I meet Tyler again at Redeemer for the 10:30 service. I tell him how much I love the guy who does the scripture readings. His speaking voice is fantastic, and Diana would definitely approve. :) Come to find out, Tyler recognizes him for a production of The Screwtape Letters he saw in Chicago a few years ago. So this must be the guy the bulletin mentions each week. Our scripture reader is reprising his role as C. S. Lewis here in New York. I should see if I can get a ticket.
After church, we cross the street with the masses for coffee and muffins. We're both hesitant to jump into any conversations, but at least we're together and don't have to look all awkward wandering around by ourselves. :)
"So, do you feel like showing me around your part of town," he asks. I chuckle. "Well, it's mostly residential areas, college campuses, and hospitals. But if we walk a few blocks west, we can see Central Park. I actually haven't seen anything south of the Reservoir yet." So with coffees in hand--and hot ones at that! What?!?!--we walk the stretch to the park, happy to have bulletins in hand to fan at the heat.
This end of the park is beautiful. There are lawns and stone bridges and bench-lined walkways. It takes me a few minutes to realize it, but we walk through the same area I visited while here in January 2008. It looks nothing the same because at the time, the pond that's now filled with rowboats and ducks was frozen over and dusted in snow. The trees were bare, and the whole area was deserted. Today is completely different. New York is definitely a city of four distinct seasons.
It's super easy. Just sauté a chicken breast (halved and sliced in strips) in your favorite seasonings (chili powder and paprika are a must). In a medium bowl, combine chicken, minced garlic, a bit of olive oil, a can of corn, and a can of black beans. Stir and let marinade. Meanwhile sauté bell pepper and white onion. When slightly browned, add marinading bowl of ingredients and stir until heated well throughout. Grill both sides of a whole-wheat flour tortilla and smother with fajita mix. Top with guacamole (you can make yours completely from scratch like I did) and Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa. Delicioso. :)
Later that night, I get an unexpected dinner invite from a girl I went to high school with. Corrine is a pastry chef and has been in the city for a couple years. She has a Korean couch-surfer staying at her place, and she and her boyfriend are whipping up an Asian food fest. I happily RSVP, and by 9:00, I'm knocking on her door. The food is fantastic, albeit way too spicy for anybody else in my family (guess I won't be making Korean food when I'm at home!), and we have a great time talking New York, couch-surfers from all over the world, and the love of great food. What a fun night!