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Brian Oh: {food, travel, photo}

Catskills, Storm King, & Sandy

Had a pleasant weekend in New York. On Saturday, J and I drove up to the Catskills and hiked the North Point trail. Unfortunately, we were about a week late for the peak foliage. Most of the leaves were on the ground at this point, but it was still quite nice. The trail had several clearings where small waterfalls converged and had lightly flooded the trail. It was quiet, save for the sound of falling water, and otherworldly. At the summit, the valleys below were bare and yellow, but isolated flashes of bright evergreen clung to life. Thick cloud cover rolled in and obscured much of the view before long. Harbingers of Sandy.

After the hike, we stopped by the Storm King Art Center on the way back to the city. I can't say that I've ever seen anything quite like it. It felt almost dreamlike. Like something out of Tim Burton's "Big Fish." Giant metal sculptures dotting the pristine fields and Maya Lin's "Wave Field" created subtle manipulations in the landscape that seemed at once unreal and natural.

Back in the city, we went to Motorino for dinner and I had the Sopressata Picante. This is probably my favorite Neapolitan pizza. It'd been several years since I'd had it, so I tried my best to savor, instead of inhaling it. Afterward, we checked out Booker and Dax, Momofuku's new cocktail bar in the former Milk Bar space. Tried the Manhattan and Old Fashioned (dubbed the "First Date" for the  date syrup) and both were excellent. The next day's lunch had a nice symmetry. We started out at Momofuku Noodle Bar, which I hadn't been to in a while, and then drove down to my favorite NY-style pizza, Di Fara. Luckily, there was no wait to order my pie, likely because everyone else was scrambling to prepare for Sandy's arrival. We only had a slice each and I packed the rest to take back to Maryland. My car smelled like pizza the drive down and it was wonderful.

After Di Fara, we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge Park so I could take some shots of the southern tip of Manhattan under the ominous, pre-hurricane skies. It was quiet and darkening. A nice way to end an active and enjoyable weekend. I left the city soon after and  fortunately only encountered some light rain on the way down. Not having been keeping tabs on the news the past two days, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the office was closed Monday and possibly Tuesday. So my nice weekend is now potentially a four-day weekend. That's OK with me.