I'm a little behind, but here's a weekend re-cap with a little commentary and history thrown in...
If indigestion and nausea are symptons of a good weekend, then I had a great time these last few days.
Friday, I finally got to hang out with Brendan for the first time in ages. We hit up a Venezuelan arepa place for dinner. Arepa's are kind of a hot pocket/pita thing made of cornmeal and then filled with, well, any number of delicious mixtures of meats and veggies. We then topped it off with a healthy dose of live music courtesy of Casey Holford and Chris Maher at the Sidewalk Cafe. Yasmin and her friend Abby were already there when we arrived, and Craig and Cecilia dropped by a little while later.
Chris Fuckin' Maher is a kid I went to college with. He's apparently well known in some circles for his involvement in the musical movement called anti-folk, which is kind of folk music with a punk bent. I'm a fan. It's kind of weird sharing music you know and like to your friends. I always find myself kind of nervous about it. I mean, what if they hate it? They are are judging you. Like recently, I made a mix cd for my cousin who runs a record company. Whenever we talk about music inevitably, at some point, Weezer gets mentioned. (For god's sake, how could I not?) My cousin, who I don't think has really paid much attention to pop music in the past 15 to 20 years has no idea who they are, nor does he know anything about hip-hop. His record company deals largely with jazz, classical, and world music, though he has signed some more mainstream stuff like Wilco and the Magnetic Fields. Needless to say, he's a smart guy who has strong opinions about nearly everything (he's quite fond of superlatives). So, I made him a little sampler of Weezer, hip-hop (Talib Kweli, Blackalicious, Madvillain, Kanye, and Che Fu) and (because he actually brought them up) Green Day. Hopefully he'll like at least some of it. If not, well, we'll probably talk about music a little less often.
... but I digress
Saturday Emiko arrived back from Vermont earlier than expected, which is to say she arrived home on Friday, shuffling around my plans somewhat. We ended up strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge with Liz, Kevin (Liz's fiance), and Foxy Berger and hitting up Grimaldi's for pizza. Patsy Grimaldi, the proprietor of said pizzeria, is a relative of the same Patsy of Patsy's Pizza fame (which itself was established in Harlem in the late '20s, I believe) and, according to the lovely placemats, from the age of 10 was working the tables and making the pizza there. At some point he established Grimaldi's, which has been vying for the title of best pizza in New York ever since. I've read some reviews that have called it the best. I've also read some that say while it's truly fantastic, they undercook the crust when it's crowded, which is often. The latter was the case in our visit. Despite the flaccid crust, the pizza was top quality--fresh cheese and sauce and some lovely pepperoni. Plus they serve root beer. Post pizza we headed over to Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, which is just a couple of blocks away, for a hit of cocoa and caramel. For those more inclined for some relief from the heat, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is just down the street from Grimaldi's.
Sunday brought more of the same, only different. Everyone minus Foxy headed down to Coney Island for more adventure with pizza. We patronized the original Totonno's pizza parlor, where we split a half plain, half garlic pizza. I keep forgetting that basil is an extra on their pizzas. Even sans the basil, though, Totonno's is still exceptional. Their crust is always perfectly crisp, their sauce tangy, and their mozzerella fresh. And they too serve root beer, which neither of the Totonno's in Manhattan does. Other highlights of the day (in reverse chronological order, just because...) included the most horrifying display of a wet t-shirted woman I've ever seen. As I said at the time, the nipples were the size of dinner plates--you could've eaten a sirloin off of them; eating hot dogs from the original Nathan's; riding the Coney Island's famous Cyclone rollercoaster; watching a freakshow; and visiting a museum that had a penny peepshow of an elephant being electrocuted. The last on that list is the winner of the "Most Disturbing Thing Seen at Coney Island on a Sunday in July" award, though the rollercoaster made me more nauseated.
And to bring us up to date, the New York Philharmonic played a free concert last night. I was there. Where were you?