this is the time i went to new york in february 2010 and saw some dear dear friends.

this is mellie. i almost shouldn't know her, or kate, at all, but here i am visiting them both.

mellie and kate had the (mis?) fortune of moving into an apartment in the same building as two nerdy and slightly awkward boys. and also with dom and i. then, a few weeks in, dominic harassed kate at the mailbox and demanded we be friends. the rest is sweet history.

here is dominic, and we share a slice. having spent most of my life in california, i've never understood criticism people from these parts reserve for pizza. cheese, bread, and sauce, and there's something to criticize?

on our first day together, we walked along the high line.

a standard tourist destination.

many coming of age stores have been written about the big apple. and on this, my second (maybe third?) visit, i grew hair in new places and wrote my own: mikey's first turkey.

i don't know which felt better: my first turkey, or coming from behind to shiv dombo in the femoral on that last roll.

we have a winner. and some happy losers (note: not me).

this kate. she defies explanation.

as if the trip wasn't filled with enough quality people, we are graced with byron.

two things about byron. first, he is extremely camera shy (in a manner very similar to my dear colleague joon), so all of these pictures are shot from the hip, in the same way that you'd sneak photos of the sistine chapel or a north korean work camp.

second, he is extremely stylish. on one visit to my apartment after dominic had left, and after -- seeing my filth -- i had taken it upon myself to spruce the place up with some accoutrements, he noticed a new piece of furniture supporting my tv. "i like this", he declared calmly. "this is very adult."

there was something vaguely, oh, i'm-going-to-murder-you?, about kate's living room, but we didn't let fear of the crown heights slasher spoil a good dinner.

two smokers rolling out.

yes, dominic, this is a subway.

we hopped on a subway, turned our cameras off, and had a rowdy and poorly documented evening.

on day 2, dominic dispensed with trying to fit in and converted to full-on tourist mode, trusty g2 in tow.

whenever you haven't seen an old friend for a while, i think one naturally spends the first day trying to look good, act interesting, and generally make the other person feel that things are going well in your busy, successful little fucking life. at least, i know i do.

on day two, you say fuck it and dance to britney spears in your livingroom.

it was saturday, the middle of february, and the olympics were going on. dom and i had never been to coney island and both wanted to be Kobayashi. this is what we did.

ever since the conviction, dominic has had a hard time going near amusement parts.

sideshow girls.

dominic is weird.

we took a side trip to visit kate's summer workplace. *ka-ching!* love you kate.

two cool dudes on one cool boardwalk.
also: what is up with that arm!

obligatory shot of the world's largest potato masher.

we were walking along the boardwalk when suddenly byron snapped. i don't know what it was -- our slow pace? maybe he'd been here before? in any case, he vanished for a good 10 minutes and reappeared with doughnuts. need to make that happen more.

awwww.

so we made it to nathans, and let me say, i was let down.
not by the dog, or the ambiance. or the flies just about everywhere inside. no, i was let down by this guy, who i had thought had made a pact with me to have a mini hot-dog eating contest with our single dogs, once we got settled. and here i come back from fetching condiments to find him scarfing down his dog before i could even put the relish down.

it's like catching your dog mid-chew; he knows what he did. and he's still going to finish.

a 50/50 a mix of satisfaction (with the dog) and unvarnished disgust (with the dom).

yeah, rub it in, guy..

awwwww.

evening. we head out to some beer bar in williamsburg. the hip among us will correct me with the exact name, and that it is technically a beer and mead bar. i give a shit.

kate re-enacts her favorite scene from "white wine drinking housewives of orange county"; byron prepares to punch the camera.

hours later: drinks, dinner, and more drinks.
also: jars?! as drinking glasses?! whatever!

GLAM.

"hey you wanna take a photo with me? i'm a tourist."
"yeah, i gotta go, um, OVER THERE."

i must say i do like this look on him.

the night goes on and we become less restrained with our posing: me, the "duckface"; her, the "chomp".

"why wasTe.. a PERfEctly@ GOOD .. DAncefloor....?"               
              "michael, you're being difficult.

aah, shit. trip's over. time to hug it out.

a little sunday brunch and that's a wrap.

to say it was a pleasure would be an understatement of highest order; dom, byron, kate, mellie: always a good time seeing you and doing nothing in particular. until next time..