Only in NYC

I didn’t blog yesterday and I was feeling guilty at first, but then I remembered that I had a very good reason for not having the time. Around 4:00 p.m., my co-worker sent me a link to a Times Talk with John Irving. I had seen the event on the schedule last week and was so excited…until I saw that it was sold out. I almost closed the link when something caught my eye, “Limited tickets will be available at the door from 6:00 – 6:45 p.m.”

I immediately called Katie, who I was having dinner with, (and who loves John Irving as much as me) to see if she wanted to push dinner back and try to get tickets. Thankfully she was thrilled. We went, we waited in a huge long line, I acted like a school girl trying to get into a New Kids on the Block concert (hey – they were popular back in my day), and finally we got tickets!

And it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He was amazing and I love him even more. He was articulate, funny, confident (but humble at the same time), relaxed and welcoming. In short, he was awesome. Pictures were technically not allowed, but I snuck a few:


I can’t wait to finish David Copperfield so I can start Irving’s newest book. By the way, Irving said that the classics and particularly Dickens were hugely influential on his writing. He considers himself a kind of “old fashioned writer” because he still believes in plot.

After the interview, Katie and I decided to still go for dinner. We had previously decided to try an Indian restaurant in my neighborhood – Chennai. I explained to her right off the bat that I am an Indian food novice (I’ve only eaten it once) and would need some coaching.

In preparation for our outing, I did a little research about Indian food and some of the common misconceptions. To start, curry is not in every dish. Indian Food Guide, Petrina Verma Sarkar shared some helpful information in an article online: “Traditional Indian cooking almost always uses fresh ingredients and involves making dishes from scratch. This means less preservatives and healthier food. Indian cooking uses spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, green chillies—all of which have medicinal and healing properties. A traditional Indian meal includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber—all the elements you need to make a balanced meal.”

My fears that our dinner would be completely unhealthy were put to rest and I started to get excited about trying some new cuisine.

We ordered a veggie platter to start and it was amazing. It actually started to fill us up.


We ordered two entrees and both were delicious. First a Dosa Entree (shown in picture below)  – the most famous anytime south Indian food made from a fermented batter of rice flour & lentils. We also got Vegetable Tikka Masala.


In another article Sarka also shared this interesting tidbit about Indian food and the culture: “Food is a big deal! Even everyday meals are mostly sit-down affairs and are comprised of two to three main course dishes, accompaniments like pickles, chutneys and papadums, staples like rice and roti (bread), all rounded off with something to satisfy the sweet tooth!”

I really like this approach to eating – meals are events and there should always be dessert!

Our dinner was filling, cheap and delicious, and we ended up having to wrap a lot of it up – lots of leftovers!

Question: What’s your favorite Indian food?

Question: Have you ever made Indian food at home? What dishes?


So that was Wednesday night, but now we’re on to Thursday. This evening, I had the pleasure of attending another Times Talk at the Times Center, this one called: Legends of the Marathon. The guests were: Joan Benoit-Samuelson (won the gold medal in the first women’s marathon in the Olympics); Deena Kastor (bronze medal in the Olympic marathon and runs sub-2 hour 20 minute marathons); Grete Waitz (has won the NYC Marathon 9 times and silver medal in Olympic marathon); Lance Armstrong (enough said).

They all shared stories about their marathon experiences, including their first marathons. Lance was really funny and told us that after his first marathon, he was so sore he couldn’t walk to the conference center in the hotel he was staying at. They had to send up a bell-hop cart to bring him there.

Grete talked about one of the more “private” running topics – bathroom issues. She admitted that in two of the NYC marathons she had stomach issues. The first time she went behind two cars parked on the side of the road because there were no bathrooms. She ended up losing her lead and not winning the race that time. The next time, she decided to just go. Yup – she went as she was running. She said it was a conscious choice because she didn’t want to give in to the distraction. She won that race.

I’d have to say the consistent advice from all the speakers was to put in the work during training. Don’t skimp. If you do the work then you will benefit. And they all agreed that mile 20 is “when the race really starts.” In other words, when it starts to get really tough. I AGREE!

IMG_2847Only in NYC can you listen to your favorite author read from his new book in person, eat delicious authentic Indian food, and get running tips from marathon legends all within the span of 24 hours!

2 responses to “Only in NYC

  1. Pingback: Reflections on 2009 « Eat, Read, Run

  2. Pingback: One Year Blog Anniversary! | Eat, Read, Run

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