Monday, July 8, 2013

Saying So Long to New York Friends

As we're winding down our time in New York City, we wanted to say a goodbye -- I refuse to say "final goodbye" -- to the many friends we've made here.

So we put together an after-work get-together on the eve of Independence Day at the outdoor Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. It worked very well for my 30th birthday party, plus there is plenty of room for a stroller. Score!

It didn't work out quite as planned.

First, it was hot and humid. All week the temperature had been in the 80s and 90s, and last Wednesday was no exception.

And second, the day was littered with pop-up showers. We thought we had outsmarted the clouds, because the sky was blue when the party started. And even when it sprinkled a bit, the drops felt cool and refreshing.

What was not so refreshing was the torrential downpour that lasted a good 10 minutes. I now know the meaning of the phrase "sheets of rain." Those 10 minutes sitting on an outdoor chair with an umbrella in one hand would have been bad enough on its own, but it was even worse when my other hand was holding Edith and the diaper bag, trying to keep both of them dry.

We didn't get too wet, but we weren't taking any more chances. A few friends went home at the first sign of rain, but a couple more made a beeline to a bar across the street: Live Bait. The rest of us followed when the downpour shut down.

The bar area up front was crowded and not stroller-friendly at all, but there was plenty of room in the small restaurant section in the back. Our group of a dozen or so even got to sit together.

As more and more friends left, it was down to just six of us, one of whom was extremely sleepy and ready to nap in her stroller. So we again headed back to the Shake Shack. I ordered a burger and fries during the first round there. This time I got a concrete -- vanilla custard with Brooklyn's own Mast Brothers dark chocolate chunks mixed in.

Although the night didn't go exactly as planned, it was far from being a bust. The worst part wasn't the heat nor the rain. It was the so longs and farewells. Even though we're still in New York for a little while longer, it sort of felt like the beginning of the end.

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