I met my best friend Julie at College Orientation. It’s kind of funny to me because my parents met each other at my moms college orientation, so it’s funny that I met my life partner, partner in crime at my college orientation. We both got kicked out of the lobby for talking through the first season of Survivors’ season finale and we’ve been friends ever since. Shortly after starting college we became roomies and at heart, have been roomies ever since.
We both have/will celebrate(d) our 30th birthdays this year and so we wanted to have a bit of a girls weekend to celebrate. The theme?
And boy did we treat ourselves! I’ve never seen a Broadway show (Julie is luckier than me), so that was something I knew we’d have to do. I also had a few restaurants I’ve been wanting to try. Most notably Gray’s Papaya which I first heard about in Fool’s Rush In.
We took the bolt bus up and Gray’s Papaya was our first stop after unloading our stuff at the hotel, and it did not disappoint.
Who knew how true that sign would be!
Now, I love a hot dog. It’s my favorite thing about going to Orioles games. And my favorite afternoon weekend lunch. But at Gray’s Papaya, it was totally NOT my favorite thing because my taste buds were introduced to the gloriousness that is papaya juice. WOW! That stuff is like liquid crack. I just kept thinking about it and wanting more of it the rest of the weekend. I’m thinking about it now just typing this up! Man I want some papaya juice. Anyone that loves me and lives in NY, you now know the way to my heart.
So with that, we were 1/1 on the NY Bucket List. We also hit up the Momofuku Milk Bar and got cereal milk and a cornflake cookie. Or something like that. It’s got corn flakes, chocolate chips and marshmallow and it’s amazing. The cereal milk wasn’t half bad either! It’s exactly what you’d think it is. That delicious leftover milk when you finish a bowl of cereal. So good. And so cold, which made it even better. We also hit up a diner, a Good Burger, and this great restaurant called Oceana where we got a little tipsy on carbs (and alcohol). I convinced Julie to try frog legs (they were fried, what’s not to like?). I got the General Tsao’s Lobster and she got a short rib with crispy grits and a side of swordfish. It was all delicious.
We also found a bar with the same name as a bar we used to work at in college! So of course we had to get drinks there! Although unlike college, I was able to not drink an entire bottle of Rumplemintz and eat a customers dessert. You’re welcome customers! This new Mulligans was also a lot cleaner/nicer/didn’t have waitresses that ate customers desserts.
Before all our musical adventures we did find some presidents to stalk and a street festival to attend so that was really fun too!
We walked by the Empire State Building but there was some police action going on so we thought it best to stay away. And I wasn’t paying any money to go up an elevator anyway. Maybe one day but not that day. Instead, we went back and got ready for our musical fun times!
We ended up seeing Once, and Evita.
We saw Once on Friday night at the Jacob’s Theater.
I saw the movie a few years ago and have been in love with the song Falling Slowly for a long time! What I loved, probably the most, about this show was that they have a jam session about half an hour before the show start. Then, as you think they are wrapping up, the final song in the session becomes the beginning of the show. It’s organic, and wonderful, much like the play itself. It’s almost more like a play just because the music is part of the storyline.
If you think the movie is good you owe it to yourself to see the show live. I was in complete awe of the musicians and the Guy/Girl (Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti) were spectacular. I guess because I’ve played instruments and feebly attempted singing in my youth, I can appreciate how hard it is and how good you have to be to be one of the people on that stage. I thought since I already knew the ending from the movie that I’d be ok in the theater but of course I was sobbing like a baby at the end. What can I say? I’m a sucker.
Saturday afternoon before we headed out, we caught Evita.
Ricky Martin with a mustache playing Che? Don’t mind if I do! Elena Roger, who usually plays Evita was off, so we saw it with Christina DeCicco. Ironically, Julie and I saw Wicked in Baltimore and she was playing Glinda! So we’d actually seen her before. She was amazing then and amazing now! So was Ricky but I think we can all agree it’s all about the Argentine rose that is Evita. I’ve been singing Don’t Cry For Me Argentina so much that even my husband knows the words and he knows next to nothing about Broadway. That’s saying something, I promise.
I also thought I’d cry in this show but I think I was trying so hard to not sing along that I never had tears, so that was good. The songs were really cool because they’re just different enough from the movie that it makes it new and more original. They also added You Must Love Me to the show, which wasn’t in the original Broadway production but was added after it’s success in the movie, I guess. Smart move Broadway. Smart move.
So that was our New York trip. I can’t wait to Treat Ourselves again sometime soon. Maybe for our second 30th birthday? Time will tell. Until then I’ll just have great memories of our fun times weekend and hope that Gray’s Papaya gets my email that they should expand to Baltimore so I can get my hands on some papaya juice!