Apparently, you also don't have to be Jewish to be greeted in Yiddish either... (at least in hubby's case):
Guess we weren't the only ones who thought a souvenir from Yonah was mandatory:
I enjoyed our stay at the Thompson, but nothing really completes a visit to a new city like spending the final day in the company of good friends, hosting you at their very own abode. Oh, and having a BBQ in their backyard (yep, they lucked into a rare amenity for Manhattanites – outdoor space). Even though I know the joke is on myself, there’s a certain sense of… what to call it… ridiculous snobbery… when passing the other tourists whose stay is confined to corporate hospitality, and heading right into someone's home. It’s as if you’ve received the secret key to join the locals. And, again, it’s a completely misplaced conceit, considering we just left a hotel ourselves. Even so, a trip to any city seems to gain a special sense of authenticity when you're shown around by good friends, as opposed to Frommer's. It was time to say good-bye to our stellar room with a view.
To you and you and yooooou...
By the time we arrived at our friends' East Village apartment (“We’ll be there by 1:30,” “OK, looking more like 2:00,” “3:30 at the latest I swear!”), S already had the charcoals on the grill, and drinks were being poured. While waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive, we kicked back and relaxed on the patio. The next few hours included brats, burgers, Run DMC and good conversation under the quiet watch of the trees stretching above us.
Neighbors' fancy place (to the far right):
Ahh, the food. S is a master of the grill (and smoker, don't get me started on his fanfreakingtabulous brisket). Proof of his mad skills:
The liqueur known as Unicum made an appearance, courtesy of Zwack, courtesy of Hungary:
Oh. I forgot to mention. It was also the 4th of July.
While this entry is a little shorter on pictures (insert sigh of relief here), I still have a final round of them to share with you, accompanied by a brief video that allows you to hear the locals' antics, as well as see it. Unfortunately, after numerous attempts to upload another video of what I think may be the best rendition of the Star Spangled Banner (ever), Blogger disagreed. Try as I might, it ended up a massive fail. Just imagine it being sung grandly, loudly, and drunkenly off-key. But, with feeling!
Looking northwest, where the official pyrotechnics would be based. Wouldn't you know it, I spy the Empire State Building, too. Show off!
The neighbors over on Avenue D:
Doing their best to see the show:
Overall, it was a fabulous show, even with the somewhat compromised views (of the official fireworks... we had front-row seats for the many impromptu displays). As we closed in on the end of our NYC trip, I felt as if all of New York were throwing us the most awesome send-off party. Like our very own closing ceremony for what can definitely be considered an Olympian visit (Gold: Eating. Silver: Shopping. Bronze: Margarita-ing ;).
With a flight to catch in the morning, and it being a "school night" for our friends, we turned in comparatively early. And before we knew it, we were bidding our most excellent hosts a fond farewell, grabbing a cab, and watching New York whiz by us all the way back to LaGuardia. As I watched cars and buildings slip backwards in the window, I thought of all the amazing things we got to see, eat, drink and, yes, buy. My brain was already writing a “dang it, we didn’t get to do/shop/eat/drink/see this” list in my head. Which includes all of Brooklyn, other parts of Manhattan, and some spots in Queens I had been told to check out.
Final scenes from our trip:
Heading back into the tunnel:
Eh. You can’t do it all. Even in 130-odd hours of being there. We were bummed we didn’t get to cover everything. But there’s an upshot to having unfinished business.
Images: all my own