My Birthday Weekend

September 11, 2013

This past weekend my mother came up to celebrate my birthday with me. It was a jam-packed weekend and I had a great time.

Saturday we walked all over the city (my fitbit put us at well over 8 miles by the end of the day). We had a leisurely, delicious brunch in this tiny place downtown and then wandered around South Street Seaport for a while. The weather was fabulous and it was so nice looking out across the water.

We eventually headed over to the 9/11 Memorial. It was kind of ridiculous going through the various entrances, but once inside the memorial grounds it’s very peaceful and lovely. It’s also such a huge space, which, for me, had been hard to conceive of at first.

It’s interesting how they’ve used technology to enhance the experience of the memorial — there is an app and a mobile site, as well as strategically placed machines that all exist to help visitors locate names or groups of people (i.e. first responders, passengers from a specific flight, etc.) within the memorial. The app and site showed you where names were located and if there were memorial bricks and provided donor information. It’s interesting because these tools add these extra layers of metadata that were probably at one point purely used for logistics, but are now helping to enhance the visitor experience at the memorial. Leave it to me to start thinking about user experience and information science wherever I go…

After we left the memorial we pretty much walked half the island, grabbed a (very) quick dinner, and then saw Pippin on Broadway.

Pippin was fantastic. I may be forfeiting my theatre dork card by admitting this, but I didn’t really know the story before I saw it. I is so cool and fun and dark and twisty. It is, in a word, awesome. And spectacular. It made me want to go to circus camp or something. I want to watch it a million times and unpack all the various theories swimming in my head about motivation and perspective and reality. Yeah, basically it’s super cool and you can tell because it’s making me super nerdy.

Sunday we (read: I) slept in a bit and then went to tea at Alice’s Tea Cup. The place is really cute and they have lots of delicious varieties of tea (as they should) and great scones and sandwiches and tarts and the like. I actually plan on going back to buy some of the blend that I had because it was absolutely fabulous (green tea with bergamot and some other deliciousness).

After tea, off to another show! We saw the matinee of Soul Doctor, which was also great. It was really fun and interesting seeing the history of the Jewish Reconstructionist movement since I didn’t know that much about it and how it developed in great part through the actions of one man (the “Soul Doctor”).

After the show, we did a bit of shopping (because what’s a birthday in New York without a bit of shopping?) and then headed downtown for dinner.

We went to the Risotteria, which is my new favorite place in New York. The food is fantastic (they’re also really accommodating — great for vegetarians, gluten free diets, and allergies) and the staff is really chill. What more could you possibly want?

It turns out the answer is “jammie dodgers.” There’s a British candy shop across the street from the restaurant and so after dinner we popped in quickly to have a look around. They only had mini jammie dodgers in the original flavor (which is best), so that’s what I got. They might already be gone…

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday weekend. I might be getting crotchety in my old age (really, I maintain that teenagers/”youth” are just annoying), but I think it’s probably worth it for birthdays like this.

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