On Wednesday afternoon, I took the train back to Manhattan for the purpose of an evening with friends, and most importantly, a springtime after-school concert featuring my beloved nephew. Having lived in Paris for a few years now, I think I sort of generally block out the irritating parts of Manhattan in my memory... like the fact that trying to walk down a sidewalk in Midtown during rush hour is painful to the point of agony and it therefore takes one million years to walk from Grand Central Station to 10th Avenue circa West 50th street. So when I stopped at Magnolia Bakery to by myself a banana pudding and my nephew a celebratory cupcake, I soon found that I was hoofing it through swarms of foot traffic and sweating like I was somewhere down south and not in the tristate area.
Happily I made it to my favorite-child-in-the-universe's school with seconds to spare... Precious seconds that allowed me the opportunity to experience one of the greatest performances ever given. Watching children amidst the burgeoning years of creativity dance their hearts out on a stage in front of family and friends is probably one of the most joyous things you could ever do with your time. They are so full of passion and energy, some as shy as wallflowers while others (my darling boy front and center) so revved up and full of genius that they can't help but burst with pride and spazzy dance moves galore. It is a pristine reminder of how important it is to truly live and love out loud.
After a rousing encore, our little family unit went off to celebrate the star performer over burgers and shakes at Schnippers, a Shake Shack-esque establishment without the obnoxious lines and overdone hype. Our little diva soon become rundown with the exhilaration of his weighty performance so Brother and Sister-in-law swept him on home and I went off to meet my friends for the evening.
Way back in the day, when I worked and breathed Midtown Manhattan, I often went to an Irish pub after work with my various restaurant coworkers. One in particular was originally called Harmony, now renamed Emmett O'Lunney's, so I thought it easiest and most convenient to bring my motley crew to a nostalgic rendezvous point. I had NYC friends, college friends, and even a friend from Paris stop by for a drink or two throughout the night. And after most people went home, one of my dearest (and most frustratingly MIA) friends of all time took me for a night cap on the rooftop deck of the Hyatt Hotel in Times Square. Despite my complete revulsion of Times Square almost all of time, the lights and stars of NYC were nothing less than perfection.