Becks and I went to New York together a few years ago and stayed with Aunt B and Uncle R in the ‘burbs. I think I only stayed four or five days that time, it was right before and after New Year’s. An amazing trip that we reference all the time. So when Becks asked me to go back with her to visit Aunt B and Uncle R again, I was all for it (after a bit of persuading due to my un/self/ish employment). It was really cool cause it was almost like no time had passed at all. Aunt B and Uncle R were still awesome and I still mostly remembered where everything was in the apartment and the ‘burbs around the apartment. Which was kind of mind-blowing when I considered how much *I* had changed since I’d last been there.
I got to see the cookie monster, an old roommate of mine from BR. Becks and I joined her for Korean BBQ on her lunch break, then checked out Pinkberry‘s frozen yogurt at her recommendation. I adored Pinkberry, though Becks didn’t like it as much as me. Oh Pinkberry, come to New Orleans!! They’re only in California and New York at the moment. Somebody give me lots of money so I can open a franchise here. I called Alice and by lucky coincidence, she worked nearby, so we went and visited her there at work, which was fun.
Our first full day in the city, Becks and I were trapped in the B&N on 5th Avenue while it rained and met a rockstar and his mother – Andre of ism. After Andre left to procure a monster umbrella, his mother Suzanne invited us to ism’s show at Bowery Ballroom the next night. I’ve always wanted to go to Bowery Ballroom AND it seemed like a fun thing to do while we were in the city. So our devoted tour guide LL met up with us there the next night and we had an enormous amount of fun watching four really talented bands. The rest of the lineup were: Alex Nackman, Honor By August and Kill the Alarm. It was a high-energy show and each band had devoted fans throwing themselves around the wooden ballroom floor, singing right along. That’s what I like to see. The crowd thickened up by the end of Alex Nackman’s set and it never thinned out. All in all, it was an incredible experience to have on our New York visit. I’m begging ism to come south for a tour, so maybe I’ll get to see another show soon.
LL recommended the Peanut Butter Co for dinner one night and we got there just as it was closing (right before 10 p.m.), so we ordered all of our peanut butter-laced food to go and took it to Washington Square Park to have an all peanut butter picnic on the chessboard tables. I had the Elvis (peanut butter, honey and banana) while Becks had a spicy peanut butter and pineapple jam sandwich (there was supposed to be chicken, but it was mysteriously missing) and LL had a BLT with peanut butter. We all shared the peanut butter pie (well Becks was all pb’d out and could only have a bite), but the milk was gone by that point and we were all a little sugar high. Very fun, though. We met up with Alice and played pool (which is surprisingly hard to find in the city) and then cards until the bar closed. Then off to a diner the bouncer recommended for grilled cheese sandwiches, french fries and coffee.
Becks and I had a family day on Sunday and went to a BBQ in the ‘burbs. It was Aunt B and Uncle R’s son J and his family and a LOT of lamb. We teased Aunt B and Uncle R endlessly about this enormous cut of lamb the butcher talked them into. J almost couldn’t grill it. After endless lamb and veggies, there were WONDERFUL brownies. We went back into the city and lived it up, taking the FIRST train back to the ‘burbs the next morning.
And then there was Dylan’s Candy Bar (where the cookie monster used to work when she first moved to NYC) and Patsy’s Pizza and Serendipity 3 – all in ONE day! This was the same day we were not early enough to get tickets to a Broadway show, but consoled ourselves with Indian food and… we passed a guy on the street who dropped a whole bunch of papers. A bike messenger and I both called out to the guy. I picked up the papers and said, “Hey dude, you dropped something.” And the guy turned back, thanked the bike messenger and then me as he took the papers. He was turning away when I realized he was Matthew Modine. “Hey wait,” I said and he turned and looked at me, patiently waiting for me to do the whole fangirl thing and beg for a photo. I studied him and after a couple seconds, he realized I wasn’t going to out him (or myself as a giant silly fangirl tourist), winked at me and went on his way. If it weren’t for the wink, I might’ve second guessed whether it was him later, but it was definitely him. I called Matthew Modine dude. And he totally missed all the silly fangirl-ness that happened when I realized that *I called Matthew Modine dude*. LOL.
That was also the same day we spent over three hours walking through Central Park, which was really awesome and exhausting. It was a pretty day, but it was also the first day of our unseasonably cool trip that made us understand why New Yorkers abandon the city whenever they can during August.
Our last day in the city, we scored our tickets and Becks went back to spend time with the family while I took the subway to South Harlem to meet up with someone or other, in town for business as he’d been for a few weeks beforehand, and walked along the Hudson while munching on some good pizza and stealing the last of his pb smoothie (PB AGAIN!). Then we met up with LL for the show, which was Cirque Dreams. It’s probably pretty obvious why I wanted to see that particular show, but it was actually Becks’ idea. And then… LL, Becks and I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, as Becks and I had done on our first NYC trip together. Only this time, I had to purchase pajama pants from the nice people at Walgreen’s first and this time, it was night and we ravenously finished the last of my cheesecake from Lindy’s before coming back to the city.
So we didn’t sleep again, but took the last train back to the ‘burbs and packed so that we’d be ready to leave at 5 a.m. as Uncle R had instructed on the note he left for us. And at 4:19, he knocked on our door and we had breakfast with him and Aunt B and I was really sad that our visit wouldn’t go on for another week and I hadn’t gotten to spend more time with them.
I’m forgetting a million things we said and did, I know. But there are lots of things I’ll never forget. For instance, when I’m tired, I’ll never forget to “plead 4:54 a.m.” I’ll remember all of the odd things I saw on the ‘burbs train late at night or early in the morning. And I’ll remember every single one of the pictures we took, even if I can’t get my crappy camera to give them up to my computer at the moment. And I’ll know that, when playing Egyptian Rat Screw, you’re always right as long as you don’t give up the cards first.