Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things My Wife Complains About: #14 Stairs

Ollantaytambo Ruins, Peru
Ollantaytambo Ruins, Peru
If only the world were flat. Thomas Friedman's book would make sense, and every sunset would be awesome. Also my wife would complain about one less thing. Alas, the world is not flat, and human civilization has only added to my wife's misery in its insistence on building up and even down. New York is a particularly egregious offender with its miles of skyscrapers and subways, and while elevators and escalators sometimes provide access, other times there are only stairs, which recently joined the list of things that turn my wife into a person unwilling or unable to communicate with other human beings.

(Most things on this list are states of being--being sleepy, being hungry, being hot, being cold--and several have already been chronicled. When these things overlap--when, for instance, she hasn't eaten and it's getting late--the world grows blurry, and animals act strange the way they do before earthquakes and tornadoes.)

After walking up a long flight of stairs, my wife will often ask, "Why did you make me walk up those stairs," as if it were a deliberate decision of mine to locate the F train two stories below West 4th Street. Once, before attending the opera, she protested, "You know I don't like stairs," implying that it would be better not to attend the opera if stairs were going to be involved. Our current house has not one but two sets of stairs, and it is only a matter of time before she sees this as a deep moral failing.

Possible solutions!

1) Hovercrafts
2) Only go down stairs; make people meet you there
3) Relocate to a two-dimensional universe, a la the 19th-century novel Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (hard)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trey Visits 2010!

Trey has become one of our most frequent visitors and has somehow managed to avoid the blog. No more! January 19th, Trey made his first visit to New York. Kevin and Trey went to Kevin's favorite bar Brooklyn Inn, and Sunny had to call Kevin because Trey was having too much fun to remember how to operate his phone. Having had a long long night at work (even though theoretically I was supposed to have been off for MLK Day), I found him sleeping on my couch. He politely lifted his head to say hello as I crashed through the living room in the dark.

Trey Visits NYC 2010
Trey and Kevin near Empanada Mama

The next time he visited was February 24th, and though he didn't stay with us that time, he joined Jon, Kevin and I for a delicious dinner at Vegetarian Paradise in the West Village. Kevin and I love this place even though we're not vegetarians. The Chinese food there doesn't precisely taste like Chinese food, but it tastes like it's own category of deliciousness.

The next time he visited on Cinco de Mayo, Kevin took him to another favorite Brooklyn bar Boat, where they discussed their old man married dreams and hopes. I came home from work late again, and Trey again dutifully lifted his head to say hello. (Worth mentioning because I have missed other guests because of late night work and Trey was the only one to wake up long enough to greet me -- and he did it twice!) But this time we were able to spend a little quality time sharing bagels at breakfast the next morning.

Most recently, Trey visited on June 25th and Kevin and I joined him for drinks at Jimmy's Corner, and dinner at Empanada Mama, where we ordered approximately a million empanadas. This time we all shared our old married person dreams. Rinse, repeat. Can't wait for your next visit, Trey. Please bring Sunny.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Teresa and John Are Engaged 2010!

Lately, some of our friends with long-standing relationships have gotten engaged or married. The last two weddings we went to were couples who had been together for over 10 years before getting married. Teresa and John have been together for six years and last Wednesday, her birthday, John took her for a romantic dinner and walk near where they went on their first date in 2004, and proposed. How lovely! Congratulations to both of you! And happy birthday Teresa!

Teresa and John 2009
Teresa and John at our wedding in 2009

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lukas and Sarah's Wedding 2010!

This weekend we went to the wedding of our friends Sarah and Lukas in Charlottesville, Virginia. Lukas, Sarah, and Kevin went to undergrad at UVA together. Kevin actually gave Lukas some advice about how to pursue Sarah before he asked her out. Like our last wedding, the bride and groom had been together for ten years before tying the knot.

