Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bar Boulud Birthdays

     As I write this now, I'm asking my dad how to spell "Bar Boulud" (spellcheck saves my life, but however it's not always reliable), so my dad, being the ghostwriter that he is, calmly tells my how to spell the restaurant's name. He then adds, "Reading your mother's post, she includes the name several times, and you'll seem very impressive."
     Does that make me a hypocrite?
     Anyways, it was my little brother's eleventh birthday on Wednesday, and he was very excited. As a special treat, our family decided to meet at a lovely restaurant called Bar Boulud, which is across the street from Lincoln Center. I went there once before with my dad; I don't remember the occasion, but the food was very modern and lovely.
     Yesterday, however, was not the best day for me, travel wise.
     My school had changed its location just yesterday, more than 10 blocks north than my old school, and still on York Avenue. Apparently, the principle was not in favor of my personal travel locations. Usually, on Wednesdays, my schedule goes as follows: Get up, dressed, eat breakfast, out the door in a span of 45 minutes, get to school an hour later, climb the 5 flights of stairs before 9:00 am (yes, F-I-V-E flights of stairs and N-I-N-E o'clock. Lots of stories follow.). After homeroom, Art, Spanish, Science, Math, Lunch, homeroom with 20 minutes of reading, and double Humanities periods. Then, at 3:30 school gets out, get on the bus to go home, do *neglect* homework, listen to music, read, and then whatever happens during the time I get home to the time I go to bed.
     This Wednesday was different. Yes, my class periods were the same, but there is a transportation story coming. After school, I had a voice lesson across the park and almost a mile away. My after school schedule for that day was as follows: Run out of the new building, walk down to the 86th street bus instead of the one on 79th street, but no bus. Walk across the park, when I was about 2/3rds of the way there, I see the bus. I try *fail* to catch up with it, and 17 seconds later, another bus comes. I fail to catch that one, too. When I see a 3rd bus, I sprint for all the skipped track practices that I'm worth and catch the bus, at 5th avenue, and completely through the park. Panting and wheezing, I stick in my iPod headphones/earphones, and relax.
     For about four stops. There was a lot of traffic on Broadway, and through several minutes of honking, swerving, and truck-stop speak, the bus finally came to a wheezing end. I ran off the bus, and started on my merry way to my voice lesson. Another 15 blocks. Thankfully, I had my trusty iPod with me, and I arrived at 4:30, exactly.
     When I finished with my voice lesson at 5:30, I received a text message from my mom. (I'm so proud.) "See you at the restaurant!" At a brisk pace, I texted her back, saying: "OK, it's at 6, right?" at about 73rd street. A few minutes later, I received another message saying, "No, 5:30."
     I took off at a sprint, yet again. I was able to text and run at the same time, miraculously, (miraculously, I spelled that right without any help from SpellCheck) and I made it to Bar Boulud at 5:45, sweating, in a huff, and hungry.
     Mom arrived at 6:00 with her own traffic story to tell. The waitress took our orders, and I ordered a Virgin Mojito (that's probably going to be my signature drink) and a steak with fries. Hey, I was in the mood for a good, wholesome steak. Dash, (my brother, short for Dashiell) also ordered the steak and a Shirley Temple. A Shirley Temple is Sprite mixed with cherry juice. Dash has a thing for those. I don't remember what my parents ordered, or how to pronounce, much less spell their meals. They both ordered Rosemary Lemonade as well.
     In our family, we have a non-established tradition of sharing our drinks at dinner. Dash's Shirley Temple was a little too sweet for my taste, but I really liked the Rosemary Lemonade. It was unusual, I could taste the lemonade, but the rosemary was nowhere near subtle. It was a very refreshing blend of a drink. My Virgin Mojito was also very good, but I gulped it down before anyone could ask for a sip.
     By the time our food arrived, Dash had polished off all the bread and his drink, Dad was shooting dirty looks at the waitress, and mom had gotten lost on the way to the bathroom (you're not alone, out there). The steak was very good, very homey. Dessert was fun. I ordered a chocolate mousse, Dad and Mom shared an ice cream/sorbet/thing that was pink and white, with little fruit that had the look texture of little jellyfish. Dash, of course, being the birthday boy, got two little desserts. One of which was a mango and passion fruit sorbet, with a little candle stuck in the scoop, and "Happy Birthday" written in melted chocolate on the plate.
     I guess if it's your birthday, you can stick a candle in absolutely anything.
     Just as a warning, I won't be able to write all the time, but I'll sneak in little stories here and then. But for now, here's to crazy traffic, birthday candles, and special occasions.


  1. Sounds like a very busy day! I guess, I get used to just jumping in the car to get where I want to go. You and Dash are growing so fast.

    I am very impressed with your blog and your writing skills. It is fun to read. The whole idea of the blog is great. Some of my best memories are dining with friends and family. I could tell you many stories of dining with your mom.

  2. Oh, no, you can only share fun stories -- don't corrupt my kids with stories about what I mean sister I was. I don't want Kate and Dash to think I'm no perfect! :)


  3. I love the two different versions of this restaurant experience :) I don't have sense of direction either, Marcia. You're not alone ;)