Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I would never have done this if we hadn't served together in Vietnam

Guess who had a big birthday surprise? It was Annie. And the surprise was an all expenses trip to Park Slope, Brooklyn.

And I was like, what? it's your birthday, well let's go get rained on.

She arrived Saturday morning, and like good New Yorkers, we went out for bagels. James had a party to go to, so Annie, Tyson, and myself trundled off to the Brooklyn Flea, despite ominous clouds. Even with the slight drizzle, we had a fine time, until we sat on the steps, eating our (amazing) huaraches (which are like tacos--but better), and getting more than a little damp. We wrapped it up pretty quickly, but not before grabbing donuts from Dough (they fry in Bed Sty). We got the lemon poppy seed to share (Tyson got blood orange), and it was nearly worth the rain. Better than the Donut Plant, better than the donut place you know.

That's Annie holding our donut, and our umbrella. Both of which we shared, with varying degrees of success.

Saturday night was full of spaghetti, expensive desserts, and super Super 8. If you haven't seen it, oh, just go see it. It's like Goonies and E.T. and every perfect movie from your childhood. If somehow our worlds had collided at just the right time, I would have given J.J. Abrams a third of our donut.

Sunday was Annie's birthday, and we did it up right, with church and naps and dinner and chocolate cupcakes and a walk.

This is a table of people pleased to be together.

After a July worthy week of hot, hot temperatures (Thursday was 101 in the city, and, if you've never felt 101 in New York City, it's something special), the weather cooled down for our weekend and Sunday walk through the kingdom.

Annie didn't get the white shirt/skirt memo. I tried to give it to her, and she was all, no work memos this weekend.

Monday morning Annie and I moved slowly through the day, until lunch, when James met us at Hill Country Chicken at Madison Square Park (I've talked about this place before--they have Boylan's soda on tap, and Tyson eats here enough he ought to have shares in the place).

(This is going to be important later, so take note of what Annie and I are wearing.)

After some shopping, we made a startling discovery. Annie'd never been to the Shake Shack. We fixed that, with a vanilla frozen custard concrete with fresh blueberry compote. We ate it in the shade on a perfect, perfect afternoon. Annie drank a Dr. Pepper, and I got over being poked by the lady behind us in line (whatever happened to just saying, excuse me?).

While in the area, Annie snagged a photo of the Flat Iron Building, which, considering the blazing June sun, is downright impressive. (annie, where's that photo? let's link it)

A trip to the MoMA store was less than fruitful, unless you count resting on the Eames chairs on display as being fruitful, which we totally do (the Eames bentwood chair and the Eames lounge chair; if you've never sat in either, get yourself to a fancy-pants design store and fix that. Stat).

Not pictured is mid-dinner at Two Boots in SoHo (we ate again at Spice for dinner-dinner later), or a subway ride uptown to Lincoln Center. We had tickets to the ballet, of course.

A note on this. Remember that earlier photo of us, looking summery and casual and just fine. Okay, imagine those girls strolling up to Lincoln Center at 7 pm, and slowly realizing they are the only ones who look so summery and casual. This didn't come a huge surprise, it's not like we thought we were going to a beach party, but everyone else looked pretty classy. As we saw person after person in slacks and pant suits and dresses, I started getting worried we'd be turned away at the door. As ruffians. So, we tried our best to look fancier. We put on sweaters. I buttoned mine, Annie put on a new necklace. It was pretty unsuccessful, but, whatever, we weren't turned away at the door, and we later saw a couple wearing flannel shirts. I mean, sure, we looked casual, but at least we didn't look hay ride casual.

This is Annie, in Lincoln Center, looking classy-casual.

The ballet was The Bright Stream, which I knew nothing of. As it turns out it's a new(er) work, first done in 1935 in Soviet Russia. It doesn't sound like a laugh a minute, but, really, it was. It was also shut down in short order by Stalin for "balletic falsehood" (we suspect that he suspected it was making fun of communism--or him), the composer put in the Gulag, and lost in the annuls of ballet history, until now.

Long story short--communist farm collective (it's happier than it sounds), Act 1 ends with a nutty plan, Act 2 is full of shenanigans, and at one point a dancer dressed in a dog costume rides a bicycle across the stage. It was a perfect combination of classical ballet and abject wackiness.

Tuesday, today, started with a visit to the (still) pregnant Shiloh, where lots of photos were taken, and this was the best of them all.

Annie's visit ended, as it should, with Coco Roco for lunch, and a little bit of end-of-trip stoop sitting.


Let's do it all again.


  1. I wish I could be real like friends with you all...that stoop sitting, food eating awesomeness is right up my ally. And I've never been to the ballet.

  2. yes, let's. how's 'bout in august?