Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Such a Great Birthday!

Despite my best efforts, I managed to age another year. A few more wrinkles, a few more grey hairs (who am I kidding, I've been greying since I was 12) a few more pounds... none of these are things I look forward to.

Easing my way into old aged-ness was made more bearable by the immense generosity and kindness of my friends and family. Everyone made the day/weekend so wonderful! All the presents! All the food! All the cake! Oh My! I was definitely feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.

Being 21 is certainly a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it!

Mina and I joined Julia and her mom, Nataliya for a "ladies who lunch" afternoon. The younger set lift their glasses and say, "Cheers!"

Yes, she is standing on her chair. But, you see - she's the second child. Absolutely nothing embarrasses me anymore. She could be dancing a jig and blowing kisses at the waiters - I wouldn't care. As long as she wasn't physically hurting someone else, I am immune. Immune to stares, comments, etc.

Especially on my birthday. I'm just eating over here.

Our very generous hosts.

Judging from the size of these portions, can anyone guess where we ate? And don't scroll up, because the name is on one of the pictures.

While I was desperately trying to sweat away the calories at the gym, the kids got some help from our babysitter and baked me a cake. I know she has to graduate from high school this summer and go to college, but I might have to kidnap her now.


It was my absolute favorite - chocolate with chocolate. As much as I love to cook - there is nothing I love more than box cake. I am dead serious. It is the greatest thing in the world, and I don't care how many food snobs I alienate. Give me Dunkin Hines anytime. I also love Carvel Fudgie the Whale cakes too. I know. I can be pretty plebian.

Later, at Daniel, I tried to regain some of my foodie cred. The lamb. Oh yum. Yum, yum. And to top it off - Daniel Boulud was actually at the restaurant!!! He was wandering around chatting with the patrons, albeit in French. I'm not sure how to put this in perspective. It's kind of like seeing a celebrity in person, except this one actually does something useful - he can cook. Really cook. And you just want to reach out and touch him or admire the cooking scars on his hands. Am I fawning? Ok, I was a little. I guess it was like eating at Disney world and having Mickey Mouse come over to your table. Exept, of course, I had no autograph book, and I think I would have humilated myself and Jeff beyond belief if I acted so gauche as to make a scene. I did want to jump up and down and giggle and whisper loudly, but I restrained myself.

More meat on Jeff's side of the table.

And dessert. Oh cheese! I love you.

Over the weekend, Jeff and I did something fun. We headed into the city to catch a screening of 759: Boy Scouts of Harlem. A good friend of mine from elementary school (!) produced and directed this movie. In between running a successful business, travelling the world for a year, getting married, and having a baby, of course.

From the beginning, it had me hooked. A little Stand by Me, a little Spelling Bee - the movie chronicles the summer adventures of small pack of boys journeying from the safe streets of Harlem to the wilderness of Scout Camp a few miles away. You can't help but cheer these kids on. Each challenge they overcame had me sniffing back tears in the audience.

A great movie - one of hope and optimism.

The producers/directors of 759: Boy Scouts of Harlem - Justin Szlasa and Jake Boritt, introducing the movie at the Intrepid.

Here's a peek from the trailer on You Tube.

It was also pretty neat being on the Intrepid. Here's a few shots.

And I learned something new - the screening room of the Intrepid, where we watched the movie, was actually an elevator used to lift the planes onto the flight deck. To get a sense of it, you'd have to appreciate the enormity of the room. But it was pretty neat imagining the planes that had once been carried in the belly of that beast. And another neat thing - in the early days of US space travel, the Intrepid was used to retrieve astronauts who had reorbited back to Earth and landed in the ocean. Can you imagine? Floating around in the ocean, after a trip to the moon - and here comes the Intrepid to pick you up. That's what I call door-to-door service.
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