Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

On Dec. 30, I landed in Newark at 8:15 p.m., and it took me quite a while to make my way into the city and, subsequently, to Riza’s apartment in Queens. It’s funny, my friends were all, “We miss you, we miss you, when are you coming to New York?” Then when I announced I was coming, they were all, “Yay! Erm…who are you staying with?”

It’s not really their fault. Most of my friends have cramped quarters. Laura and Ryan share a one-bedroom apartment. They both teach in the Bronx, and Ryan is in the Teaching Fellows program getting his degree at night. Madrid and Chris share a one-bedroom apartment, and Chris is rather ill. Well, he’s getting over being rather ill, but he’s not up to a long-term visitor. Plus, it would be super crowded with his home-care nurse there, too. Carolina lives with her parents up in…Northchester? Westchester? I don’t know, one of the Chesters, too far from the city and public transportation. I apparently don’t have Lex’s correct phone number, still. So I started out at Riza’s.

I’ve always liked Riza. We’re just not quite as close as I am with some of my other NYC friends because she entered a rather consuming relationship right after we met, so she and I didn’t get to hang out as much. We were always, "Aw, Riza's not coming? Maybe next time." She has been much more social as late...impressively outgoing and adventurous, in fact. Riza is turning over a new leaf. She is also a consummate hostess. She and her dating-friend Aki (spelling?) met me at the subway station and helped me to haul my luggage to her apartment. He seems like a nice guy. I was tuckered out, and ended up going to bed while they were still watching movies.

The next day, Riza and I went shopping for some supplies. I needed stockings, gloves and an umbrella. Riza wanted to find a specific present to give the girls. She wanted us all to have the hugging salt and pepper shakers we used to play with at Blue Angel (see photo above, left). I had seen them in Union Square, so we went to Filene’s Basement for my supplies, grabbed a yummy lunch at Coffee Shop Bar an then found the shakers. Then we went back to the apartment for a nap, followed by primping.

We met up with Aki, bought some champagne to bring to the
party and rushed off to Pangaea to meet Carolina, Ryan and Laura for dinner. There was so much food! I ordered an appetizer (scrumptious shrimp in a lemony wine and white bean sauce), and it was enough to fill me up. Riza is a tiny girl, but she ate a huge meal and ordered dessert, God love her! Thankfully, she gave me
a bite or two.

Then it was off to Teke (TK?) and Jay’s party. (Note to self: kneeling and bending sideways does not make one look attractive in a photograph.) This is my third time at their party, and it’s always great. It’s held in this amazing loft that belongs to their parents. They occupy it when the parents are out of the country…which is often. I’ve met the hosts several times, but I don’t actually know them. They don’t mind. In fact, they told Madrid everyone bearing booze was welcome. We all met up with Madrid, as well as Jenny Levy, Irena and their boyfriends. We all had so much fun talking and laughing and drinking. My, oh my, the drinking. I am ashamed to admit I got in too deep and had to resort to tickling my tonsils in the bathroom to avoid extreme inebriation. Soon, I was glad I had.

Eventually, several of us left and ended up at Bull McCabe’s…which is precisely the routine from two New Year’s ago! Huh. Before too long, some up us were all partied out. Well, to be honest, Carolina started puking her guts out (and continued to do so all today) so we all headed home. I hope Laura doesn't tease her about it too much. She loves that stuff. (Just kidding, Laura. You know I love you.) Riza, her friend (grr…what was that girl’s name?) and I were shivering because we had worn dresses out into the cold January night, but we strutted down the street pretending to be warm. Soon we were warm in our beds.

This morning, Riza informed me that she wanted to go out in the city. I was exhausted, so I hoped she would change her mind. Aki came over and she made us a huge brunch with fruit salad, blueberry pancakes, strawberry syrup and bacon. YUM! After that, she was tired so we stayed in (Yay!) and watched movies. It was a nice low-key start to 2008.

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