My actual birthday! One of the best presents was the arrival of Susan and Elo - however, they arrived bright and early (actual time: 11:30am) while the four of us were still sleeping off White Castle and Manhattans.
We eventually got going and went downtown on the subway. Paul was on a Canal Street mission - fake bags, watches, a misspelled belt buckle and a back alley experience. Mission Accomplished!
We did some shopping, had pizza in Little Italy despite this disconcerting sign:
(how is this possible?!) and meandered through the tiny, winding streets.
We wandered into a gelato photo shoot:
Then it was time to chill for a bit before heading out for dinner and Melebrating. All I really wanted to do for my actual birthday night was have a great dinner and go dancing. Crazy, happy, jumping around dancing. I didn't want to go to some hip club you need a key for or a lounge where everyone sits around sulking about how cool they are. I just wanted to have fun.
We had a dinner reservation at Social in the Village at 11:30. At first, the proffered reservation times were shocking, but really they worked out perfectly. Dining out is THE main event here - it's not like you just go for dinner to eat; you go for your night. Susan was hilarious when we told her how late we were eating. With a toddler at home, she's used to typical dinner times.
We had cocktails at a nearby bar while waiting for our table...
...then sat down to one of the best dining experiences of my life. The food was amazing - small, sharing style - the cocktails were unique (Black Magic - Guinness & Champagne), the service was surprisingly warm and friendly, great background music and phenomenal company.
It was such a beautiful night for me. I'd been lucky enough to receive many texts, emails, Facebook birthday messages and calls from friends and loved ones all day and then to be at this amazing dinner feeling the warmth and love of my friends - all in the greatest city I've been visited....it was epic. Thank goodness they didn't give me my birthday card at the restaurant, I would have lost it.
After dinner, around 1:30am, I was starting to mildly worry that I wouldn't be able to find that *perfect* club for dancing. However, around the corner, we ended up checking out Libation. Here is us, faux impatient, waiting in the quickest club line ever - Elo is pretending she doesn't know us.
We danced the night away at this club and it was absolute perfection. Here's why:
- cheaper cover than in Toronto
- line wait was less than 5 minutes
- bouncer named "Meatball" let me in for free
- the first song I heard was one of my favourite all-time happy songs (Yes, the one by Nelly)
- the next song was the theme to Fresh Prince of BelAir...with EVERYONE singing along
- the rest of the music was awesome - from Motown to current hip-hop to Mariah Carey...I'm pretty sure the song list was custom made for me
The entire day and night were exactly how I wanted to ring in my 30th birthday. With people I love, on a grand scale, something memorable and amazing free-wheelin' dancing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!