Sunday, August 8, 2010

I had a great 40th Birthday in NYC. I was a little worried since I have a total of three friends in the city and one of them was out of town, but it was fabulous!

I slept pretty late as usual, but finally got myself out of bed and decided to go out for lunch. I walked around for probably 20 minutes trying to decide what I wanted to eat. I headed over to Amy’s Bread for a sandwich, but as is typical at lunchtime on any given day there was a line out the door. Plus, it’s not really a sit down restaurant and since it was my birthday I kind of wanted to have a leisurely lunch.

I decided I wanted breakfast. Since it was 1:00pm my choices were limited so I headed to the Westway Diner, one of my local favorites. They don’t have grits, but their breakfast is pretty good and served 24 hours. The hostess seated me right by the window in the front of the restaurant. It was the perfect spot for my birthday breakfast. I had been there a couple of minutes when a man was seated next to me. The waiter came back and I ordered my breakfast. Then my neighbor ordered breakfast too! It was 1pm and we were the only two people in the restaurant eating breakfast. As soon as he finished ordering he leaned over to me and said, “You’re a breakfast eater too, huh?” I told him that southern breakfast was my favorite and explained how I can’t get grits anywhere up here and when I do find them, they are not very good so I’ve ended up making them at home a lot. I mentioned that I had just moved to New York from Atlanta and that it was my birthday. He told me about how he lives in Chicago and commutes to New York every week for work. Our breakfasts arrived and we talked all throughout the meal. He told me about lots of “southern” restaurants in the city and about his favorite breakfast spots in my neighborhood. Since it was my birthday, he bought my breakfast and said he would like to buy me a drink later if I was free. I had plans for dinner, but said I might give him a call afterward. We exchanged numbers, I thanked him for breakfast and we went our separate ways. I had quite the spring in my step as I left. I might be 40, but I’ve still got it!

I went to the wine store and cheese shop next to get party supplies for later. Then I had a birthday pedicure. My toes are REALLY hot pink! Guess I wanted to make sure I didn’t look my age, even though I was just picked up at the Westway Diner. I met a lady there whose birthday was 2 days after mine and saw some people with really ugly feet. It made me grateful to have pretty feet.

After my pedicure, time started moving really fast since my friends were due at my place around 6:00pm. I still needed to shower and my toes weren’t quite dry. I managed to get myself ready and set up the wine and cheese party. Brian, my new friend who lives across the street got here around 6:30. Andrew was a few minutes behind him and as I mentioned my third friend, Ira, was out of town. Except for Diner Guy, those are the only 3 people I know in town. We had a great time socializing over wine and cheese. Brian brought me a really cool book about New York “Then and Now.” I’ve really enjoyed reading it and learning some of the history of my new city. I think he and I are going to be really good friends.

Around 7:30, Andrew, Brian, and I walked over to Basilica for my birthday dinner. The food was fantastic! I had manicotti and a lovely glass of Chianti. Andrew had some ravioli that I plan to get next time I go there. His was really good. The waiter brought us complimentary after dinner Amaretto for my birthday. We had a great time chatting and hanging out over great food and wine.

As I figured, Andrew and Brian weren’t up for a late Monday night so after dinner I called Diner Guy. I don’t think he was expecting me to call, but he was more than happy to come out and meet me for a drink. We went to a local wine bar and drank more wine. A lot more wine! I would like to tell you how well behaved I was, but I’m sure you know me better than that. I’ll leave the details to your imagination!

P.S. I saw him again on Tuesday…..to be continued……..