A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

Category Archives: Family & Friends

After my mother’s birthday and convocation celebrations on November 1st, we were in full travel mode, leaving for London on November 4th. The first couple of days in London were spent at the King’s Cross Hub where our amazing LISTedTECH board of directors wrapped up the year and made ambitious plans for the year ahead.

I have to admit that I didn’t fully feel my usual ‘happy Europe mood’ even though the team pub-crawled through the oldest London pubs sampling ale and gin by the bucket full or so it seemed. I was partly waiting for my parents-in-law (PILs 🙂 ) to safely arrive in London, but I think I was also feeling the November blahs. I thought my new routine would alleviate these awful change of season feelings, but I simply could not shake them off. By chance, even though my PILs’ plane was delayed several hours and the first day’s scheduled activities went down the drain, the sun came out (even if only for brief moments) on our first day of real outings and our visit of the city has only gotten better by the day.

From walking on Regent street to them visiting St. Paul’s while I attended a British school’s jazz concert, going to the Tower of London and getting the Ravenmaster himself (a funny and quite charismatic guy) guide us through the vast complex (oh, and he signed my copy of his book!!), attending sung vespers at Westminster and then walking up and down Strand and Fleet streets, ending at the Globe and quickly stopping at Tate Modern, the November blahs are slowly dissipating as I am seeing the city through the neophyte eyes of my PILs.

I’m also reading a couple of good books (Nine Perfect Strangers & The Ravenmaster, of course) and writing many postcards as always. My actual writing is on hold, however. Publishing a book has never been part of my life goals per se. Writing is and I think always will be. A book just sort of got put together regarding the story of our travels around the world and then I incorporated into it my own story. Maybe I should not have added my own background story to our travels or maybe I should not have written a book at all, but I have learned an important lesson and that is that one should never ask friends and/or colleagues to read one’s work. Nothing good can come of it! Whatever comments you receive (and that is if you receive comments at all), you will never be happy. They will invariably make you feel awful since you will always analyze what they say in the most negative and defeatist way and that’s if they don’t come right out and say “hey, nice writing but who in the world would even want to read this?”

But writing aside, and if I still have your attention haha, off we are to Stonehenge tomorrow. I may not be writing a book about it, but I will certainly try to internalize the spiritual vibes floating around and hopefully be able to keep some with me to ward off those possible future vexing comments on my writing 🙂

On our third and last day in New York, we wanted to experience something new so we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a beautiful warm sunny day and  although the bridge was packed, we quite enjoyed walking up and down the bridge, stopping only long enough to admire the views of Manhattan and DUMBO (Brooklyn’s Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

Brooklyn_Bridge.2 Brooklyn_Bridge Brooklyn_Bridge.3

Of course, we had forgotten that Canadian Thanksgiving falls on Columbus Day in the States, so unfortunately, some of the local stores were closed or had shortened hours. However, we were lucky enough to find West Elm Market. West Elm is the equivalent of Zone (for those familiar with the Ottawa or Quebec scene) with the additional coffee shop in the back,  seating of which is on furniture up for purchase. The cappuccino and the atmosphere were worthy of a 5-star TripAdvisor rating. I am sure to rediscover it on a following trip.

Back to Manhattan, a little more shopping was on the horizon as our son needed some longer pants (not that he has grown all that much… It is coming Ced, don’t worry!). After a quick stop at Macy’s we made our way to Eataly, another staple of our Manhattan excursions. With our sandwiches to go, we sat at an outdoor table letting the food fill our bellies and enjoying the view of the amazing Flatiron Building.

Our search for a Dean & Deluca coffee place was still pending. We were determined to find one (remember the TV show Felicity anyone?)  before our weekend was over. We had come across one on our first day, but it was closed for inventory! Now we were making our way to 8th Avenue where we were told one resided. After some street navigation, we found it. Pleased, we sat to enjoy another cappuccino. It was… disappointing. The treats were ordered were excellent, but the coffee was on the meh side if not worse. The atmosphere was lively enough, and it became a nice quiet hour of reading and writing.

Soon we were up and about again, this time bend on finding the Ghostbusters’ Firehouse in SoHo right on the cusp of TriBeCa. Well, we walked up a street, than down that same street, up an alley, the across, we followed a map and a GPS… to no avail. We were on the point of giving up when lo and behold, we find  it!

Ghostbusters

I ain’t afraid of no ghost

Manhattan is just so much fun :). At this point, we are exhausted and hungry. We cross over to TriBeCa, and right in front of the subway entrance, we find this wonderful Italian upscale restaurant Terra on West Broadway. The French owner greeted us on arrival and within seconds we were served wine and bread – a much needed respite for the adults! If you are ever in that part of Manhattan, I strongly recommend this little gem of a restaurant.

And our last day in Manhattan was complete. However, this was not our last escapade. We had one more adventure ahead of us. Upon leaving on Tuesday morning, we headed to Hoboken, New Jersey for a special ordered cake we had made for CĂ©dric’s 12th happy birthday wishes on the 14th. A cake from Carlo’s Bakery; the same Carlo’s Bakery from Cake Boss, the TLC show. Ok, I understood upon coming back to Ottawa, that many of us are not big TLC fans (I only watch TLC when on the elliptical in the gym), but Buddy and his famiglia is somewhat of an icon for me, and having a cake made by the flagship store was simply awesome :).

Carlo's_Bakery

Hoboken. New Jersey