Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The days are just packed

I realize that I am describing last weekend... hopefully next week I'll get around to describing this weekend a little sooner.

No matter how tough work is, there's always the weekend. Last week was exhausting for me as far as work was concerned. I worked late every day, and got in early. When my assignment that had to be done by Friday was finally finished at 4:45 that afternoon, I knew I would be getting out of there promptly at 5:30, and I would *not* be thinking about it again for the next two days.

Saturday Jeeves and I hopped the train out to New Jersey to visit my pops. I worry about how my dad eats, so as I usually do on my visits to Jers, I planned to cook several large batches of food for him. To that end, Jeeves and I hit the Fairway in Paramus. Fairway, you are the grocery store love-of-my-life. Sadly, the experience was a little less fun than usual because they were remodeling. It was very difficult to find just about everything and there were so many people there, I felt about ready to throw elbows. So we got out of there as quick as we could.

I then got to enjoy cooking in my dad's very nice kitchen - wiener schnitzel and meatloaf. Hey, don't look at me - that's what he asked for! He likes to take the wiener schnitzel and put some anchovies and an egg on it, thus turning it into schnitzel a la Holstein. I then cooked dinner for the three of us, left a big mess for Dad to clean, and then Jeeves and I took the train back to the city.

When we got home, we couldn't figure out what to do for the evening. Eventually we settled on Smith and Mills, a very small bar and restaurant on N. Moore Street. The place occupies a former carriage house and it is tiny. There are only about 8 seats at the bar and about 8 tables in the room. In order to sit at a table, you have to be eating, which we were too stuffed to do. But we ordered our drinks and stood about. Now, when I am in a crowded bar, restaurant, whatever, I get very competitive about snatching seats. I eye everyone with a seat and try to figure out who will be leaving first. Then I position myself right near them, and as soon as they start to move, I pounce! Frankly, it's a little stressful, especially when I get into a staring contest with someone else who is doing the same thing I am. But in the end, it worked out and we got a great seat at the bar. My Old Fashioned was not traditional - there was actually a lot of seltzer in it, and some fruit that isn't traditionally in an Old Fashioned. But it was delicious and refreshing on such a hot night. And that's the thing. I'm not so sure that Smith and Mills is air-conditioned. It got pretty sticky and uncomfortable, especially as more people poured into the tiny space. So Jeeves and I decided to move on to The Brandy Library for another libation.

But when we got to the Brandy Library, there was actually a sign on the door that said "We are at capacity." I kid you not. The host couldn't be bothered to turn people away in person? Weird. Jeeves was tempted to go in anyway, but I figured why bother with a place that doesn't want us? Especially when Ward III is so close by.

Ward III has definitely become my favorite nice cocktail bar lately. I love the set up - a few small sitting areas in the front, the long bar that runs along the wall, and then a back area filled with more proper tables. They have some funky cocktails that are their own concoction, but in my opinion, they really shine when making classic cocktails. Their Manhattan may be the best in Manhattan that I have tried, and that's saying something. But what I really love about it is the staff. The bartenders are friendly but not snobby. And the waitresses (not trying to be sexist here, but I've only ever been waited on by women at Ward III) always go out of their way to find me a table. It's not that I'm special, or a regular - it's just how they are. While the decor can sometimes make this place seem a little too cool for school, and the hipster doing the tunes selection looked like he just got off the L train, I have never felt anything but 100% welcomed when I walked in the door. And that's even when I have walked in wearing sneakers and jeans - most of the clientele is wearing decidedly nicer duds than I usually am. But it's no matter.

Anyway, we finished off our Saturday night at Ward III and that was the end to a very fun and full day.

On Sunday, it was World Cup time. We had stupidly decided to host a little get-together at the last minute. I always like having people over, but not necessarily when I haven't had time to properly clean my apartment. And what about snacks? We needed snacks! It all worked out in the end thanks to the very speedy tidying skills of Jeeves and we had a lot of fun watching with some of Jeeves' law school friends. Well, at least it was fun to have the company... the game itself was pretty dullsville until Spain finally scored a goal in extra time.

After everyone left, we headed to the John Jay School of Criminal Justice. Shockingly, it wasn't for anything lawyerly, but for a concert of the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou. Poly-Rythmo is an afro-beat (and funk, and vodun, and soukous) band from Benin - they've been making music since the 1960s, and they have played all over Africa and in Europe, but last Sunday was the first time they played North America. They. were. amazing. Seriously, so full of joy, and I just don't know how you can hear their music and not want to dance. It was a great show.

When we finally straggled back down to Tribeca, we were both a little hungry, but still kind of bloated from all the snacks we had during the World Cup final. So we were in the mood for something light, but it being past 10, we were limited in our options. I suggested that we try The Odeon, which is super close to our apartment. We had never been there before. We both ordered BLTs, and I learned that Jeeves had never had a proper BLT before! Four and a half years together, and I still learn interesting things about my fella on a regular basis. The BLT was super - crisp bacon, thick tomatoes, fresh lettuce, served on a warm baguette. Yummy. But the best part was the awesome fingerling potato salad with grainy mustard. I want that recipe. We finished our meal by splitting a root beer float with Odeon's homemade vanilla ice cream.

It was a great weekend, and packed full of fun things. This weekend has been much quieter, and other than a few good recipes, will not warrant such a long post. I enjoy both types of weekends, the busy and the quiet. As long as they are filled with people I love and things I like to do, it's all good and it makes getting through the work week a little bit easier.

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