Saturday, August 30, 2008
I had been hearing for months about a bus leaving from the Beatrice Inn that was going to take friends and family of the Bea to their new boite in Atlantic City.
Matthew and I finally nailed down a weekend for me to come out, Horacio at the NYT asked me to cover it for them and I dragged Justin along for company. Well Justin and I arrived at the Beatrice on Saturday at six to find noting but West Village neighbors giving us strange looks wondering why we were sitting on the stoop of the infamous club at 6pm.
After a text and a call I find out wires had been crossed and the bus left on FRIDAY. So with eyes rolling, Justin and I head to Port Authority and take a God-awful Greyhound to the shiny city on the coast arriving at 8:30.
The hotel is quite swank although there are still plenty of Joisey people milling about. But hey, when in Rome! Justin in I checked in, showered, dressed and headed to the soon to be famous fifth floor where the club, pool and steak house are located for a quick drink before dinner.
Since the steak house was booked we headed to the just opened diner, which was fine and dandy, although the sweet staff was a bit confused. But if I was a coastal boy serving Chloe Sevigny and her entire posse on my first night I may have the jitters too.
Paul was kind enough to give us a tour of the soon to be opened spa and new rooms before we finished dinner and headed back to the rooms for costume changes!
Justin bought us matching tee shirts that said 'We pack all faces' resplendent with faces of all the Presidents on US dollars and much gold glitter. With our new outfits on we headed down to bar and found a whole load of friends from the city: Jamie Rosenthal, Katie Lanphear, Hanuk, Victor Glemaud and Matthew and his new wife.
I interviewed the developer Curtis Bashaw, who was quite fun and he also renovated one of my favorite hotels in Cape May, Congress Hall. I then interviewed Chloe who is always so charming and friendly. THEN I took my Blackberry to my room and got my party on!
Can't tell you much about the rest of the night except for that I made another costume change, danced till dawn and had a blast.
Justin woke me up at 1pm the next day and we hung out by the pool and chatted with all the other kids. By 3pm we were ready to go so we packed up and headed back on the Greyhound for a grueling 3.5-hour trip home. So we never got to try out the Beatrice party bus! And next time (hoping to go back for the grand opening in October!) I want to take that damn seaplane Chloe and Paul took. 40 min from Manhattan to AC? That’s the deal for me.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Last weekend mama brought two of my nieces up to visit me and get the grand tour of Manhattan.
Grand it was!
Danielle had been up here before when I lived with Rick in NoLita. That was in 2002.
This time she was a little older and able to appreciate everything more and had the energy to keep up with her old uncle!
Last time she was up here she said she never knew her feet could hurt like they did. Ha.
The troop arrived late Thursday night. Wired with nowhere to go I suggested a tour of Harlem in the pajamas.
I have never seen them so excited. "Our mom's never let us leave the house in our PJ's!" they exclaimed in unison.
"Well you're in Harlem now kids. Thats the style du jour around here!" I replied.
We walked over to Harriet Tubman and toured my block at 1am to their delight. The cops pulled up asking what we were doing. I touted my Block President status and they bid us a great trip.
Friday we spent most of the morning at the Natural History Museum which was great fun. I haven't been there in ages. Then we headed to POP burger for some lunch fuel and as we headed to The Plaza for a peep two rickshaw drivers offered us a tour of Central Park. Why not? We had a blast. The boys knew all the ins and outs of the park including loads of history. Not to mention they were cute and never used the breaks flying down hills. The girls saw Bethesda Fountain, Strawberry Fields and Tavern on the Green. We even saw the hot air balloon installed just for the summer.
That night we got dolled up and took Fay, Olivia and Frankie with us to the Lotos Club. I thought the girls may find it a yawn but it was a real highlight. I guess it isn't everyday one gets to dine in an old Vanderbilt mansion.
Lucy had a party that night so we headed over there for a night cap. The girls loved her friends and amazing house. I was thoroughly in love with the bottle of wine Lucy anchored in front of me. Whoops.
Saturday we took the Big Red bus tour all over the City. OK people, it's not that bad! I had a great time! We stopped off in Soho and ate at Elizabeth , bought up H&M and hit the Puma store where Danielle found some new kicks.
We took the bus back around to Time Square and then hit the road back down to the South Street Seaport for the sunset cruise to see the waterfalls. Another highlight for the girls and Mama.
Wearily we headed to the Maritime for a quiet dinner and we were in bed by 11pm.
Sunday was the traditional brunch at Melbas. Divine as always.
