Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Birthday Weekend Shananagins

So my birthday weekend is finally over.  I am happy I got that blog about Saturday out of the way but it still left a mar on the weekend as a whole.  However, I still had a great birthday weekend.

It does seem that each year they get better.  This year I was invited to a surprise birthday dinner with my friends from trapeze.  I got the invite at the best moment possible since I had been completely mortified at work.  My boss (who truthfully thought I wouldn’t mind) had the department sing to me.  I take off to avoid that.  I don’t like it.  I had not had people sing “Happy Birthday” to me for a long time and when it happened in a large crowd on my 29th birthday it was very uncomfortable.  I just don’t care for that much attention.  I stayed during the singing Thursday but I fought myself to do so and when it was over I was shaking.  Then people kept trying to hug me and I was throwing them off.  I don't mind people approaching me just not in a crowd.  I take the day off and do my own thing for a reason, but its okay.  The idea of seeing my friends cheered me right back up.

We went to Fridays and because I know these people I kind of assumed I was going to get the wait staff singing.  It’s different with a small group.  It didn’t bother me.  I actually enjoyed it.  It was great to spend the evening with some of my favorite people.

Friday, I went into Manhattan.  It’s become a tradition of mine to spend the day in NYC.  For the most part I follow the same trail each year.  Even though I intend to wander I seem to always hit the same spots.  I did skip Saint Patrick’s this year though.

So I started my journey in Williamsburg and one of the reasons is because of where I get off the subway which is Union Square.  The second I walked out of the subway I heard carolers.   There was also a holiday market and a farmers market going on.  I hit up my favorite lunch place Pret-a-Manger.  I started eating there when I interned at Bridal Guide up on 57th forever ago.  I just learned last week that is it a UK chain.  The name is French, so I find this pretty surprising.  It’s good none-the-less.  I love their fresh half sandwiches and tasty desserts.  I hear their soup is pretty good as well.  We don’t have Pret out where I live.  So I jump when I get the chance to go.

One of the Macy's windows.

I then traveled up Broadway.  I stopped to take a peak at the Macy’s windows.  I didn’t find them impressive this year.  I really didn’t care for Yes Virgina.  The other side was more interesting but I believe the theme was a walk through classic holiday film.  They came across as reproductions of previous years.  Maybe they always are and I never noticed.  Last year the one side was all whimsical fairies.  Two of which returned for this year in the final window.  Took a browse through the Manhattan Mall.  Picked up the 2012 Fair Messenger ornament in their Hallmark.  I almost caved at a Boo plush.  Gush!  What a cutie.

I went up to Times Square and wandered around Toys R Us and then the Disney Store.  I actually only went into Disney because I had a coupon I received on Black Friday that was about to expire for a decent amount of money.  I didn’t find anything of interest in either store.  Because of this when in Disney I found a random shopper and passed my coupon on to her.  Why waste it if I am not going to use it?

Beetlejuice Tonner Doll
Afterward I wandered over to Radio City.  I saw the tree (looks the same).  Then I walked up 5th Avenue to FAO Schwarz.  I went to FAO last year and was not thrilled with it.  This year I had the completely opposite experience.  I made a point of really traveling the entire place.  I do still miss the old FAO since it’s much different, but the big piano is still there and Zoltar.  Plus I found the sweets area to be much better then Toys R Us.  They also have graphic novels courtesy of Midtown Comics.  Its also nice to see the collector dolls.  I haven’t seen Tonner at any conventions for the last few years, but FAO has them.  They also have the collector Barbie dolls, including the brand new Liz Taylor dolls.  I walked out of there with a plush Nerd and a mini Barbie calendar.

Train at FAO Schwartz

Love the costume.
After FAO I took a look at the 5th Avenue windows in the area.  Bergdof Goodman has the most interesting windows.  I didn’t take pictures because there was a crowd, but the theme appears to be 1920’s holiday party.  You can imagine my jaw falling to the floor since I like almost everything 1920’s.  It’s the bees knees!

During my journey I literally bumped into a ballerina on 5th Avenue.  She was dancing with a cavalier, but he had stepped away and I mistook him for a random passerby.  I stopped to take a picture of her and she started twirling backwards and almost took me out.  Definitely my favorite moment of my day wandering the city.  I have never seen ballet in the streets.  If they had a tip bucket out I would have tipped them.

I then hit up Starbucks hoping to charge my phone.  Unfortunately I happened to go into the only Starbucks with just two outlets available and both were occupied by laptops.  Bummer.  I enjoyed an apple cider anyway.  Plus my phone wasn’t dying.

