There is one day each year when our glittering city runs, of all colors, bright, kelly green. It’s St. Patty’s Day, hooray, woohoo, I think I’ll take the day off so I can start drinking at 9:00 am — and then call in sick tomorrow because I’m sure to have the mother of all hangovers.
Hoboken, NJ pays homage to St. Patrick a few weeks early, and things get so out of control there that my co-workers actually leave town because of it. Thankfully Manhattan has the NYPD to keep the green-clad imbibing citizens in check — but that doesn’t keep me from hearing the ruckus they make in Connolly’s when I’m 10 stories up in my cubicle crunching numbers. Suffice it to say that although I usually never say it’s too early for a tanqueray and tonic, this year I felt rather like the grinch who stole…well, St. Paddy.
Luckily, Pookie was in town, w/her boyfriend JoBo. JoBo is a madly talented composer, and he had a fantastic piece premiering in a concert at the Morgan Library on 36th & Madison. So I joined them for the concert, which was comprised of vocalists from the graduate program at my old alma mater. It was a fabulous display of vocal agility and composition. Most theatres don’t allow photography, so there’s no proof, no evidence that I was actually there — but it’s a chic little spot. You’d never know that underneath that quaint little building there is a space large enough for a gallery opening, and a performance space.
After the concert, JoBo, along with his family, Pookie, and I went out for a celebratory bottle of wine. On my recommendation we strolled down Madison and over an avenue to Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar on 31st Street between 5th & 6th Avenues. The name kind of says it all – and it’s so incredible. With an inexhaustible wine selection (tho’ the one we originally chose was, in fact, exhausted and no longer available), adorably attentive wait staff, and a delicious selection of chocolates, it was kind of the perfect after party for the world premiere of JoBo’s piece.
In addition to delectable wines and desserts, Ayza also has a full food menu. As neither of us had eaten dinner, Pookie and I shared the Hot Artichoke Hearts. It was elegantly presented, but not so elegantly consumed, and while I have no complaints, it was fairly average considering the price ($7) and amount (a palm-sized bowl).
St. Patrick’s Day. I missed the madness of the parade, the crowded Irish Bars overflowing with thirsty firemen, and the copious amounts of green beer and half-price shots of Jameson. Given how crazy my life is generally though, I’d say some great music and some great wine to follow was just what I needed.
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