le cahier de kev

le cahier de kev

adventures fresh off the press

Adventures in the City

It's just been around two weeks since Halloween and there's been a handful of events that occurred.


My sister's friends from the UK came to visit on November 1st so she planned for the four of us to have lunch together during their vacation here.  She actually texted me the night before (it was around midnight), and I got on her back about it the next day. haha She asked for recommendations and after going back and forth between her friends, me, and her, we settled on Thai food.  Since her friends were going to be in Chelsea, I chose Pongsri at W. 23rd Street.


I got there early and had some coffee before I met with them.  Sis texted me that no one was there and if I could come there to keep her company.  I laughed and headed to the spot.  I went into the restaurant and tried to find my sis and her friends.  We sat down and she introduced them to me.  It was lunch time so there was a lot of people.  However, we were all still able to hear each other.  We ordered our food.  We all shared fresh spring rolls and everyone else picked something from the lunch specials.  Sis got sauteed tofu with chili paste, vegetables, and rice while I got the Pad Key Mao with chicken.  David and Derek ordered noodles.


Sis' Tofu Dish


My Pad Key Mao


We had such great conversations ranging from travels abroad and our work/educational backgrounds to casual things such as romance and fun memories.  Derek is a social worker and we both talked about case management and the stresses of the human service professions.  We also talked about Japan since he lived there for awhile.  David and sis talked about their stories in Hong Kong.  She told us a story when they were both in the same restaurant where she saw him, but he didn't see her.  She told the waiter to give him a note which the waiter thought sis was trying to flirt with David. It was a fun story.  David even stated that he didn't know my sis Kate was in Hong Kong at the time.  The food was really delicious and we were all stuffed by the end of the meal.


During our conversations, Kate and I were slipping into our British accents.  She studied in London and I learned British English as a kid so we were able to revisit our accents.  Kate and I looked at each other because we noticed it and we started smiling.


After lunch we took pictures before parting ways.  David and Derek still had a lot of sightseeing to do as well as visiting David's family in Brooklyn.  Derek told me their schedule and I was surprised at how full their schedule was.  For a vacation it was really packed with a lot of events.


Kate and David


Derek and Me


Group Picture courtesy of my sis @helokatie

(left to right) Me, Kate, Derek, and David


Kate and I spent the rest of the day together bonding.  I told her that I didn't want to think about writing or any of the court stuff that I was taking care of.  She asked me where I wanted to go and I told her that I planned on buying some Lindt's chocolate.  It was just after Halloween so I wanted my fill of chocolate.  I don't usually eat candy during Halloween so I thought that it would be nice to have a belated treat.


We were heading uptown and when we got off at Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, I noticed that she was taking video.  I asked her what she was going to use it for and she smiled and said, "you'll see."  We headed into the Lindt's store where two employees greeted us and gave a free white chocolate truffle sample.  At first I planned on getting a pound of truffles, but decided on just getting the bars.



While I was looking through the huge selection, Kate was filming me picking and choosing which to get (You'll see it in her movie that I'll post).  At first I got four bars since it was their special of "buy four bars, get one free."  She looked at me, smiled, and said, "Are you going to eat all of that chocolate?" I told her that I'd give her some, but she said that she already ate too many sweets.


After thinking about it, I just took two so that I wouldn't go cuckoo for cocoa puffs with the chocolate.  I chose two flavors that I hadn't tried yet (the chili and the cherry intense).  Kate was right since I'm still trying to finish the other bar.  I usually just eat one or two pieces every 3 to 4 days so sis' judgment was on the ball!


I was joking around with the sales associate when I went to pay for my chocolate.  She offered a Lindt's chocolate card and told me that it was free to register.  At first I thought it was a credit card (and I hesitated), but since she clarified "free chocolate rewards", I agreed.  She was very sweet and I wished her a nice day.


Afterward, Kate and I headed down Fifth Avenue and stopped by St. Thomas Church at 53rd Street.  We looked inside and it was absolutely beautiful.  We sat down in the center aisle seats and looked around.


Inside Saint Thomas Church

Courtesy of Kate @helokatie


Exterior of Saint Thomas Church

Courtesy of Kate @helokatie


It reminded me a lot of Trinity Church when I used to work in the Financial District.  The churches were decorative and the attendants were very friendly.  We headed out and Kate filmed some more footage as we went down Fifth Avenue.  There was a line of people at the Abercrombie and Fitch store with the male models standing outside (I don't know if there was an event) and we passed by Armani where Kate took pictures of the gowns.


Kate and I decided to stop by for dessert so we headed to the Plaza Hotel Food Court.  When we got down, we didn't feel as hungry anymore so we just bought two hot chocolates.  We sat down, took pictures, and discussed personal and family things.


