A typical birthday celebration in NYC involves telling your friends to stop by a bar. Perhaps, if you’re feeling intimate, a meal at a restaurant. I’ve had several birthdays like this. They’re crowded, loud and, if you’re a lightweight like me, you get completely shitfaced as people keep buying you birthday beverages.
All it takes is one birthday barfing to make you never want to have a one of these typical NYC bar parties ever again.
As my birthday is in July, it seams only right to take full advantage of my Summer Birthday status. Bars are for shitty weather, and while many people would consider a humid 86 degrees to be the epitome of shitty weather, I love the heat. This time of year I want to be outside as much as possible.
So I’ve started a tradition of birthday picnics.
This south east corner of the park is my favorite because it’s not to crowded, right next to the pond, and easily accessible to many trains.
Put down a blanket in the grass, text a screen shot of my location, and I tell my friends to come find me and bring some kind of dessert. Sure, I want to avoid being shit faced, but birthdays have always been a day for indulgence and sugar highs. This year I supplied a covert thermos of gin and tonic, quenching my parties guests for a fraction of the cost of any NYC establishment.
Is it strange that one of my birthday wishes is to be frugal AF? Is this how you know you’re approaching middle age? Is it the New York cliché equivalent of coupon clipping?
See? When you ask your friends to bring desserts they bring delightful treats like petit fours! And macarons.
Bars are for yelled conversations and not knowing whether you should sit on stools or stand. Picnics are for singing songs from summer theater jobs of yore and splaying your limbs like a birthday starfish in the well maintained park service grass.
Out in the thick humidity of NYC on a Wednesday night, my birthday picnic featured all the magic of New York City summer.
Like this ballet performance, courtesy of a public photo shoot.
Can you beat that? Maybe. This woman walked a tiny black kitten on a leash all around the area I chose to lay my picnic blanket down.
Coincidence? I think not! This incredible display of kitty cuteness was clearly my birthday gift from New York City. Another gift- the 50% chance of rain never materializing. My city knows just how to make all my birthday wishes come true.