For for my few and far between non-NYC-based readers, there were many highlights to my time in New York (madly finishing my NYU masters thesis, having my gloves stolen by an evil cabbie, and the Moishe's poppyseed hamantashan (hardly any filling!) excluded):
1. Lunch at Google: You've heard about the quirkiness of the Google offices and it's all true: scooters in the halls, free snacks and espresso machines everywhere (I pilfered my share!), and a sprawling (by Manhattan standards cafeteria with about a million choices and a cookbook author signing books and doing a cocoa-crusted scallop tasting.
2. A totally unBerlin evening, beginning with (as Anne called it) "grownup cocktails" at Pegu (even a simple vodka tonic gets me funny looks in Berlin) and dinner at Momofuko Ssambar (Japanese custard with maple and trout roe, roasted brussels sprouts with mint, pickled chiles(?), and fish sauce, steamed pork belly buns, pork short ribs with miso or ???, and a PB&J-inspired dessert of concord grape jelly, crunchy peanut butter, and saltine ice cream).
3. A meal with Diana at Prune has become a tradition when I visit New York. I know not everybody gets it, but Prune's food is perfectly in tune with me. Maybe next time I'll be able to branch out from the fried oyster omelet (served with remoulade and a brilliant sauce of powdered sugar mixed with tobasco). We were also harrassed (again!) by drunken Santas taking part in the annual Santa Con pub crawl (Berlin is much too serious for anything so silly) and went to a Christmas party at Sotheby's with a viewing of the purchasable Magna Carta.
4. The marinated white anchovy sandwich at 'wichcraft (with a soft-cooked egg, roasted onion, and salsa verde), which earned me a free sandwich (it's only taken me four years to earn this with my "frequent customer card"). I spend most of an entire day in 'wichcraft -- they have good snacks and coffee and surprisingly decent music to drown out the NYU undergrad's insipid conversations and free wireless.
5. Lunch as study break at the Jackson Diner (lunch buffet!) and for my last hurrah, pork and chive dumpling noodle soup on a cold night in Chinatown.