I then wandered through Central Park on my way up to Lincoln Center.  I stopped to take photos for tourists and went into the mall in Columbus Circle.  I used to have a stigma about this mall.  I worked an event in this mall and for some reason I had this weird notion in my head that it was a ridiculously expensive mall.  It’s more like a ridiculously small mall and not that pricy.  I enjoyed their holiday stars hanging from the ceiling.  I was up on the third floor taking pictures and I GOT WOOZY looking down at the ground floor.  I fly trapeze but I got wobbly on the third floor of a mall.  Ummm… k.

Made my way up to Lincon Center to see The Big Apple Circus with one of my friends.  While waiting to meet up with my friend I sat down at the fountain and kept getting flanked by little kids.  It’s pretty crazy how they all get really excited about the fountain.  Three kids were sitting to my right and one of the parents was trying to get them to turn around for a picture.  It wasn’t happening.  They were not turning around.  The little boy (the youngest) kept scooting closer to the fountain and his mom kept pulling him back.  It’s like a natural response where the fountain was sucking the kids in.

The circus was amazing!  I like this years shows more then last years show.  Why?  Contortion.  That alone wins it for me.  I am dying to be able to do a back bend and I have only seen contortion performed at Barnum back in 2001.  I know a lot of people think it looks weird and it freaks them out but I find it to be amazing.  I will never have the bend this girl does because I am not 20 years old and I haven’t been training since I was 4 but I would love to be able to get into a pretzel.  Watching her was like being in a trance for me.

I also really enjoyed seeing Daniel Cyr perform his apparatus that he invented; the Cyr Wheel.  It was like watching a dream sequence.  He kept smiling through out the performance.  It was as thought he could talk to the wheel and it responded.  It was one of those performances where I knew when he came out it was going to be something to pay attention to prior to realizing who he was in regards to the apparatus.

The slack line was amazing.  I usually don’t care for slack line but this was truly special.  In fact, I really enjoyed all of the acts.  The only act I was so-so on was the horses.  Not because it was a bad performance.  It was a wonderful performance.  The horses were beautiful and it’s clear their trainer cares for them very much.  My friend and I both agreed that it just seemed like such a small place for so many horses.  However, this is a  VERY FAR CRY from the pink poodles of the Coleman Brothers Circus.  There is no need to dye the poodles pink.  It’s a cheap gimmick and not okay in my mind.   The dogs in the Big Apple Circus were awesome!  They really seemed like the happiest dogs I have ever seen and they are all rescued dogs.  Just like Circus Stella!  I know a few people in the circus circuit that work with rescue animals.  I guess it’s one more thing we all have in common.  A love for pain, bruises, and homeless animals.

After checking the program from last year, one of the reasons I liked this show better was the classic circus theme.  It’s their 35th anniversary and they took us through the history of the Big Apple Circus during the show.  Last year it was Dream Big and the costumes were unusual and more cirque then circus.  I really did not like the costumes last year.  I did miss Grandma this year!  I do hope Barry Lubin is doing well.

After the circus my friend and I went to Dallas BBQ’s for dinner, another favorite place of mine.  We do not have BBQ’s by me either.  It’s a chain I used to go to often in college and I still love it.  I had a Candy Apple Frozen Martini and it was delicious!

I then headed off to my awful Saturday, but Sunday was pretty fun.  I went to my aerials class and kicked out some lasting emotion with laughs and a good class.  I didn’t want to drive back to the city considering what had happened so my friend agreed to drive me and we both stayed out in the city for Forces the Movical.  I was a great show!  It’s pop action pushed to the edge.  I can’t even explain my favorite parts in a way that makes sense but I enjoyed the beginning where they were crashing into and flipping off of a Plexiglas structure in the middle of the stage.  Often popping off the frame seconds before the next body slammed into where the first body had been.  They then had an extreme tumbling session.  Smack, Boom, Crash.  Pounding onto the floor, flipping over each other just missing one another, with perfect timing.  My whole body hurt listening to the powerful impact at which their bodies hit the floor.  Men and women.  I can’t not mention my thought of how painful it has to be for the girls crashing onto their chests constantly.  My next favorite was this moon walk sequence where the performers are laying on the stage with a frame around the stage.  Their images are projected onto the screen and it looks as though they are walking on the moon.  Its so hard to describe.  There was another sequence where they were hooked into an hanger like apparatus that allowed them to walk on the wall and flip around as though they were walking on the ground.

It was a good show and a good way to end the weekend.  I think the best part of this birthday weekend was having it begin with some of my favorite people and end with the same people.  This upcoming weekend I have another birthday dinner.  Myself and two of my friends from work long ago keep trying to get together for birthday dinner every year and every year we forget to schedule it.  This year we did!  We all have December birthdays.

Even when I am in a funk, I know that I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for.  That goes for those that I didn’t get to see as well.  Love you all!

Radio City

Random sky picture.  That is Radio City to the left.

Central Park

Loud squirrel... guy ran up there and make a ton of noise when I had my back to him.

Columbus Circle Mall

Lincoln Center Fountain