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Highlights from My 3rd Trip to Japan in December 2013

I got to go work in Japan for a third time this year.  I spent most the time in Osaka and spent my Saturday in Kyoto.  Here are some of the highlights from my trip.

Mido Suji Street
Mido Suji Street at night during a holiday seasons

 

On Saturday, a friend took me to Kyoto for a day.  We went around to a few places and had dinner (many tofu dishes) before going back to Osaka.  It was a fun day.

Ninna-Ji Old Imperial Palace (a world heritage) in Kyoto
Ninna-Ji Old Imperial Palace (a world heritage) in Kyoto

 

Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine
Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine
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Colorful leaves at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

 

Sannenzaka Ninenzaka (old town) Kyoto at night
Sannenzaka Ninenzaka (old town) Kyoto at night

 

 

Kiyomizu Temple at night
Kiyomizu Temple at night

 

Wood cutting demonstration at the Museum of Housing and Living in Osaka
Wood cutting demonstration at the Museum of Housing and Living in Osaka

 

Ramen
Ramen

 

This is how my laundry was done at the hotel.  Nicely packed.
This is how my laundry was done at the hotel. Nicely packed.

 

A Nice Brisk Fall Day

It was a nice brisk fall day today perfect for the running of the 2013 New York Marathon.  I went to Central Park to get a glimpse of the race.  There were a lot of people cheering along the route.

I enjoyed walking around the park seeing all the colors.  Here are a few pictures from today.

The Mall, Central Park, New York
The Mall, Central Park, New York

 

Central Park, New York, NY
Central Park, New York, NY

 

 

The skating ring also opened but wasn’t crowded.

Central Park in New York, NY
Central Park in New York, NY

I saw a person in a Big Bird costume sitting in a park, so I took a picture.  I thought it was interesting.

Big Bird in a park @ Central Park, New York, NY
Big Bird in a park @ Central Park, New York, NY

 

Birthday Lunch at Eleven Madison Park on October 12, 2013

I celebrated my birthday this year at one of my favorite restaurants, Eleven Madison Park.  It was a 15-course meal and it took 3.5 hours to complete.   Eleven Madison Park is one of seven 3-star Michelin restaurants in New York City (2013).  We have been there 3 times and we sat at the same table every time, Coincidence?

Me at Eleven Madison Park
Me at Eleven Madison Park – same table every time

Here are all the dishes (in the order they were served).

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Cheddar (Savory Black and White Cookie with Apple). It came in a white box presented as a present.

 

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Oyster (Grapes, Bulgar Wheat, and Sorrel)

 

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Beet (Pickled with Yogurt and Nasturtium)

 

Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar)
Salmon Mouse in an Egg Shell

 

Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar)
Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar).  Before opening.
Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar)
Sturgeon (Sabayon with Chive Oil, Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar).  After opening.

 

Bread with Two Types of Butter (one is a regular butter and the other one is a duck fat infused)
Bread with Two Types of Butter (one is a regular butter and the other one is duck fat infused)

 

Foie Gras (Seared with Rye Bread and Condiments)
Foie Gras (Seared with Rye Bread and Condiments)
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Carrot (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments). They made fresh carrot tartare at our table.

 

Carrot (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments).  You mix and match all the ingredients and sauce to your liking.
Carrot (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments). You mix and match all the ingredients and sauce to your liking.

 

Lobster (Poached with Brussel Sprouts and Guanciale)
Lobster (Poached with Brussel Sprouts and Guanciale)

 

Squash (Roasted with Cranberries, Chanterelle, and Sourdough)
Squash (Roasted with Cranberries, Chanterelle, and Sourdough)

 

Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries).  They took the whole duck out to show us.
Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries). They took the whole duck out to show us.

 

Smoked Duck Sausage and Beets
Smoked Duck Sausage and Beets

 

Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries).  This is the main dish from the whole duck shown above.
Duck (Grilled with Onion and Beets Roasted with Turnip and Huckleberries). This is the main dish from the whole duck shown above.

 

Grrensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes).  They came in a basket and you took everything outa yourself.
Greensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes). They came in a basket and you took everything out yourself.

 

Grrensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes).  These are what inside the basket.
Greensward (Pretzel, Mustard, Special Ale, and Champagne Grapes). This is what was inside the basket.

 

Malt Cart
Malt Cart

 

Malt (Egg Cream with Vanilla and Seltzer)
Malt (Egg Cream with Vanilla and Seltzer)

 

Apple (Sorbet with Bay Leaf Creme Brulee and Hibiscus)
Apple (Sorbet with Bay Leaf Creme Brulee and Hibiscus)

 

Sweet Potato (Cheesecake with Honey and Chestnut)
Sweet Potato (Cheesecake with Honey and Chestnut)

 

Pretzel (Chocolate Covered with Sea Salt)
Pretzel (Chocolate Covered with Sea Salt)

 

Chocolate (Sweet Black and White Cookie with Cinnamon)
Chocolate (Sweet Black and White Cookie with Cinnamon)

As a bonus, they gave us a jar of granola with a menu to take home.

A Jar of Granular and Menu for Take Home.
A Jar of Granola and Menu to Take Home.

For drinks, we had a half bottle of 2011 Maximin 2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Auslese.

2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Auslese.
2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling Auslese.

 

4 Museums in 3 Days

On Friday, we visited MOMA in the evening since it was free from 4 PM to 8 PM (sponsored by Uniqlo).  The line was long but went by pretty fast.  It was my first time eating at the cafeteria on the 5th floor.  It was good.

On Saturday, we visited the  Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum.  There was a light show by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum.  It was amazing.

A Light Show by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum (July 2013)
A Light Show by James Turrell at the Guggenheim Museum (July 2013)

 

In the afternoon, we visited the Whitney Museum.  There was a cool exhibit there too.  Here is an example.

An Exhibit by Robert Irwin: Scrim Veil - Black Rectangle - Natural Light at the Whitney Museum (July 2013)
An Exhibit by Robert Irwin: Scrim Veil – Black Rectangle – Natural Light at the Whitney Museum (July 2013)

On Sunday, we visited the MET.  This is my 4th or 5th time visiting the MET this year.  They always have new exhibits every month or two.  This time, we got to see some new paintings.