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Happy Day!

May 1, 2012

I believe that Birthdays = Baseball. Do you agree? If not, that’s fine. I suppose they could also mean the following: food, friends, and family. And Josh’s 25th birthday deserves all four.

Food:

Good food in this city, if you were wondering, is not that hard to come by. Everywhere you turn you will find something intoxicating. And we love trying new restaurants. On Friday night, I took Josh deep into the Lower East Side. This is not a place we often go but I guarantee there are more than a few gems in the area. The old, desolate streets were a far cry from the bustle of the city we thought we lived in. For a moment, I felt we had stepped back into the 1987 New York City with the chill in the air. No, mom, I didn’t feel safe for the first time. You are probably thinking we should have turned our asses around and ran back to the village. But regret of missing out on food would have gotten the best of me. Plus, I had Josh to protect me (ha..). And oh my goodness was it worth it. The Fat Radish offered the best ambiance we have felt yet. Their wood paneling inspired me to pin this but their painted white brick and giant mirror painted with specials was even more eye-catching. They serve fresh radishes to every patron (eh, still didn’t sway me to be a radish lover), their cocktails were impeccable (I had a fear Josh was really only drinking Lemonade), and their menu was out of this world. We ordered Celery Pot Pie to share, Pork Chop for him, Scallops for me. All amazing. The wine was so good, I don’t even remember if we ordered dessert!

Saturday night I planned a private dinner for a few close friends at The House in Union Square. (A much busier area mom.) I was delighted to have pre-set menus that Josh was able to choose. From all 11 party-goers, I didn’t hear one complaint or negative comment. (Of course, since I did most of the planning, they may have made any snide remarks behind my back…kidding, I don’t really believe that.) We had Madjoul Date and Apple Salad (the best salad you will ever taste), Bacon Flatbread, Oysters, Pork Chop, Tortelli with brown sugar (yes, it was amazing), and assorted desserts. I loved every bite – it was simply seasoned and delectable. After all the immobilizing food, apparently it was time to go to some bars. Or one bar: Underbar. The ceiling was cool but I can’t say much about the music or the service. I probably will not be back. 

Sunday night was homemade meal night. My mom’s peppered beef (which, even though good beef is pricey at Whole Foods, was mouth-watering) and corn on the cob. I even tried making mashed potatoes but they didn’t make the cut… thanks Martha Stewart. (If you don’t understand how big of a gesture this is, you don’t know me.)

Friends:

Let me reiterate: 11 party-goers for dinner and 4 for the game. Plus, I’m his best friend…I think.

Baseball:

It just so happens that Josh’s birthday sits in the beginning of baseball season, when there is still so much optimism floating in the air for a 90+ game winning season. My birthday lands at the end when that dream is, inevitably, diminished. So while the optimism is lingering, why not catch some good games with some good friends. Ironically, our very own Detroit Tigers were in town to play the Yankees this weekend (obviously set up perfectly for the birthday boy.)

So Bill, Marty, Jess, and I entertained him for a few hours by taking him to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, just a short 30 minute subway ride from home. The “new” Yankee Stadium is now a little more broken in, a little dirtier and truly feels like a stadium again. (The last few years it was simply too clean!) And regardless of the Tigers losing, we had a blast, corn dogs and all.


P.S. The Cleveland Indians are currently 1st in the AL Central Division. I’m not saying it is going to last, but it’s worth stating on May 1st.

Family:

I am “behind the times” when it comes to technology, to say the least. I do not own a smart phone. I do not have DVR. I do not have Netflix. I do not own a Kindle or Nook or iPad. I do not own a real laptop (I have a desk top that I have had since 2007 and a netbook costing $200 I bought 2 years ago. Needless to say, it runs slow). People think I am odd – I think the smart phone thing really bothers these New Yorkers. But really all I need is a good book and David Tutera ESPN to make me happy.

But with Josh’s birthday this past weekend and us aching for our families a little more than usual (which is already too much to fathom), a Facetime excursion with his smart phone back home to his nephew, Jace, was exactly what we needed. To be clear, I have never used Facetime before. Turns out, it’s pretty simple and when the phone picked up I saw Jacey’s bright blue eyes staring at me as he devoured chocolate frosting off the top of “gamma’s” scotcharoos. We chatted for a few minutes but I know who Jace was really in the hunt for. I handed the phone to Josh.

“FOUND YOU!” Jace screamed. His two-year old face lit up when he saw his uncle. ” HAPPY DAY! HAPPY DAY!” (“Happy Day!” obviously meaning “Happy Birthday!”) With the whole family urging him to sing, he began “Happy Day to you, Happy Day to you…” soon to tire from that song and on to the next. “Humpty Dumpty sat on wall…” and to the next “Twinkle, Twinkle little star…” all the while staring at his mother for the right words. His pitch, flawless. Please, Jace, continue to shove the chocolate covered fork in your face as you serenade us. Oh, and he chatted. And chatted. Just like a perfect two-year old, using his words to the best of his ability to make us smile. It’s amazing how much he has learned in a month.

And after all the planning and happenings from the weekend, this moment was by far the best.

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