We've been through a lot together, and most of it was your fault
~wording on birthday gift (box of out-sized matches)
I hear this a lot, but that stuff wasn't my fault, just a byproduct of, you know, having fun.
Besides, birthdays aren't a sprint, they're a marathon.
They're an opportunity to discuss the Oxford comma, which happened at Metzger while drinking Anton Bauer Zweigelt Rose, eating a cheese plate and a charcuterie plate and listening to vintage soul thanks to a Taurus also obsessed with my favorite New Jersey DJ.
For the birthday girl who grew up in Maryland, the fried softshell crab was a decided highlight.
Sitting five abreast, from the farthest bar stool I overhear, "He's talking about putting tse-tse fly sauce on his sub," and wonder how my friend can be so far along when it's only our first stop.
Oh please, do go on! I could listen to you talk about your blog all night!
~ front of birthday card showing couple deep in discussion
Prom kids commandeered a long table behind us at Nota Bene, where we wound our five-top around the corner of the bar - and I learned that the bartender's prom date 20 years ago had been named Nikki LaRoqua and that she measured up to her name - for ease in hearing each other blather.
Words fell short when a steady stream of food began showing up, a lot of it off the specials board: two bowls of braised fennel with capers and tomato, two more of sugartoads with bagna caude and lots of bread to soak up its buttery, garlicy goodness, pizza of Tellegio and onions, the same roasted cauliflower with lemon, olive oil, capers and fresno chilies I'd fallen hard for just over a week ago and a big bowl of clams and fennel.
People think I'm bossy, too."
~ caption on birthday card image of Ghengis Khan talking to dark-haired woman with glass of pink bubbles in front of her
There was spirited discussion of the difference between a harlot and a strumpet, with the consolation "harlot" t-shirt going to Pru.
Lights were dim but the restaurant was still packed when we arrived at L'Opossum for our final course. Inquiring about the nature of the black bottom, our server summed it up by saying, "It's a circle of life in a chocolate cupcake."
Perhaps not everyone could glean her meaning from that, but I could.
With disco alternating with k.d. lange crooning cover songs, we had three of them, mine with a lit candle, plus creme brulee, fiery chocolate and foie gras bread pudding. I sipped glasses of Cocchi Barolo Chinato while others savored plastic-wrapped Laura Palmers.
Holmes ordered a Glen Moray and our server asked if he wanted it over a Death Star. He did, allowing us all to marvel over the globe-shaped ice.
It takes a long time to become young.
~ Picasso, but handwritten inside one of my birthday cards
For the second year in a row, we closed down L'Opossum in service of celebrating my birthday.
Today began with a birthday gift being delivered (on Sunday, no less) before motoring through the mist to Upper Shirley Vineyards for lunch. I hadn't expected the place to be so large, but both the packed parking lot and capacity dining room prove that the word was out.
I'll tell you this much: it appears to be the place for ladies who lunch (eat? trash talk?) in the East End. Lots of bling, lots of all-female tables, lots of shrill conversation bouncing off hard walls.
Addressing the Southern half of my heritage with practically perfect ham biscuits sweet with pepper jelly eaten on the couch for lack of a free space, followed by a move to a table of our own, shrimp and avocado salad and then fried chicken and waffles, we saved the wine tasting for afterward in lieu of dessert.
I am too lucky to have you as a girlfriend, companion, confidante, soul sister, advisory. partner-in-crime and voice of reason when I need one.~ sentiment written inside a birthday card
How hilarious is it to hear me referred to as a voice of reason? I'll take it with a grain of salt.
The Tannat was the most arresting of the bunch but it was glasses of Rose we took first to the big porch to get a view of the river, where it was too chilly and damp for the birthday girl before moving back to the couch and eventually to the city for a double hot fudge sundae at Bev's and at Secco, a bottle of Can Xa Brut Rose because birthdays.
A quick stop at En Su Boca made birthday nachos my reality and I finally got to see "Barbershop: The Next Cut," a film I'd gone to see weeks ago only to find it sold out.
Funny and not funny, relevant without being strident, with talking points that come across like an overdue rap session, it's the kind of film that makes you realize that white people don't see nearly enough black movies.
Shakedown 1981 during the scene when the entire barbershop breaks into dance at the first notes ("Can't fool myself...") of Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much" and I immediately flash back to a Christmas party that year when the exact same thing happened, albeit not as rhythmically since we were white.
And can we just have a moment for how good looking - body and face - Common is? It's too bad about that time I didn't get in to see him at the Pit. Needless to say, I also have new respect for Nicki Minaj's bountiful booty. Truly, a masterpiece of human engineering.
And wear some jeans for chrissakes.
~ sentiment written inside a birthday card
I might if I had that kind of booty.