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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adriana's Day Off

I took the day off for my birthday. It was going to be a museum day, but the weather was so beautiful I had a hard time staying indoors for very long!

First stop was the American Museum of Natural History. We're here all the time, but I always have to move at Jasper's pace and he never wants to go to the Asian hall. I'd gotten a late start and it was already lunch time, so I left the museum and picked up the delectable Shack-cago Dog (featuring Rick's Picks relish) and a Natural History "Crunch-stellation" concrete (vanilla custard, malt, Valrhona chocolate crunchies and chocolate toffee--mostly great, but toffee was too sweet). I found a lovely spot with 5,000,000 other people in Central Park and enjoyed a picnic.

I took my time strolling across the park to the east side and eventually landed at the Park Avenue Armory to see the Ernesto Neto installation, anthropodino.

There were tunnels, hanging sacks filled with spices....

A ball pit...

A rug that evolves into a creature...

and a big napping tent...

where I put up my feet awhile and relaxed in the giant purple cushion.

I eventually found my way out and then made a long-deferred pilgrimage to Minamoto Kitchoan, which sells Japanese desert cakes called wagashi. Most are created from rice flour or from red bean paste, which means they're not exactly delicious to the western palate... but they are very interesting. It's hard to explain why I would want to try food I know I won't enjoy exactly, but I was dying to try these. I liked the sakura (cherry) wagashi, a preserved yuzu lemon confection, and an almond wafer cake.

I slurped the gelatinous umeboshi plum wagashi with gold flecks while sitting on a bench at Madison Square Park.
Lane is much better than I am at remembering dates. But sometime in the spring of 2005 I wandered from my office to watch the children and their nannies play at Madison Square Park. I missed Jasper terribly and cried into the phone to Lane. "I want to quit! I hate being a working mom!" Lane, fresh from a successful solo show and a new commission for Starbucks, swinging Jasper in a swing at Prospect Park and bored out of his mind, said "so quit!" And the rest is history.

My Birthday Odessey actually took place the day before my birthday--I wanted to take advantage of less-crowded conditions on a weekday. My real birthday fell on Saturday, and I celebrated with Lane and Jasper by going out for dinner at Cheryl's Global Soul. We had knock-out jerk chicken wings, crazy-delicious blackened catfish, and rediculously tasty barbecue shrimp. It all went perfectly with the Ochoa Navarra Rosado Garancho. The kids' menu was actually not too condescending and we ordered Jasper some baguette pizza with fresh mozarella that came with freshly-made french fries and greens. I am proud to announce that Jasper ate all of his greens! Now that's a nice birthday present. We finished it all with bread pudding with vanlilla sauce, berries, and ice cream and a walk home.

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