Thorn Wedding 2010
With Lukas's friends from UVA, and their wives and fiances

The wedding was at Ash Lawn-Highland, the scenic home of President James Monroe, and location of my seventh date with Kevin. The bride is a fashion designer and she made her own incredible stylish dress. The groom is a once-upon-a-time Ping Pong Champion, so in lieu of a first dance, their first married act was a game of Ping Pong. It was pretty awesome, and the bride won. My favorite part of the wedding was the very sentimental ceremony. There was a lot of crying in the audience. The bride and groom are very loved.

Thorn Wedding 2010
The view at Ash Lawn-Highland

Thorn Wedding 2010
Lukas and Sarah's "first dance," a ping pong game

Thorn Wedding 2010
The cake with love birds atop of it

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day Shout-out 2010!

Happy (belated) Father's Day! We were at a wedding for our friends Lukas and Sarah in Virginia so we weren't able to spend time with family, but we sent cards to our fathers.

Haloween 1985
Halloween with my dad, 1985

1980 Family Photos 187
Chubtastic Kevin with his dad, 1980

Dad walking me down the aisle, 2009

Happy first Father's Day to Jason and Mike St!

Baby Owen 2009
Owen and Jason

Steffan Family 2010
Mike with Cathy and Madison

And happy Father's Day to all our other friends who are fathers: Jim St, Ben, Brandon, Casey, Mike Sh, Matt L, and Tim.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Charlottesville, VA 2010

After our spelunking adventure, we walked around Charlottesville a little with Brady. Afterward, we got drinks outside on the downtown mall.

Charlottesville, VA 2010
Same spot as our engagement photos, taken about two years ago

Charlottesville, VA 2010
Kevin and Brady pointing out their college freshman year rooms

Charlottesville 2010
Part of the mural Kevin sketched at Brown and that others painted

Charlottesville 2010
The Downtown Mall is still lovely!

Charlottesville 2010
And now there's a BBQ cart! (Notice the bear exhibit photo too.)

Charlottesville 2010
At the blackboard

The three of us met Jeff and Inga for dinner at The Local. Then we all headed over to Lukas and Sarah's wedding welcome party at C&O.

Thorn Welcome Party 2010
Dinner with Jeff and Inga at The Local

Thorn Welcome Party 2010
Bears in love. Oh oh, is Inga a Goldilocks?

Thorn Welcome Party 2010
With Cory and Robin at Lukas and Sarah's Rehearsal Dinner at C& O

Thorn Welcome Party 2010
Lukas at his welcome party

Thorn Welcome Party 2010
Sarah with some friends at her welcome party

Monday, June 21, 2010

Luray Caverns 2010

Kevin and I have not been back to Charlottesville together since I left before the New York Bar Exam in 2008, so it's been almost two years! How we've missed it. I was determined to do a lot of picture-taking on our trip back outside of the wedding itself. Having had my spelunking appetite whetted by Ruby Falls in Chattanooga, I talked Kevin into taking me to Luray Caverns. I think the reflecting pool alone exceeds the whole of Ruby Falls.

Luray Caverns 2010
At Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns 2010
The amazing reflecting pool inside Luray

Brady at the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum

Rockfish Gap, Shenandoah 2010
At an overlook in Rockfish Gap in Shenandoah

Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Brooklyn Apartment 2008-10

In my last post, I shared some pictures from our old Brooklyn neighborhood Cobble Hill, but I thought it would be fun to include some pictures from the inside of our one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment too. We lived there from August 2008 until the beginning of this month, so almost but not quite 2 years. But it will always be a special because we got married while we were living there. Still, I'm not sad about moving to a place where we'll have 4 bedroom and 2 bathrooms for less rent than we paid in Brooklyn!

Moving to Brooklyn 2008
The outside of our Cobble Hill pre-war apartment building

Moving to Brooklyn
We were straight down the hallway from the front door. Sometimes not so good.

Our Brooklyn Apartment 2008
You come into the little kitchen first

Our Brooklyn Apartment 2008
Other side of the kitchen

then down a long hallway...