Bro and Sis @ the Plaza Hotel


We were discussing where else she wanted to go to since she's fairly new to New York.  She told me that I could lead the way since she was "the tourist." haha I suggested Central Park since we were next to it anyway and planned for karaoke afterward.  We looked at Lady M before heading out to see if they had the cheesecake that she wanted.  They didn't so we asked them when they might have it again.  They told us that the menu is random and suggested to keep checking in.  We thanked them and headed upstairs to take a few more pictures.


As we went up the escalators, we went to the reception area to take pictures.  I took pictures of her and she took pictures of me.  We went outside and she told me that she wanted to film me walking down the stairs like a VIP.  Craziness ensued, but it was fun.  We walked into Central Park and took a lot of nature photos.


Nice fall shot at Central Park

Courtesy of Kate @helokatie



Cute ducks at the pond


Jogging and Walking through Central Park



Beautiful Autumn Foliage


We sat down after walking around Central Park and continued our discussion.  We were also admiring the autumn colors and enjoying the warm weather (since it was pretty nice weather for November).  I remember last year we were still recovering from the severe weather.


@ Central Park

I checked in on her and how her classes were going.  She loves writing so I encouraged her to take as many diverse classes to see what topics she wants to focus on.  It was getting late so we took the train downtown to the karaoke place.  We took a few more pictures as we walked toward the station.


Sunset @ Central Park


The 6 train was delayed and it was packed with people.  Kate was looking at me throughout the ride and whispered to me, "I hope it's our stop next!"


We quickly got out and walked toward Karaoke Duet.  The attendant smiled and we requested a room for 2 hours.  I sang a mix of Japanese and English while Kate sang a lot of Adele. haha  It was a great stress reliever and we just belted it all out.


Song List


Karaoke Room


After our time was done, we walked down and took pictures.  I was getting hungry so I asked her if we could find a place to eat.  She took more pictures and we found a cafe.  I was debating on whether to get a wrap or hot food.  She suggested the hot food since it would be filling for dinner.  It was the food by the pound so I made sure to pick only what I wanted to eat!  While I was waiting to pay for it, Kate saved us a table and was putting the video together.


Filling Dinner

Potatoes, pasta, onion rings, beef, dumpling, and mushrooms


As I was eating, she showed me the complete video. I loved how it turned out.  It really summed up our adventure really well.  A lot of tourists also came in while we were eating so it became very lively at 9 pm.  It's always nice to have company :)


Here's Kate's video of our day titled "British Invasion"


British Invasion

by helokatie


Here is an alternate video she made titled D's and K's in NY which has a more old timey feel to it:


D's and K's in NY

by helokatie


As you can see it was a real blast.  Since it was getting late, we walked toward the train station and parted ways.  She took a picture of me as we left.


Me taking a picture of the night skyline

Courtesy of helokatie


We went to the Rockefeller Center subway stop, gave each other a hug and kiss, and ran to catch our trains.  She headed uptown while I went downtown.  It felt like a movie! :)


Regarding my legal and court judgment, the change was granted by the judge!  I spoke to the court records office and the clerk told me that the judge approved it.  I didn't have to attend a hearing since everything was in order, and I didn't change my name to something completely different.  I just received the final judgment in the mail and organized publication with the newspaper.  So...so far so good.  Now comes the fun part...changing all of my documents.  It's not a big leap since the name is somewhat the same (albeit shorter and organized differently).  People called me Kevin in 1997 and I'm still Kevin in 2013!


The process went smoothly.  It was just a matter of waiting.  It took around two months, but I knew that it was important to not procrastinate with this matter.  The background check, filing, and sending the correct affidavits and paperwork moved efficiently.  It wasn't like I was Carmen Sandiego and stole priceless paintings and jewels from around the world haha


But seriously though, I'm definitely glad that everything is finished.  I did breathe a sigh of relief when I heard the clerk give me the news.  We both even shared a laugh.  It was really nice.  She gave me directions on where I can get the certified copies and how much I'd have to pay.


As I had stated before, the registrar offices for my colleges have been absolutely sweet about sending the court documentation.  I don't know how it will be when I go to Social Security and the DMV, but let's just stay positive :)  I'm going to go pick up the certified copies of the final judgment from the courthouse and scan them for the registrar offices.  It's going to be a jam packed week mailing everything to government offices, visiting the bank, and just making sure everything is in order.  My main focus is on getting my new government IDs handled (social security, driver's license, and passport).


This has been a pretty long post so I hope you all enjoy the pictures and movies of our adventures.  It's going to be Thanksgiving soon so I'll have another entry by then with a couple of topics that I want to discuss.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!

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