Hey all!

I defended my thesis and am now Dr. Bowles!   Since Monday, I’ve been trying to relax but it has been a little difficult as I’m still applying for grants, moving, and just trying to transition to the next stage in life.  I am also trying to celebrate such an accomplishment as obtaining a Ph.D., but I’m never so great with celebrating each accomplishment and instead always look at what’s to come. Something to work on I suppose, especially for mental health purposes.

That said, I did relax for a larger part of this weekend and enjoyed some sun in the city.

Friday night Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In:Beetle Juice!  Unfortunatley we ended up leaving about halfway through the film, it was rather cold once the sun set and there was the threat of rain. Rain + Cold just sounded awful.

Saturday I was up bright and early for NYU’s Big Walk, this year Roosevelt Island.  I was actually one of the few people on the tour of the island that had ever been to this part of Manhattan (fact #1 the 2 mile x 800 ft bit of land is part of Manhattan).  My first visit for an art exhibit part of Open House New York, and many more times to visit my friend Ena who lived on the island for a few years.

It was a beautiful day to spend with friends and soak up sun, a little too much in fact.  I forgot to wear sunscreen and ended up sunburnt :(.

Loved all the cherry blossoms!  It was like a trip to DC. Fact #2, the  trees were a gift from Mary Lasker (think the Lasker award for all my science friends).  She apparently is responsible for several beautifying projects across the city.

The visit also gave me the opportunity to see the new FDR monument, it become open to the public this fall.

The Big Walk was such a great experience, though I was skeptical about walking around Roosevelt Island all day long, I mean how much could one say about such a little island, as it would turn out a lot!  Between the history of the island including several name changes as land ownership was transferred from the native americans to the Danish to the Blackwell family that used the island for their summer home, and as such the island became Blackwell Island.  It would later become Welfare island and finally to Roosevelt Island in the 70s.

I also learned about their use of pneumatic tubes to transfer garbage (in order to reduce the number of garbage trucks, there are still a few cute small trucks to pick up commercial garbage and public trash cans).  It’ll be interesting to see how the island handles waste as the island, which currently has  14,000 inhabitants, integrates a fully functioning university campus as Cornell builds and develops their  new technology campus.

After the tour, I headed back to my apartment to pack and nap before heading back downtown to have dinner with friends.  This dinner was totally last minute for a friend of a friends who was visiting from Japan, but I kinda feel like I was pre-celebrating my thesis defense given that it was the first weekend in many that I wasn’t constantly thinking about writing or practicing my talk.

Anyhow we went to Cafe Kristall in SoHo.  The place was rather empty for a Saturday night, but SoHo generally dies on Saturday nights.  But the food was quite good! As were the drinks :).

I started with a ginger fizz to drink.

The restaurant had a deal if you checked in through yelp, but I kept my selection to just an entree.  That said I stole a couple of bites from Ryan’s carrot and ginger soup which was delicious, I could have eaten that alone and been happy and satisfied.

For my entree I had the salmon with white beans, I would never have thought to combine the two, but it made for an amazing dish.

I may have also had a bite of Ryan’s scallops.

We then went a little crazy with dessert.  Since we had a visitor who really wanted to try Georgetown cupcakes we went and purchased 6 cupcakes to split with everyone at the table (1 per person), but the yelp deal also came with dessert…so we had 4 other desserts to split since 4 out of 6 of us went for the deal.

I didn’t get a photo of them all, including my favorite 2, a caramel cake with this awesome caramel cookie on the top and a pistachio and chocolate layered cake…but you get the idea, it was a lot.  That said, with the help of our waiter who had a bit of cupcake, we ate just about everything.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel too much of a sugar rush…maybe it was the 11 miles of walking I did across the day?

On Sunday, I did my best to stay relaxed by getting my nails done and Ryan and I met up with our friend Jodi to check out a new Beer Garden. I decided to have 2 small pints of beer, rather than 1 large, in order to try 2 different beers.

We also snacked on a huge pretzel, some deviled eggs, and nuts.  Their lunch and dinner menu also looked quite tasty, while I wish their beer selection was larger, I would come back for try some other menu items, and I enjoyed the atmosphere.

Okay time to walk away from the computer screen.