They packed up, whined about going back to their 'boring old lives' and hoped in a taxi for LaGuardia.
If I don't get the title of Uncle Mame for that trip then I surrender.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Linnea and I decided that before we make our weekly Sunday night dinner with our CSA vegetables, that we would take my Jackalope for a spin though Harlem.
WOW I had no idea nobody knew what Jackalopes are! We had kids and adults alike scream, shout our run up and pet it. Out of 20 people who said something, only one person knew it was a Jackalope and gave a smile and a laugh. Everyone else asked if it was real and if they could pet it. Amazing!
'Jack' checked out the slide, gazed at the geese and even borrowed my glasses to get a good look at the local flora.
The dog, Casey, was especially curious about our Jackalope and gave her an old college sniff. At one point we let Jackalope chill on the benches so she could admire the waterfalls in Morningside Park. You can see here that one man found her most curious.
If you are ever bored simply take your Jackalope for a spin through your neighborhood or even the mall. You will certainly be the bell of the ball.
Justin and I had a much needed respite from the Big City this weekend at Jamie Drake's delicious home, 'The Drake Estate' as we like to call it.
We took the Hamptons Luxury Liner out there because Justin insisted it is the chicest way to go. Well we get out of the tunnel and the bus breaks down! We end up in a car service with a driver who doesn't know where the Hamptons are. Great.
Friday night we had a quiet dinner with nine guests and a very giddy cocktail hour afterwards.
Saturday was pool, sun, lunch for 19 people and a quick trip to the gay beach where we saw our own version of the Montauk Monster. Dinner that night was for 12 and Justin and I started a dance party afterwards.
Today was calm and cool and most of the house guests left so we had a day on the DL before Jamie graciously drove us home.
Thank you Jamie for an amazing, amusing and relaxing weekend.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Last night Price organized a pile of us to take a sunset boat cruise to see all the waterfalls installed around the waterfront for the summer.
The waterfalls were interesting, the tour guide was painful, the bar was rather simple but the sunset was ASTOUNDING.
Lady Liberty never looked so pretty.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Last Sunday Lucy invited up a select few to her parents maison in Westchester for a dip in the pool and sip at the bar and a feast at the table.
Matt and I took the train up and met Lucy and Megan at the station. We had barely darkened the door before we had a glass of wine in our hands. That’s my kind of house warming!
Steven and Tina escorted us out to the pool and we had a hearty goss then took a plunge before the deluge that poured down for the rest of the afternoon.
But a little precipitation couldn't harm our lackadaisical Sunday in the country.
Megan was quick to pop open another bottle of Vino and Lucy had us all play 'Celebrity' in the living room.
Whoever thought of putting Louis Pasteur in the mix was a major buzz kill.
Just as we were winding down our game Tina found the party box in the attic and we spent several hours trying on wigs, fondling party decor and gorging on homemade guacamole dip.
Dinner was served and I wasn't scared to pile my plate with Halibut, Swordfish and Tuna. Never a soul goes hungry in the Lang household!
Unfortunately our Metro North train beckoned so we bid the crew adieu and headed back to the city, but not without a bottle cleverly disguised in a plastic bag. I know, I know, Devil-may-care!
Today has been a high stress day.
Hell it has been a high stress week!
Writing gigs for people who don't know what they want, dramatic dinners and heat on the streets in Manhattan.
I need a cool breeze! Or at least a Bacardi Breezer. Kidding.
But today in my fit of frustration I head downstairs to collect the mail.
What do I find but a hand written letter from an old friend.
Now I am NOT discrediting any of you people who send kind 'Thank Yous' for birthday dinners, presents or nights on the town.
Keep em coming!
But a letter from someone who truly doesn't know how to use a computer, who I have known since a child, and who has been corresponding via snail mail for some 20 years means a great deal.
Marie Thomas worked at the Ponte Vedra Beach Club in Jacksonville Florida for eons.
I grew up here every summer until I was in my teens.
And Marie was there every year. She saw me fly my first kite, curl up in bed exhausted after my first swimming lessons and lay prone on the floor in anguish from my first sunburn. I can still remember the floors of our little cottages we would rent for two weeks, now demolished for mega resort rooms.
We send each other cards for birthdays and Christmas and occasionally just for fun. This letter was all about her big birthday party. He daughter had 70 people to her home and served up some mean soul food. Wish I were invited!
She always asks about my parents, sisters and my grandfather, 'Mr. Crawley'.
In these days of email and text messaging, there is no better feeling than to peel open an envelope (that is not a bill), sit back, read and smile.