Sat, Nov 7 – Birthday

– Woke up with sunlight on my face for the first time in a long time. Also with a hangover, which is more common.

Rach and I scooted over to Peter Pan for bagels and milky iced coffees, took our haul to a park bench to people-watch and leaf-peep. Then a walk to the L train in Williamsburg, a transfer to the 4, an express ride uptown to 59th Street. We strolled around, ended up by the pond in Central Park. I ate a churro. We paused for a Guinness and an undrinkable Bloody Mary at an Irish pub that had strung hundred police and firefighter patches up along the bar. Mark and Ali met us there, then delivered us into the Moma for super cheap. We checked out their Pablo Picasso sculpture exhibit, which the Times called a “once-in-a-lifetime event.” Totally amazing. Pablo was a very prolific sculptor, I was surprised to find out, and he experimented with a ton of materials and styles. He loved to draw funny little faces on huge, hulking constructs. Also balls. Everything had to have balls.

Mark and Ali took off, Rachel and I split a cheeseburger at a diner down the block while we waited for her friends Kate and Danny to meet us. It had gotten chilly and, after we were denied by the F train not running downtown, we walked back to the 6, took a long ride to Bleecker St in the East Village. We hiked from there to Upright Citizens Brigade East, tried to get tickets for the 10 p.m. show, which had already sold out. We were told to come a bit early, see if they could squeeze us in. From there, another hike to 169 Bar, a New Orleans-themed dive I’d read about on Thrillest straddling the East Village and Chinatown. An old woman shucked oysters in the corner while Rachel drank a pickle martini and I calmed a Hurricane. I waited in line for the bathroom next to a girl with the coolest hair I’ve ever seen, a full afro but parted completely to one side. The server brought us whisky shots for my birthday.

We hopped in a cab to make our dinner reservation at Pala, shared a bunch of different pizzas. Super good. Danny is in medical school and spent some time offering free diagnoses to the table. After dinner, a quick walk back to UCB, where we got seats in the very last row in the bizarrely deep theatre for a weekly improv show called What I Did for Love. It was really good, if occasionally inaudible. Then a nightcap next door at a Mexican place.

Rachel and I took a cab back to Brooklyn, stopped by a bar a couple blocks from my apartment where Walton was having his birthday party. I’d passed it a few times and never thought much of it. It looks like any old neighborhood dive. But the place, Capri Social Club, was rollicking. There’s even a dance floor in the back, which I’m psyched to occupy on a later date. Walton was in great spirits, handing out dollar Jello shots, getting hoisted on shoulders above the crowds to cheers of happy birthday. Somebody named Texas, I think, was passing out little gold star stickers that everybody put on their foreheads. If you wore one, you were required to do whatever anybody dared you to do. Rachel dared Walton to do a handstand, and, God love him, he tried. A drunk girl talked to us for awhile about how much she loves her brother. But we were tired, had walked I’d guess 7 or 8 miles over the course of the day, and called it a night while the party was still on its upward climb into space.


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