You know how some people love celebrating their birthdays by doing all the things they like planned by, well, themselves?
What a horrible concept.
Not because of the whole narcissistic aspect of it. Nope, that part’s great. After all, it’s one of the few times in your life you can totally get away with getting your way (other than maybe graduation and your wedding day—if you’re the bride, that is) while everyone else has to bite their tongues about your narcissism.
What makes it horrible is that you’re the one doing all the planning and the researching and the inviting and the logistic-ing, which, if you’re like me, is a whole lot of time spent doing all the things you really hate versus doing all the things you really love. Like, napping.
Which is why I outsource all of that stuff to Franco.
Every year we plan each other’s birthdays based on a broad spectrum of things we enjoy (Him: I like steak!), while the other goes through all the trouble of making it happen (Me: Dear Google, steak NYC where yum yum?).
This year, Franco’s query for me involved:
Maybe West Village
Drinks of some kind
Coffee question mark
Go, Franco, go!
And that, my friends, yielded some awesome results.
Without further ado, these are a few of my favorite things, in no particular order, except chronological:
The pupper in a bag. (Oh yeah, we got a pup. I’ll tell you all about him later.)
We dropped the pupper off at my brother’s place in Manhattan (Oh yeah, my bro moved to NYC. Man, you’ve missed a lot.) to ease the separation anxiety—ours.
Franco letting his majestic hair down, if only for a few seconds.
Eating somewhere chill and delicious and cute. Franco chose The Spaniard because I love Spain despite the whole them colonizing my homeland thing. It is a part of us. And I’m an ignorant stupid American now. Also, there were bacon slabs, guys. BACON. SLABS.
A bookstore. This one’s one of my faves. Though I rarely set foot in it, it’s a piece of OG NYC and I like knowing it’s there. It’s the kind of spot where the neighborhood people stop by and talk shop, er, books, and the people who work there recommend books sans pretension. One recently arrived New Yorker asked for books about New York because he “wanted to fall in love with New York by book… I guess,” and ended up with a pile at least five books high, as each staffer had their own very special rec.
Here’s a book on the dumpster outside the bookstore.
Here’s Franco by a barbershop because I thought it would be funny if Franco sent this pic to his mom. Y/N?
I also thought this was artsy.
Ice cream. This thing was actually faux ice cream and basically flavored ice shavings. I’m probably sounding really old right now but what even is this thing? I ate it anyway. It was good.
A visit to the Tenement Museum. Yes, I really did throw this museum out as a suggestion, faux half-joking, and Franco wisely concluded I was very serious about it and signed us up for the Hard Times tour. In case you’ve never been to this museum, it’s a look at how people in NYC lived in teeny tiny apartments amid bigotry and anti-immigrant sentiment. It’s also called The Totally Present Day museum.
Lady on the PA: It’s time to line up for the 4 p.m. Meet Victoria tour and the 4 p.m. Hard Times tour.
ME: I sure hope Franco booked the Hard Times tour.
Franco: Here’s our ticket for the Hard Times tour, milady.
He’s a keeper, ladies and gents.
Whenever I see stuff like this, I think it’s cool then wonder if it’s some kind of guerrilla marketing. Maybe for a guac shop? A smoothie joint? A pop-up investment bank?
Coffee. It was hot AF and we needed to kill time before dinner. I’d also like to add that Franco is very photogenic, so most of my pics are of him. He tried taking pics of me but the camera burst into flames.
Now THIS is definitely marketing of some kind. Check out dat hashtag. Is it for a shoe? A university? The moon?
Nearby was this anti-AirBnB ad. This neighborhood is clearly going through some shit.
RAMEN. Who eats really hot ramen on a really hot day? Me! Me! I do! Franco and I stumbled upon this place one drunk night, and I hadn’t been back since.
Til now. Check out dat black ramen.
He gets white ramen. We are an inclusive couple.
Dirty martinis. I enjoy going to ridiculously fancy places like The Grill while severely underdressed because it confuses the staff.
Them: Who are these 12-year-olds and why are they at the bar? Is this a trick?
Me, raising my martini glass to my lips, pinkie extended: MUWAHAHAHAA.
Then we picked up the pupper and went home.