Woodbury, New York

a snapshot of a changing season (Woodbury, New York)

Fall is here and yet it's odd that Northeast America - including New York - is enjoying an extended warmer weather. Is global warming really unstoppable now? Ouch, the heat and humidity of a New York summer has become unbearable for me (coming from a tropical paradise in the Far East called the Philippines) and I'm so looking forward to the arrival of cooler temperatures. Something like the comfy upper 60's Fahrenheit. But this is what we got this weekend: more sunny blue skies that called for t-shirts instead of sweatshirst and cardigans.

I got an invite to a friend's birthday in Woodbury, a good hour by car from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Yes shopaholics, Woodbury is where that temple of bargain goods is located, the so-called Premium Outlets where brand-name comes at hoi polloi prices. Shopping wasn't in my itinerary though as I was strictly set on seeing Maricris - the birthday celebrant - and just spend an afternoon eating, chatting, and more eating of what else but calorie-laden, cholesterol-infested Pinoy food. I just brought my brother earlier in the day to JFK for his flight back to the Philippines, and instead of me wallowing in depression at the thought that he'll be in the Philippines and not me, I went with Juvy, Jen and Minette to the house of Maricris' sister in Brigaddon, Woodbury where the birthday party was held.

Thanks to Maricris' excellent cooks (who happens to be her own mom, dad and sister), the food served was so scrumptious that I ended up exceeding what my stomach can normally handle. Burp, burp, my stomach howled embarrassingly! Except for the divine lechon, everything else was prepared by this family of cooks. I had to give myself a third helping of turon, a dessert of fried spring roll made from banana and jackfruit as I rarely find this served in Pinoy restaurants in New York. Someone did tell me that I should visit this family's house with an empty stomach all the time.

We spent a good deal of time basking in the glorious afternoon sun at the family's veranda overlooking a hill with a forest that has the changing colors of fall written all over it. It's a beautiful sight, just like any other area in the Northeast where the fall foliage is getting dramatic. It maybe unseasonably warm for fall - and I was told I shouldn't complain - but sooner, this part of the world will be turning frigid as a freezer. Or, would it? Enjoy this weather then and help combat global warming. Old man winter still wants to knock on New York's door.

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