amazing vacation, when after some time passes, you forgot some of the key details that you recalled being your favorite in the first place? Me too! Although my time spent in New York was the furthest thing from a vacation, I definitely had some memorable moments — moments that I will never forget.
With that said, I felt compelled just the same, to document some of the unique nuances that I’ll undoubtedly miss. Now, I’ve made a number of NYC posts over the past year, but the following video montage brings together some highlights that will always help me remember the little things. It’s fairly brief, so don’t be afraid of the length. Also, I could not have chosen a better audio track to compliment the video, so be sure to turn up those speakers.
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I caught David Mamet’s RACE recently as I was instantly drawn to seeing James Spader’s name as a cast member. I loved him on Boston Legal, so after a little research, I learned that he basically takes a darker version of Allan Shore (Boston Legal) character to this rather controversial theatrical drama. That was all the insight I needed! So I recruited a friend and hit the show.
James Spader was exactly as I expected…Incredible and so natural on stage. I had low expectations for David Alan Grier, but he too was very impressive — this really surprised me to be honest. I thought Kerry Washington was OK and didn’t really care much for Richard Thomas. With all that said, the play was wonderful and totally worth the price of admission.
RACE in itself can at times be a tricky subject to discuss openly. Stating that this piece confronts the gray areas of racism would be an absolute understatement. Rest assured, it does not tip-toe around any racial sensitivities. So be prepared to be taken out of your safe zone. In fact, more then once I found myself thinking: ”That is so messed up he said that…I can’t believe it made me chuckle”. Granted, the humor was by design, but the underlying message is such a powerful one that it stuck with me for days afterwards. Go watch it! You’ll see what I mean.
I dug up a the following review for the show, which I thought was pretty fitting: continue reading »
I caught a play called “A Behanding in Spokane” last night and it was incredible. It was as though the twisted play was made to match Christopher Walken’s equally creepy persona. This dark comedy was easily the most entertaining theater going experience I’ve ever had.
I stumbled upon a great review by Sarah Crompton on http://www.telegraph.co.uk. I think it captures the essence of the play. Could not have written it better myself, so I figured I’d quote her directly: continue reading »
Many of the Mid-Atlantic States were already hit by a major snow storm just a week earlier. The most current forecast called for an eerily similar forecast to hit the same regions, plus some of New York City. People seemed panicked, schedules were in flux and there I was, working away diligently in my hotel room, waiting for the madness to ensue. You would think the end of the world was coming, given the media’s ferocious coverage of what some were calling the “snowpocalpse”. Silliness is all I can say about that. I patiently waited for snowmageddon to arrive, but no significant accumulation ever materialized. At least, not in Manhattan anyway. Go figure!
I decided to make the most of my evening as it was my birthday after all. Did I forget to mention that? I connected with my buddy Brian, who made a surprise visit to take me out to celebrate. We were both craving a decent burger, so we decided to hit the ever-consistent Hard Rock Cafe. It did not disappoint. Yum! After our meal, we decided to frolic around in the snow a bit. It was a pretty cool site to see the center of Time Square so empty. As I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t very much accumulation, but the wind was pretty intense. Couple that with cold-wet snow slapping us in the face, and we quickly decided to head indoors. continue reading »
After pleading with Sandy for weeks, she finally capitulated. My little sis would make the trek to the big city to visit her big brother. Yay! We met up at the iconic Grand Central, where patience and decency are a way of life by its patrons. Who am I kidding, spend five minutes there and you’ll quickly spot rage in the eyes of 75% of the people buzzing around the terminal. After a brief exchange, we made our way to the Renaissance Hotel in Times Square to recuperate for a few minutes. We then met up with a few colleagues / friends of mine (Theresa and Jennifer), who would participate in our outing. Sandy is always asking me what the people I work with are like, so this was a perfect opportunity to give her some first-hand perspective. Both Theresa and Jen were happy to oblige.
Our first stop would be Thalia Restaurant for dinner. This place came highly recommended by Theresa so we decided to give it a shot. It’s located on 8th Ave and 50th street. It was restaurant week so at a minimum we knew we’d be getting a decent deal. This place was awesome! In my view, it epitomizes what a trendy New York City Restaurant should be. It renders impeccable service, great ambiance and sensational food. Note: Thalia, I’ll be sending you my bill for this recommendation. Everyone seemed to hit it off, so conversation flowed as we munched away at our delectable meals. continue reading »
Team events are generally a rarity these days. I mean, who has the time to squeeze them in-between all the madness that is “work”? Well, we were fortunate enough to make one happen. Two of our colleagues were moving on to new projects, so we decided it was a good enough excuse to throw a shindig and send them off properly. The evening would also double as a team-building event, so business was casually discussed early in the festivities.
We actually had a team gathering back in September, but it was only a subset of the larger team and was kind of thrown together at the last minute. It was a decent enough time, but sometimes these types of events just don’t fire on all cylinders. I can say with confidence that this event clicked in every way. It was put together by my colleague and friend, Meghna, and held at the Papillon Bistro & Bar in Mid-Town Manhattan. An open bar, a nice selection of hors d’oeuvres and a very private area to mingle amongst the group made for a spectacular evening.
A rather reserved group early on quickly lossened up as drinks of all shapes and sizes percolated through the crowd. You know it’s a good sign when people smile a little longer and laugh a little louder at these types of events. Pictures were taken pretty steadily throughout the evening. The obligatory team pose was popular and no surprise. Smaller groups of co-workers flashed their pearly whites, and we even managed to squeeze out a few silly candid photos. continue reading »
We were fortunate enough to squeeze in a team outing this past week, which is always a welcome distraction. The plan was to keep it a low-key affair, so any type of pretentious dining was ruled out. A recommendation was made for a restaurant called 1849 which is known for its 20-cent wild wing specials. There were no objections and I was OK with the choice as I had a great experience there maybe one month prior. The time and destination was set so off we went. There were about 14 of us. When we arrived, a little after 6:30, the place was packed. I mean, there were no seats at all. Couple that with the fact that we did not have a reservation (tisk, tisk Derrick), and you have the making of what would have been at least a one hour wait.
An executive decision was made to forego the wait and explore other alternatives. We settled on a place called Off The Wagon. It was another bar & grille style restaurant that offered up a similar wings special. As we entered the restaurant, it became abundantly obvious how conspicuous our presence was. I heard one group of people mutter something to the effect of “Why are all these suits coming here?” Too funny! Even funnier were our seating arrangements: Second floor, just beside two regulation-sized beer pong tables. That’s right, beer pong tables! Game rules on the wall and everything! There was even a handful of serious competitors there, I might add. Flashbacks to my college years instantly flooded my senses. It was priceless. All I could do was chuckle, take in the scene and await our snacks. Conversation ensued with a great group of individuals. The evening ended in a blink of an eye. Good times was had by all. Below are some photos from the evening: continue reading »