Friday, October 31, 2014

Birthday #34

Today was my birthday!! Yay!

I worked for the first part of the day. In the early afternoon, I decided to go for a run. Because it's my birthday and I felt like running. Also because we learned that our scale has been off by 5 pounds and I fixed it last night so now I want to lose 5 pounds to get back to where I thought I was.

I ran for about 6 miles, from our apartment down through the rambles across the bow bridge down the mall all the way to the pond and gapstow bridge. And back up the east side and around the reservoir. I wanted to go to places that might have pretty colors for Fall. I found some.

The rambles (just south of the castle and above the lake) were ridiculous. Every direction you turned was picturesque.

And the rest of the park was equally as vibrant.

After my run, I showered and got ready for dinner. Isa and I went down to the Village to eat at one of the highest rated Italian restaurants in all of New York: Malatesta Trattoria.

It. Was. Amazing.

We started out with some piadina - prosciutto and mozzarella. So good! It's like an Italian quesadilla.

For our main courses, Isa got spinach gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce and I got spaghetti alla chitarra (spaghetti with fresh chopped tomatoes and basil). Isa's was ridiculously delicious. Mine was really good. Our favorite part is the cup of parmesan cheese they gave us. We hate how restaurants just give you a little ramekin of parmesan when I usually use TONS of it when we make pasta at home. So it was a welcome surprise that they gave us a big cup of it.

That cup between our plates is filled with parmesan cheese!! Yay!

After dinner, we went out to Queens (!) to go to a secret street art competition. Two of Isa's college friends were actually competing in it, so that's how we heard about it. Basically, each artist gets a 4'x4' white board, 90 minutes, and they can only use black paint or markers to create their masterpiece.

It was awesome! It was also cool to be in this environment just a few blocks from 5Pointz. (RIP) I love new adventures and experiences like this! Even though we were so out of place - not only do we not smoke or drink, we don't really look the part of a person that would hang out with street artists - but whatever. As soon as they started drawing we didn't even think about it. It was so cool to see them work. So fast, so creative and as far as I could tell, they didn't make mistakes. I loved the variety of artistic styles too.

They also gave us these sweet wristbands that made it look like I celebrated my birthday at Chuck E Cheese's.

We stayed for about an hour and then we had to take off for part 3 of my birthday. But on the way to Chinatown for part 3, we stopped in Union Square for some an Italian Thick hot chocolate at Max Brenner's. If you haven't had this, you are missing out! On such a cold night like tonight, this is just heavenly.

So around 10:15 we were wandering through Little Italy over through Chinatown to my surprise. Isa's been keeping this a secret from me for weeks, and I've been so excited! I had no clue where we were going (what on earth is on Chrystie Street?) so it wasn't until we were at address and I saw the guys shirts that I knew what was going on. She got tickets to Mission: Escape Games.

I love playing escape games online, figuring out clues and solving puzzles to find a key or code to open locks and escape the room. But this one was real life! We had seen this in Bangkok, but apparently they just came to New York and she found out. Needless to say, to be in a live escape game was amazing. I was beyond excited.

We were put in a group with 8 other strangers and locked in an "Art Studio" and we had one hour to figure our way out. Isa and I did very well. We definitely pulled our weight in the solving category. We ended up escaping in just under 50 minutes. Woohoo!!

We finally got home around midnight and I thought my birthday was done, but Isa had one more surprise for me. While I was out running, she ran down to Momofuku's and picked up birthday cake truffles since she knew we weren't going to have a proper birthday cake today and because she knows how much I love them (and you will too - you should go eat these).

There's more too, but what I've written is good enough for a birthday post. All in all it was a great day. Much love to Isa for planning this out and making it such a special day.

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