Just to clarify the 'hurricane pancake' question: They are actually normally shaped... although the next time we are hit by a hurricane (probably next week) I'll have to recommend that they be hurricane-shaped. They are incredible oatmeal buttermilk pancakes that my dad makes. I'll post the recipe (or maybe my dad can) when I get home.
I'm having a great time in New York. I had a very easy flying experience, made easier by how cool it was to fly Song Airlines. Instead of having a flight attendant say the opening spiel about safety belts and oxygen masks, they had a recording--of an Irish woman with Irish jig-type music playing in the background. Very entertaining.
When I got in to LaGuardia, I took a quick taxi to Rita's apartment in Astoria. She has a great little place and both she and Ashley were there when I arrived. After chatting for a bit, we took the metro to Ashley's place, met Simmy, and went to a Thai restaurant called Spice (aptly named). And then this morning, I played the part of 'prospective student' and accompanied Ashley to her classes at Cornell Medical school, where she is in her 2nd year. Then met Rita for lunch and then walked to the Goethe Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I vaguely recall having been there before, but it was great to get lost in the American Collections. I saw the colossal painting of Washington crossing the Deleware, made all the more poignant by my current reading of 1776.
I have really only ever seen New York City as a Christmas-time tourist (which is incredible) but it's great to see other aspects of the city,see people who live here and, as one New Yorker said, do laundy and go grocery shopping. I'm having a great time.