Thursday, August 19, 2010
July 4th, a retrospective
While we’re on the subject of missing our favorite people from Chicago, my sister Heather and brother-in-law Tom came to visit us on the 4th of July (god we haven’t posted in a long time)
If you don’t know my sister, she writes an infinitely braver and more inspiring (not to mention 10 times more prolific) blog here. She and Tom were in desperate need of a little impromptu vacationing. We were thrilled they picked NYC as one of their destinations.
Friday night was pizza at a new Mario Batali joint, where the waiter incorrectly corrected my pronunciation of the wine. Then, off to drinks at my current favorite 19th century Victorian bar Lillie’s in Union Square, where Heather noted how much more pleasant it is to be waited on by attractive people. We all agreed.
Saturday morning was a hike through Central Park, where we drank vodka lemonades at the boathouse to fuel our rowboat rental adventure. It turns out rowing a boat is hard work. And, according to the number of times we rammed other boats, sort of confusing.
After Central Park, we took a cab to Num Pang, a stupidly delicious Vietnamese sandwich joint near my office, where we crushed our sandwiches, discussed the porn movie theater across the street, and discovered I’d left my phone in the cab. Most. Rookie. Move. Ever.
When I called my phone, the cab driver answered. “I left my phone in your cab,” I enlightened him. “You left your phone in my cab,” he replied.
Apparently god wanted to prove to Heather and Tom that New Yorkers weren’t all dicks, because the next thing the cab driver said to me was, “I’ll drive it back to you.”
10 minutes later, the cab driver pulled up and handed me my phone. A drunken homeless guy passed by right at that moment to remind me, in case I hadn’t fully grasped the enormity of the event, “You a lucky motherf*cker.” I couldn’t agree more.
That night, we were hoping to catch a show at the Comedy Cellar, but it was sold out…yet again. So we improvised by going to an excellent Cuban restaurant in the East Village with crazy awesome weirdo mixed drinks, and freakishly good food. We ended the night at a new bar called 9th Ward, where Tom and I took turns scoffing at a sleeveless bartender.
Sunday was the 4th, so we took it easy, and did a little sneaker shopping for Tom. Heather picked out two pairs of super-Euro Puma slippers, before we decided men’s sneaker shopping was not her strong suit. We found Tom two pairs of sweet kicks and hit the road.
That evening was the big event-the fireworks. We bought tickets for a water taxi that takes you right out onto the Hudson, a couple hundred yards from the barge where they launch the fireworks. The show was incredible, I’m pretty sure. Anyway, we drank a ton of canned beer.
After a sloppy meal of Halal street meat right outside Heather and Tom’s hotel, Crissy and Heather decided the night should be over. And they were right. But just to be sure, Tom and I went to a local dive to play some pool. When we almost got our asses handed to us by obvious high school kids, we realized it was time to go home.
When they took off the following morning, Crissy and I were both sorry to see them go. But despite our sadness, their visit reminded me of the sage words a man once said to me:
“You a lucky motherf*cker.”
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