Last weekend I left for NYC, with my next door super-fun-neighbor Jodie. We left early to go explore the city before meeting up with her friends, to see the 9th Annual Marc S. Zeplin Foundation Benefit Concert with Tramps Like Us at Crash Mansion in NYC.
We arrived and quickly ditched our bags so we could go walkin’ and the first stop on our list was The Clinton Street Baking Company. Jodie’s dear friend DeDe Lahman and her husband Neil Kleinberg own this amazing little eatery and quite frankly, I had no idea what I was walking into, right until the moment they put the pancake samples on the counter.
I have never ever in my life tasted pancakes like this. Did I say never? Okay, I don’t even care for pancakes all that much. But I knew right then why the line was all the way out the door and why people were waiting elbow to elbow. I wanted to grab Jodie by the shoulders and shake her, “What do you mean we have to grab a muffin and go!? We can wait the 40 minutes for a chair? Why not!? I don’t care if we miss all of NYC just so we can sit here and gorge ourselves on pancakes!” But I refrained and had a delicious blueberry muffin, which in it’s own right, was fabulous, but after those pancakes, nothing would compare.
Seriously, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you that right after our trip I ordered two copies of the Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook. Let me tell you, order it and see if I’m lying. Once you taste the special syrup on those babies, you’ll be writing me with warm words of thanks. Oh and, you’re welcome in advance.
Next Jodie and I hopped the subway. Yes, I am embarrassed to say, until Saturday, I was a subway virgin. And yes, I should be ashamed because I only live next door in CT. I tell you, I loved every second of it, even the noxious odor of subway fumes. Ahhhh…the city.
As we wait for the train, Jodie asks a handsome, very shy young man if we are getting on the right subway and he had no idea. By the time we got off the train, she had coerced him into sitting next to her and was giving him good advice about women. As we left, she jotted down his email and sent him on his way. I don’t think the poor kid knew what to make of the situation. And thank you Nelson, if you ever read this, you were very sweet.
As we sat at the bar, we were stunned as a knife fell from the top floor and hit the bar right in front of us. It sounded as if a glass had exploded and it nearly made me spit out my margarita. It would’ve been a tragedy – that was a good margarita. I’m not sure if the woman upstairs was aiming, but I’m glad she missed. That would’ve definitely left a mark.
Next, we went back to the hotel to meet up with Jodie’s college roommate Pam and Vini Lopez, Bruce Springsteen’s, E Street Band’s original drummer. Okay, that was a mouthful. Goodness. That Jodie knows everyone.
The next few hours we all spent laughing, eating, drinking and eating some more. We met up with Suzanne, Jodie’s high school friend from Maine and then we were off to a sound check with Vini at Crash Mansion. And low and behold, Jodie’s making friends with someone new. Pam looks at me and says, “She could make friends in a Turkish prison.” And I laughed right out loud because she could.
So Jodie walks over to us as we’re laughing and says, “I know her.” And when I asked where from, she told me to take a good look. I still had no idea who this girl was. I was then informed that her name was Katie Stevens, an American Idol finalist on the last season. Oh, of course. I should have known that. Too bad the last season was the only one I didn’t watch! Once Simon left, it broke my heart and I jumped ship. Sorry Katie.
We watched Katie’s sound check and waited for Vini and his friend’s Tinker West and Karen, then it was off to eat – AGAIN. This time at an Italian restaurant, where the waiter corrected me on my pronunciation of brushetta. Broo-shket-ta. Every time I think of this scene, I want to break out with a Billy Joel song. I think somewhere in here we ate like three times, but who’s counting…ehem. The darn SCALE, that’s who!
By the time we returned to Crash Mansion, my off switch was flickering at the very late hour of 10:00 pm. I know, I know, but my late nights are over. We were in a club that was so crowded, you were making progress if you could raise your hand to wipe away an eyelash. And even though we found a seat, I was then staring at a multitude of spandex and back fat, which only made me more tired. Pam then looked at me and, “I’m ready.” And I said, “Wait for me!” And we hailed a cab, which tried to run us around to up the fare. I was too tired to argue, sure what’s one more block. Have at it.
I heard the night owls trickling in, but the bed at the Mulberry Street Hotel was might comfy and I went right back to sleep until my phone alarm on my Blackberry went off at FIVE AM. Lucky me. Nice job forgetting to deactivate that on the weekend my ONLY time away. I stayed in bed until I heard my roommates rustling and then it was off to walk Suzanne to the train and find a Starbucks. Two blocks over baby. Yes!
After that, the rest of us gathered for breakfast and said our goodbyes. Sigh…wish it was longer. A really fun weekend, but all good things must end.
I uploaded various images from my trip that were taken with my Nikon. I wouldn’t dare bring my Canon, not knowing where we would end up. Most of the whole trip, we were moving so quickly, that I didn’t have time to compose a shot, or even stop for one, so almost all of these were taken as I was walking through NY. And I’m glad to have every one of them.
Thank you to my amazing, wonderful sister and brother-in-law for watching the children. And since one or both may have behaved badly this weekend, I use the term children loosely.