Happy New Year. Patricia and I spent New Year's in New York this time. Observations: The city changed a lot and then again it didn't. There are definitely more "new parents" to be seen now, the Times Square area is no longer a place to be scared of, quite a few subway lines and stations got a makeover ... still, it doesn't feel that much different from back in '96 when I moved back to Germany (I've been back to NY only twice since then and not at all after 9/11/01).

Restaurant favorites this time around: Sushi Hana, 466 Amsterdam Ave - great sushi, excellent sake list; El Quijote, 226 W 23rd St - a long-time classic and easily the best value place for lobster lovers (If you are really hungry get the Paella with Lobster -- I am a big boy and I have no chance finishing it); EJ's Luncheonette, 445 Amsterdam Ave - The west-side standard for breakfast.

And this was definitely the last time I flew Delta Airlines across the Atlantic. Charging for booze on a trans-Atlantic flight is ridiculous. On top of that, our baggage is MIA for the third day now.