Stopped over on my way back from a work trip in Raleigh, NC to see my brother Han in New York (ticket was same price as direct back - nice!). The night was freezing and there were dirty piles of snow all over the place, and at their cool brownstone appartment we chatted into the early hours. In the morning Han's girlfriend Pat made a very tasty breakfast, before Han and me went for a stroll around Hoboken looking over the Hudson River to Manhattan - great view on a crisp morning. Then over to Chinatown for dim sum, then we went over to play chess at the remarkable Village Chess Shop. Great place, stuffed with all sorts of people playing mostly speed chess, I think Han won most of the games. Great fun and good to brush off the cobwebs. Bought a (Romanian) chess clock for general gaming. In the evening we headed over to a stylish modern art gallery in Chelsea for a fund raising event Pat was involved with. Lots of nice people and amazing art: 2 exhibitions "dangerous beauty" and something about food. Then to a Han & Pat's friend Hillary's for a kind of Aloha party with lots of rum, a cocktails called "painkiller", and great homemeade Mexican food: I can't resist Hillary's quesadillas! Most people there were sailors and chatted with some really nice people: I like Christina right away and reckon would make a great partner for a friend of mine Antonio in Milan. May end up going on a hiking trip with them and Han in April. Pat was keeping a track of the time and it was off to the last event of the evening, one of Pat's best friends 40th at an upmarket Mexican where they made guacamole by the table. Fascinated I watched them make it and memorised it. They used small red tomatinos(?) which they said were related to the gooseberries! Fun evening with interesting people. New York is my kinda town!