Daily Archives: September 10, 2011

Where I Was

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10 years ago I was living in New York City.

I was still an actress, but making ends meet at a Temp Agency in the Empire State Building. On September 11th, 2001, Abe was sent out on his very first job through my company. I wasn’t working that day, so I called him from our apartment in Astoria, Queens – bright and early to make sure he filled out the employment card correctly.

“The World Trade Center’s on fire,” he said when he answered his phone.

“Huh?”

“There’s smoke coming from the World Trade Center. I can see it from the window here.”

I looked at the TV, but there was nothing on yet. I figured it must not be serious, and continued giving instructions about signing in, getting his supervisor’s signature, etc. As we were talking, the breaking news flashed across the screen. I relayed the information to Abe, who was immediately concerned.

“I’m coming home,” he responded.

“You can’t! You’re on a job! You just got there!”

“I don’t care, I’m getting out of here.”

Thank God for Abe’s insistence. As the day went on, it became clear how serious the situation was, and he literally ran home to me, catching a carpool with one of the last cabs to cross the Queensboro Bridge as the second tower collapsed.

We stood on our roof watching the smoke until we couldn’t see it anymore.

The days and weeks that followed were a daze. We spent time walking all over the city, including Ground Zero with Abe’s parents, who were volunteering their therapy services. We had long conversations with people we’d never spoken to before. I spent a lot of time with my family in NJ, taking time off from acting and the temp job. When the latter resumed, we dealt with constant evacuations and bomb threats.

I never felt frightened but was paralyzed for a while, and wondered when we would be able to move on.

Now it’s a decade later and I realize we have.

Joy Hour

appetizers - drinks - restaurant

Remember the epic brunch I was treated to at the Crescent Beverly Hills?

CBH Lounge invited me back for more! This time it was to try their weekday cocktail menu – and who’s a better Happy Hour date than Joy?

Since I don’t drink any alcohol, she tested out the booze!

Monday through Friday from 4-7pm, Bar Manager Joe Harworth creates a large, market-fresh punchbowl, complimentary to guests on a first-come, first-serve basis (until it’s gone). Last night he did a spin on the Pimm’s Cup – Joy said it was delicious, with a nice kick from the Ginger Beer.

She also enjoyed the Gin Lotus and Strawberry Sin off their specialty cocktail menu, filled with freshly-squeezed fruit juices

I stuck to water and Diet Coke…

…I came for the FOOD!

We split almost everything off their happy hour menu, prepared by Lenora Marouani, whose pedigree includes Michelin-starred restaurants at the Wynn Hotel. Just like her creations at brunch, they are mouthwateringly exquisite.

Squash blossoms stuffed with herbed ricotta and deep fried with an arugula pesto

Bacon Cheddar Arancini

…a.k.a. deep fried Risotto + Chive Aioli

Kobe Beef Sliders…

…juicy and tender…

…topped with melted Monterey Jack, truffle aioli, and pea shoots

And finally, Honey Harissa Chicken Wings + Pomme Frites

The chicken was the only dish we didn’t love – it just tasted hot and spicy, no sweetness from the honey.  And the mint feta cheese dip did little to make up for the lack of flavor in the actual meat.

I wound up eating only a few bites from two pieces.

Polished off most of the fries though! Cooked with garlic and dusted with sumac…

…dipped in a whole lotta pomegranate ketchup

Each of these menu items are very reasonably priced – only $5 each! The specialty cocktails are 12 bucks a pop, so if you’re watching your $$$, arrive early enough for the free punch bowl.

“Punchbowl Happy Hour” (and the weekend “Hair of the Dog Brunch“) will continue through October 2nd.  I highly recommend both!

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