Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hello Summer

I've had so many lovely New York moments the last couple of weeks, sometimes I wonder whose life or what film I've inadvertently walked into.

It started in Brooklyn. I baked some previously-mentioned amazing cookies and joined two sisters and a roommate at Prospect Park in Brooklyn for some free tunes performed by The Low Anthem and The Swell Season. Brooklyn is the most charming if you're in the right part, I kind of wish I lived there. The line snaked out through the park, but we had no problem scoring an acceptable square of grass and proceeded to enjoy our delicious picnic. It was the perfect temperature, with delightful company (I get along with the hipsters of Brooklyn so much better than with the uppity socialites of Murray Hill), gorgeous sun falling through the leaves, and warm golden melodies floating back to us. The Swell Season was absolutely fantastic. I wouldn't mind seeing their act again at all. Glen was sufficiently passionate (read: VERY), and they even played my favorite song from the Once album, 'Golden'! I wouldn't have minded whiling away a couple of more hours lounging on our picnic blanket in the park (I. Love. Summer. Nights. In. The. Grass.), but everyone else was done in for the night so we joined the masses exodusing to the subway.

A couple of days later, a friend invited me to some Hitchcock on the big screen in the Upper West Side. Done and done. I know that any Hitchcock enthusiast would roll their eyes at this, but I couldn't stop thinking of Mad Men. And I felt great about that. If I wasn't in love with the style of the 60's before Mad Men, I surely am now. Some great shots, some great style, some classic Hitchcock.
Post-film, friend and I joined a friend of his at an exclusive rooftop lounge/bar in Soho. How rarely do I get to say that I got into somewhere exclusive because I know someone who knows someone? 'Just drop Vanessa's name at the door, and they'll show you right in.' And the view. AND THE VIEW. I'll leave it at that. Great company, great atmosphere, great music, great drinks, and that wasn't the end. The rooftop lounge closed, and The Friend told us that she and the girls always go down to a small swanky club downstairs for live salsa music every sunday after the rooftop closes. Our group hesitated in the lobby, but after hearing those familiar, delicious strains of salsa I said that we at least had to peek in. And then once we were in, I, at least, could not leave. It was indeed small and swanky, with an absolutely fantastic three-man salsa band. (Word has it they play for the Moore/Kutcher clan.) The vibe was perfect, and the dancers were skilled. We had corner seats, and enough dance partners to go around. Plenty of flirting to go around too, including a very attractive lesbian-- I was so flattered. The night was unexpected, unpredictable, and absolutely perfect. And I didn't even have to take the long subway ride home alone. (Hmm, I did not mean by that what you think I am implying...)

The work carries on, as ever. I continue to work about 60 hours a week, so yes, a late night like that in the middle of my work week does take a toll. But luckily, at the end of my work week, that one day when I might find an hour or two to take a breath before plunging into my next work week, my glorious Thursday, my absolutely wonderful boss treated me to a massage at the Caudalie Spa at The Plaza to reward me for my hard work. I arrived after a liesurely stroll through Central Park and took every spare minute I had to relax in that peaceful refuge. And took about one moment to feel imperiously impressive about having reason to be at The Plaza.
The next night I attended an absolutely lovely cocktail party in the Upper West Side. Dreamy apartment, dreamy company, and it might have been my first bona fide cocktail party. I made sure to enjoy that. Drinks with a girlfriend after that.

And, finally, on Sunday I attended a dear friend's going away party. I am absolutely not happy about this dear friend's departure (well, except for the important fact that this is a momentous and good move for him). But his going away party was so much fun. It started at a little Italian restaurant in the West Village, and continued on to Marie's Crisis Cafe-- a hole-in-the-wall piano bar where everyone gathers around the piano to belt out showtunes with each other. It is tiny, dirty, and perfect. Most of the people there were obviously regulars. The creator/producer of Glee joined us for a few songs, and though I sang my loveliest for him, he was making out with some guy so I'm pretty sure I didn't snag his attention. He requested Funny Girl. Typical. The night included many good songs, a few bizarre people, and some weird-therefore-perfect moments. The piano player made some very inappropriate gropes to some males of our party. There was also a very tanned, bleached, Big Papi rich man who apparently owned half of the Dominican Republic who could not tear himself away from the males of our party, and told me that when speaking Spanish I have no accent! There was also this BRILLIANT MOMENT: the room suddenly went silent (I was mid-conversation and was both shushed and snapped at), and this woman, who I'd assumed was homeless, emerged from the shadows under the stairs to sing us a truly glorious song. Everyone was transfixed, figuratively bowed down to her, and then she retreated back to her shadows, where she remained, silent and motionless, for the rest of the night. And finally, as it was time to depart, Michelle and I sang one last song. There weren't many people left in the bar, and my back was to the door. Somewhere near the end of the song, I saw Michelle's eyes widen as she looked behind me at the door. I turn my head, and making their entrance sidestepping down the staircase, is a trio of truly made-up fabulous drag queens. There is always something dream-like about a drag queen's entrance, let alone a trio. My West Village dream night was so deliciously complete at that moment.
Tomorrow night: stargazing in Central Park at midnight.