Monday, February 29, 2016

Two Fridays

Some good stories that slipped through my fingers the last two weeks...

Friday, February 19
EH only gets something ridiculous like one day off per month, so when she comes in I like to make sure she has a good time. We try to have dinner at Parm, the Italian sandwich shop in Nolita known for its delicious sandwiches, crazy wait times and the fact that they don't take reservations. We slip into the restaurant at a very continental 9 o'clock and the host says there will be a 15-20 minute wait unless we'd like to sit at the bar, which is first come, first serve. We wait five minutes, then two seats open up at the bar, and we sit, high-fiving for our good fortune. Shortly we'll be chowing down on buffalo cucumbers sprinkled with bleu cheese and gorgeous chicken and eggplant parmagiana sandwiches on hearty Italian buns sprinkled with sesame seeds and it will be divine. Then we'll sidle over to Decibel, one of my favorite spots in the East Village, for sake. After a short wait, we cram ourselves into a booth of the room that's splattered from ceiling to floor in graffiti and sip sweet, dry sake brought to us by a man with an undercut ponytail who's wearing a kimono only half-ironically.

We headed over to our favorite cheesy/awful dance spot next, but we found out shortly after entering, looking around, and dancing for a hot minute...that we had become too old for it. Swarmed by early twenty-somethings in button-down shirts and heels too tall for dancing, we sipped our drinks quietly and tried to find a bar where thirty-something men hang out. Interestingly enough, this was a category on Yelp all its own, and soon we were at another bar. The dancing there seemed to have died by the time we arrived at around 2am, but we drank some more drinks and made the most of it, resolving to begin a quest to find a bar for our proper age demographic the next time she came to the city.

Though that might sound like a bust of an evening, the next day we were paid back tenfold. Grabbing two spots at the apparently very difficult to get into Macondo for brunch, we were seated and eating in virtually no time at all. Since we couldn't decide, we ordered two dishes to share: their unbelievable eggs benedict was served not on an English muffin, but on two sweet yellow corn arepas topped with smoked salmon, the traditional poached egg, and a lemon-saffron aioli; and their cheesy, warm polenta with sauteed mushrooms were both to die for.

A round of window shopping was next, though window shopping quickly turned into shopping shopping with a foray into Topshop. The retailer was having its annual 'buy one, get one' sale, in which everything in the sale department know. We ended up making a killing, with two pieces each both under $40 total, an unheardof amount for the store. If I had to sway in heels in a bar I was too old for to get that, it was all worth it.

Friday, February 26
Occasionally I will get free tickets to a concert because I occasionally write about music and occasionally publicists like that. I had gotten a plus one this time, and decided to bring AR with me. We would meet up at the bar Rocka Rolla in Williamsburg, which I had heard of but never been to, and as soon as I walked in, heard the Ramones playing, saw album covers on the walls, and a big neon Rolling Stones lips/tongue logo in the back, I knew I was home. As if by magic, I was able to nab a table in a big ol' booth, trying to get my nose to stop running and sipping the hot tea I brought with me like an old woman. Groups of four and more looked at me and rolled their eyes while I waited for AR in this giant booth by myself, but I greeted their eyes with an internal fuck-you and blew my nose again. I had been working for nearly two weeks straight on editing photos from an event and had driven my immune system into the ground with sheer stress and a good ol' inability to stop working but, as ever, I wouldn't let that stop me from having a good time (seriously, one of these days I will grow up and take care of myself like an adult. But today was not that day!). AR arrived shortly and sipped a giant goblet (yes!) of beer for $3 while I sucked on a cough drop. Magically, as we had to leave to head to the venue, so too did my cold symptoms leave as we waltzed up the street to the concert.

The band playing was, shall we say, not our taste. I think AR and I ultimately decided together they were to Mumford and Sons what Hoobastank was to Linkin Park, using, as AR says, any opportunity to throw Hoobastank under the bus. We made hilarious, snide comments to each other the whole show, music snob nerds being way too critical for no reason. To the band's credit, one of their singers was especially lovely and there was one tune and various parts of other tunes that I truly enjoyed. And I'd say, too, that the ability to laugh like that with AR at the show itself was worth going at all.

AR found another concert for us to go to afterward, at Legion in Williamsburg/Bushwick. We wound ourselves through the bar to a back room with gorgeous, wood-paneled walls and a tiny yet well-lit wooden stage to see the art-rock band Howardian. Somehow, with 3/5 of their band missing they still had a great time, and so did we. The drummer, tickling the snare, mumbled "I am a coconut," from underneath a pile of his hair and it was so weird we loved it.

"How are you feeling?" AR asked me while the band was setting up.
"I am having some trouble breathing!" I said, sipping the cider I probably shouldn't have been drinking and then laughing. Whatever.

We left Legion and bounced into the frigid night, the one I think now (I HOPE now) will be the last of the season. "I'm hungry!" AR said as we walked up Humboldt Street. "Okay," I said. "What around here is open late?" I literally had no idea where we were and I wondered if I had even been to this part of Brooklyn before, but AR used to live off the Graham Avenue L stop so he knew where to take us.

Morelos is a 24/7 Mexican/American diner on Grand Street. We walked in and sat at the counter, passing a giant display case of pandulces on the way in. It reminded me of South Florida and I felt like I was back there for a minute. I wasn't even hungry, but I ordered I giant torta stuffed with beef and jalapeƱos and avocado and dove in just for the experience alone. We drank tea and talked about nothing and I didn't need another cough drop the whole time.