15 November 2010

NYC: Three Cubed

State plates spotted: 36
Mad Men locations visited: 4

As my brother put it in his birthday card to me today, I have now entered my ante-pre-upper-mid-diminished-LATE twenties. Although I'm not a big fan of birthdays (well, mine anyway), today turned out to be pretty good.

After the run, we hot-tailed it down to the Meatpacking District for birthday brunch at the Standard Grill. It was so warm and sunny that as we sat on the bench outside waiting for a table, I was feeling hot even in my short-sleeved top; unheard of in November. I felt fortified by the pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, but unlike the others, I couldn't manage a cocktail; even the Virgin Smash (lime, cucumber, mint, sugar syrup) I had was slightly tough going—probably because my stomach suspected another cocktail.

We walked off lunch on the High Line and then my brother and I wandered through the Village to SoHo for a little bit of shopping before it was time to meet up at the Rockefeller.

We had booked a slot on the Top of the Rock for 3.45, about an hour before sunset and we all took plenty of photos over the course of the next hour while we waited for the sun to set and the lights to come on (blue and white today for World Diabetes Day). Then my dear family sang happy birthday and presented me with cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.

In the evening, my dad had booked us all tickets for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a former off-Broadway musical that has recently been promoted to Broadway and gives the Jesus Christ Superstar treatment to America's seventh president. I was somewhat dubious of some of the accolades on the website—Time Out said it was "insanely funny," for example—but actually it was great. Really funny, some great songs (if you've ever wanted to see Martin van Buren, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams camped up to the max in ruffs and pink tuxedos, shaking their thang to Spice Up Your Life by the Spice Girls, this is the show to see) and some good acting.

I don't know very much about this period of American history and I suspect we missed some of the jokes but I hardly noticed. With Jackson portrayed as the man who will save democracy and bring power to the American people, putting the stuffy old Republicans in their place, it was easy to see the contemporary parallels here. And of course, we bought the soundtrack!

Now, thankfully, my birthday is over for another year and so now I just need to make it through Maman's tomorrow.

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