My 30th Birthday Weekend 2009
You come to our dining table first (picture from my 30th birthday)

Home 2009
Our living room, you can see the wall of our bedroom behind Kevin

Cory's NY 30th Birthday
The right side wall in the living room (it's small)

Bookshelf with Llama
Opposite the couch

Cobble Hill Apartment Bedroom
Our bedroom

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Leaving Brooklyn- June 2010

This weekend we had a big move to the suburbs. Some of you got an email with the new address. If not, please email me and I'll fill you in. The move went very badly, thanks in part to's dubious rating system (never pick a mover with a 100% positive review, it's a lie). Nonetheless, I positively love the new place. We'll have a guestroom, so email us and come crash with us some time. We can hang out locally or go into Manhattan.

Our First Anniversary 2010
Our 1-Year Anniversary at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Since I don't think it's a great idea to post where I live on the internet, now is a good time to talk about where we used to live. In 2008, on the day I went to go take the New York State Bar exam in Albany, Kevin moved us from Charlottesville to the Cobble Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn. It's sort of an in-between neighborhood just south of Brooklyn Heights and north of Carroll Gardens. We lived right between Court Street and Smith Street two active shopping and restaurant streets. The best part of living there was that everyone seemed to be in their late twenties to early thirties, so fewer of the crazy young students you would see in the Village, but also fewer of the mothers aggressively using their strollers as weapons that you would see in Park Slope. And we lived close by to our dear friends Jon and Becky, Michele, and cousin Mike. We were also a short 35 minute ride to midtown Manhattan where I work and even closer to other parts of Manhattan.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade 2006
With Jon and Becky at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade before we moved in 2006

Moving to Brooklyn 2008
Our Pre-war building with a bad management company

School of International Studies Playground
The school mural directly across the street from our building

New Years Eve 2008 --> 2009
At Jake Walk with Briggs a.k.a. "The Elbow," New Years Day 2009

Char No. 4, a fabulous whiskey bar next to our place

My 30th Birthday Weekend 2009
Celebrating my 30th Birthday at Clover Club

Brooklyn 2009
At Brooklyn Social in 2009

Kevin's 30th Birthday 2010
At Brooklyn Inn in 2010

Court Street Brooklyn Festival 2010
Court Street Brooklyn Festival 2010

Goodbye Brooklyn! We promise to still visit!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wedding Guestbook Time Capsule 2010

Kevin and I celebrated our 1st anniversary a week early in Niagara Falls.  But then on the actual day of our anniversary we ate some (badly preserved, really gross) wedding cake and then went to the new Brooklyn Bridge Park to take 1-year anniversary pictures and break open our "Message in a Bottle" guest book.

The idea was that instead of just writing in a wedding guest book, guest would write us a message, put it in the wine bottle, and we would read the messages on our first anniversary.  It fit nicely with our Cape Cod beachy theme, complete with Nantucket Mojitos (Kevin's from Cape Cod + I'm Cuban), beach accents in our centerpieces, and our starfish wine stopper wedding favor.  We actually used the wedding wine stopper in the wine bottle guest book.

R 6-6-10
"Message in a Bottle" guest book

Wedding favor starfish wine stopper

Our First Anniversary 2010
One-year anniversary photo in our then-borough of Brooklyn

Some people asked how we planned to get the messages out. Fair.  I figured we could smash the wine bottle and fish out the messages.  This turned out to be a little trickier than I thought it would because we didn't want to break glass inside our apartment, and breaking it outside could cause us to lose all the messages. So we decided to break it outside, and in a plastic bag.  Brilliant except it's still hard and weird to break a glass bottle outside. Luckily we live in New York, so we found a relatively unpopulated spot, and no one paid too much attention while Kevin smashed his plastic bag with a hammer.

Brooklyn Bridge Park 2010
Kevin showing the bottle who's boss

There were a lot of messages so I decided to be completely biased about it and post those of people who regularly comment on our blog.  Luckily these were also some of the cooler ones.
2009 06 06 message in a bottle 01
Mom and Dad

2009 06 06 message in a bottle 07
Kevin's mom

2009 06 06 message in a bottle 20
Chrissy and Jason

2009 06 06 message in a bottle 26
Lukas and Sarah

2009 06 06 message in a bottle 27
Robin (and Cory)
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