In Which the Summer Appears to Maybe, Kinda Sorta, be on it’s Way

Finally! FINALLY! We might, maybe be getting within shouting distance of summer. I don’t want to jinx it, but after two days of 90˚F and another two promised, I am almost ready to believe that summer might be in the cards after all. As I sit here eating ice cream and basking in the heat, I guess I owe you all a blog.

So let’s wander back to Wednesday when we found our way, as usual to Excellent Dumpling House, but this time we branched out. We only ordered one tray of dumplings and decided to try some fried noodles, ramen, and tofu. It was tasty enough—especially for the chef’s first attempt at ramen—but I think next time we’ll dawdle back towards the dim sum. I guess when it’s called Excellent Dumpling House, it should be pretty obvious that the thing you ought to order is dumplings. And then after dumplings, it was off to dance and eventually back home to sleep.

Thursday was another day of dance, but first it was happy hour with colleagues in the french cafe below our office. It was a small group but the conversation was good, the drinks were strong, and the servers all spoke French—it was the perfect appetizer for another night of salsa at the Brooklyn Museum.

As always it was an entertaining evening with fun shows, fun dances, and a beautiful, if somewhat less than acoustically ideal, space. Around 9pm, as my feet got tired from the concrete, I climbed back on a train and headed home.

And then, just as quickly as the week had begun, it was over and I was somersaulting into the warm weekend in brash, flashy New York style! I spent an hour enjoying the sun in the park before being joined by Chuck for dumplings and some more sitting in the sun before we bounced whimsically into Midtown to see if we could catch a show. And we did! There’s something fantastically stylish about buying tickets literally as the show is meant to be starting in order to catch a one off, unfilmed, multimedia spectacular also known as Pop-Up Magazine. There was live music, comedy, absurdity, touching stories of humanity and truth. Seriously, if you ever get a chance to catch one of their shows, do! Even if you do only manage to get your tickets at the last possible second.

Following the show, we met up with Chuck’s buddy and his date and moseyed through Midtown to a pub where wings were eaten and whiskey quaffed. There we sat, chatting the night away until sometime after midnight and I felt, despite my general lack of fashion, incredibly stylish.

The next morning we did get up, but not until after 11 when my caffeine needs peeled me out of bed in search of coffee. After a cup of coffee and a bowl of muesli, we may or may not have allowed the couch to swallow us whole and much of the rest of the afternoon somehow ended up turning into a nap. We eventually found our way out of the upholstery but only after the call of $1 oysters got too loud to ignore.

We hopped a train down to the LES and nestled into the inimitable Ten Bells for a stupid quantity of oysters, a cheap glass of dine, and las papas bravas. It really is one of my favourite bars in the city. It might not have a rooftop, but it does have antique tin panelled ceilings, charming servers, and an amazing happy hour vibe. Having eaten round about eight oysters each we stumbled out into the sun for a bit before joining another dance friend for more dumplings in the park before another night of dance.

I tend to prefer the Wednesday Westie over the Saturday, but this Saturday we got the big room and that made one heck of a difference. Things were marching along quite well indeed before I found myself winkled out of a corner and dragged into the middle of the room to partake in a strictly competition. I will not say that I was delighted, but I survived, they didn’t actually give ranks or scores, and so I shall move on as gracefully as possible.

Sunday morning, I rolled lazily out of bed and lounged about until noon when it was time to head out into the heat to lunch with yet another dance friend. We had planned to go to the oyster bar in Grand Central but they seem to be closed on Sundays so we ended up at a quaint oyster joint in Chelsea, and since it was only in Chelsea, I walked. The sun was hot and I was sweltering in shorts and about half a shirt. I can see why this becomes a city of braless women in the summer. It’s entirely too hot for extra padding.

Around about 28th Street, I met Chuck and Kevin in front of the restaurant and we headed into to find ourselves right in the middle of Sisters’ Drag Brunch. It was divine! We ate oysters and burgers and crab cake hollandaise and as if the food wasn’t already insanely delicious, it was accompanied by two sassy, energetic queens singing everything from Katy Perry to honest to goodness opera. Yes, Gilda Wabbit is a classically trained opera singer and Gina Tonic is just a ball of beautiful cotton candy coloured hair and all the energy! It was an insanely good time.

Perhaps inspired by our entertainment filled Sunday lunch, we then set off in search of a costume store with hopes of cheap, fun wigs. We didn’t find any that were quite in our price range but we did enjoy the hats and boas and all the delicious campy party gear. And so we’ll be going to Amazon for the wigs and leave the party stores for amusement alone.

And then it was home to do laundry, buy groceries, and attempt to be responsible. I sort of succeeded? I spent too much money on groceries but I now have healthy, fresh food prepped for the entire week! Is this an adult I see in the mirror? Unlikely, but we can dream.

Today, I got off work, ate a nice chilled salad and headed up to the law school to be inspired. Peter Sellars spoke on inter-cultural exchange, art, and all things wonderfully East and West. I wish I could do it more justice, but as with so many of these things that move me, I cannot put it into words so I’ll leave you with a quote:

“The test of being human: how do you hear what people are not telling you.”

And as I floated away on a cloud of inspiration, I kind of accidentally maybe fell into the library and might have maybe gotten lost and come across the Murakami and the Chinese literature. And don’t look now, but I might have a stack of eight shiny new-to-me books sitting on my table right now. Shhhh, say nothing.

Drowning happily in books,
The Salsa Girl

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