Monday, September 24, 2007

Le weekend

I'm currently working on my second big cup of coffee this morning, somewhat inexplicably, because I set the bar for energy expenditure quite low this weekend.

Here's what had happened:
On Friday I learned that my workday does not end on the fifth day of the week at 5pm, as it does on the other days. At my new job, part of the workweek is required attendance at a happy hour, organized by the lovely (but forceful), Cam. This week we went to the midtown three-ring circus that is Ginger Man, which had many beers on tap and was clogged with people. As it turns out, we had a great group of coworkers, some who had sisters and friends meet us there and throw back a frenzied few. Of particular note was a conversation I had with two sophisticates from Connecticut and two spammers. We really didn't let them off easy on that one: you're all welcome. We did, however, reward their candor with drinks.

Later that night I had a lovely dinner in Long Island City to celebrate Caitlin finally finishing college. Her brother had made some delicious Eggplant Parmesan, and very nicely done goat cheese discs for our spinach salad. We brought some champagne and toasted our girl finally finishing her thesis. We hit up Water Taxi Beach, a beach bar with a great view of Madhattan. Caitlin and I busted out our salsa skillz honed at the Bed-Stuy Y's awesome salsa class.

On Saturday I was able to sleep in, which was glorious. I thought I had fully left all vestiges of youth behind by springing out of bed at 8am on Saturdays and Sundays, but this weekend and last I was pleasantly suprised by the amount of time my body allowed me to languish in bed, greedily rolling over and taking more, more, more, more. After following up on my idea to do nothing, I watched some "Life of Birds" and eventually went to get some food in the hood. We went to Imhotep's Vegetarian, on Nostrand in Crown Heights. Caitlin got the rest of the delicious barbeque "duck" with some curried chickpeas, greens (looked like calaloo), and pumpkin, all of which I sampled and passed muster. I settled on a veggie burger and fries (why do people even ask me if I want fries? I cannot ever say no), which took a minute but came out very well. Imhotep's restaurant is in the back of their well-stocked health food store, and everything is prepared with care and is 100% vegan, if that matters to you.

After that we headed over to my ESL coteacher's beautiful apartment in one of those big doorman buildings on Eastern Parkway. Lauren's a doll, very smart and cute, and in addition to supplying lotsa booze and delicious little dips [hummus, tapenade, a mint sauce for the salmon cakes] for our grazing pleasure, she had a bevy of intelligent, charming homos in attendance. Everyone had already gotten their Masters and were working on PhDs, and could hold cogent conversations in many topics, so it was a wonderful party. Lauren was a great hostess and certainly got quite a nice group to come out. I was sad to leave all the gays with so much friendship potential, but I definitely gushed to a cute little couple on my way out "it was so nice to meet you, I really need some new gay friends..." That's me: cool, calm, collected.

After that we trucked over to Williamsburg to see the keyboarder from Antibalas, Ticklah, give a show at his cd release party. It was at BPM, and when we rolled up there was a crush of twentysomethings getting some air after the first set. To get in, you go down a set of concrete steps into a basement, then climb back up into a tight space that led to a concert area that looked like it was a recording studio. Although a veritable fire trap, the place was packed and it was a great crowd. Also of note: $4 bottled beer. Everyone was dancing, or making reasonable effort, and c'mon, that's all we're asking for. It was a nice counterpoint to the other shows I've been to in NY so far, which place much more of an emphasis on self-conscious posturing and posing than enjoying oneself. [Anyone else have this experience in NYC?] This crowd was much better than that, and had gotten over themselves sufficiently to get down. The music was pretty funky roots reggae, I'm not going to say it was awesome, but it was a solid live set. I was particularly impressed with TWO trombone players who were excellent, as well as the two vocalists who held their own. Being both in Williamsburg and at a reggae show, it was only a matter of time before some boldfaced self-righteousness entered the fray, which was delivered as if on cue by the male vocalist who exhorted us "not to eat the pork." I was cracking up at this point, finding it funny that the next song was all about, chorus and all, avoiding pork.

In all, a very entertaining weekend.

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