NYC: Alice’s Tea Cup and Lilli & Loo

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This trip has been very cathartic for me. I’m aware of who I am and while I believed so much of me was lost, I realize that all of it is there, shining brighter than ever, actually. I know I’ve expressed this many times, but it is very difficult to understand what it means to become a mother. I often smile when I look at the prestigious letters following people’s signatures in emails: John Doe MSCE, JD, CPA, Dr. Jane Doe PMP, MBA. Such things don’t exist for moms, who, quite frankly, hold the title Mom. But we’re party planners, project managers, social workers, psychiatrists, mediators, negotiators, personal assistants, nurses, chefs, etc…well, you get the picture. Duh, it’s a lot of responsibility to be a parent.

I’m in awe, utter and complete awe of single parents and I’m amazed at my husband for coping so well these past couple of weeks. The most difficult thing I had to come to terms with was being a mom, but being away from my family. I missed them. But at the same time, I felt like I was letting them down. I’d never known a mother who traveled with any frequency. Not like I was going to start doing more traveling, but I can probably count on one hand the number of times my mother was away at a conference, but even then, she wasn’t away for more than a few days. My fear was that I was creating emotional scars within Marisabelle because of my absence. Was I a poor mother for willingly leaving her immediate side? I didn’t really think so. I felt honored that I was chosen to do this job. I was proud of the work I was doing. And I knew that she would be proud of me too. With that intention every day, I’d wake to face whatever came my way and I strove to do it with as much composure as I could muster. Fortunately for me, I was kept quite busy, so it was late, late at night that these longing thoughts crept into the quiet corners of my mind.

Lucky for me, they came in for a quick visit. We had an amazing time walking all around and strolling through Central Park was one of the many highlights. Just as they left, the snow began to lazily fall down. It was very beautiful and really cold. I wished them goodbye, went up to the room to clean myself up and went in to the office. Everyone was working and it would be good to see them all. We'd ordered burger from Five Guys, which started my love affair with delicious burgers wrapped in foil (similar to Mooyah!)

By Sunday evening, I was emotionally and physically exhausted, so I made-do with the gyro I’d bought on the street. I’d had 3 glasses of hot chocolate from the hotel (like a creamy, liquid pudding!). When I returned from the office, I nestled in for a fantasy marathon: Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix & The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (movie 3 of the trio) I must admit, I fell into a deep sleep for the better part of the LOTR movie, but awoke long enough to watch the part that I’d fallen asleep when I originally saw it in the theater. I was very happy to know it all made a lot more sense now.

Anyway, fast forward to Monday, a busy, busy day at work. Not unlike all my time here. Gen and I had made plans to eat dessert together. This was before dinner, but I didn’t care. I was desperate for some one-on-one girl-time. I missed my girlfriends. I’d pretty much been running non-stop all day and it was thrilling! She mentioned a place that was her special place, and I was too, too eager to stop by for a visit! Alice's Tea Cup, Chapter II was literally tucked away around a corner. Had we not been looking for it, I certainly would’ve missed it. We walked down a small, but slippery flight of stairs (I forgot to mention that it snowed the day before and that day!). It was a two level cottage, brightly painted with whimsical Alice in Wonderland themed photos adorning the walls, which were also filled with curvy, loopy words from fun quotes. They sold fairy wings, wands, and other sorts of thrilling items to fill the imagination. We were seated on the second floor, near the winding steps, with a table made from the remnants of an old push pedal sewing machine. I ordered the chocolate cake with buttercream icing and a peach bellini, from a pixie-like gal, who could’ve stepped off the walls for all I knew. Gen had the classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Off the little imp disappeared down the winding steps, reappearing moments later with our order. The chocolate cake was passable, but nothing overwhelming. The frosting however, tasted old and stale like it had been sitting for days. However, the bellini was freshly made and I was certainly happy that it wasn’t a pre-frozen libation. The most enjoyable part of the evening was the conversation amidst a dreamy backdrop. It really was like a dream. After I left, I set off to Laila Rowe to buy some much needed rain boots. I picked up a few items and on my way, when I stopped to ask for directions, I found an amazing hair salon called: Amour de Hair. It was eclectic and inviting and I made a mental note to revisit it, if the occasion should arise.

Afterwards, I headed on out to eat dinner. Lilli & Loo is an Asian fusion establishment, with beautiful décor.

Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed with my meal. My sushi roll was uninventive and generic. It was trying to be more, but the flavor just wasn’t there.

The Pad See Ew that I ordered could’ve been better, but the beef was overcooked and the noodles were as well. I did get it to-go, though. The fortune cookie was delicious, though. Thin, crispy, and perfectly sweet. I headed back to the hotel and stopped by the church to see if one of the homeless men who slept on the stoops in the night would be interested in a warm meal. It wasn’t much and while I may not have enjoyed the meal, I’m certain that one of them would.

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