Went | Brooklyn Birthdays Part II

Have I reached the statute of limitations on talking about mine and Cyndi's birthday weekend in Brooklyn? No? Good. I established that the weekend was beautiful. It was mid-September so there was a distinct tug between cool Autumn air and warm end-of-summer heat. We got a slow start on Saturday due to a late night on Friday (bars in Boston close at 2 AM, so we were not accustomed to pacing ourselves for a 4 AM last call...). Zander, the oldest of the bunch, and Matt and Ryan managed to pull themselves together and start their day while Cyndi, Mike, and I took a midmorning nap to allow the bagels to do their magic. Around 2 PM, they had worked wonders and we headed to the Brooklyn Flea for a sample of its food offerings, some overpriced vintage items, and great people-watching. Nabila met up with us and we headed to the Williamsburg Momofuku Milk bar for cereal ice cream, pistachio sticky buns, pork buns, and a stack of cookies to take home. Cyndi and I had been talking about visiting the Milk Bar since our last meet up in New York, and I'm glad we finally made it happen. We headed back to the airbnb to get fancied up for our dinner at a neighborhood restaurant, Marietta, where we ate fried chicken, the best summer corn I've ever had (may or may not have something to do with the cotija cheese in it...), rice pilaf, and fried green tomatoes. It was a sweet nod to our home state, but let's be honest, nobody does southern food like the south. And nobody charges for southern food like the north.

Still a little wiped from Friday, we had a quiet night in on Saturday, drinking wine and listening to the rainstorm outside. Sunday morning was beautiful: sunny and cool and breezy. It was perfect weather for our decision to ride the train into Manhattan so we could walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO to try out Smorgasburg. We sampled too many booths to pick a favorite, but I loved the range of types of foods I saw, including the Lumpia Shack, which featured one of my mom's staple foods growing up (and now!). They were true to the Filipino style of the dish (my mom's is the Chamorro take on it—a little thicker and with more vegetables), and they were delicious. We sprung for the sampler, and my favorite was the pork, although really, they were all amazing. I had two types of ice cream (sandwich and shake) and we called it a day. I'm now deeper in the later half of my twenties, but birthdays like these have kept the anxiety of getting older at bay. Twenty-one was fun and all, but I couldn't afford to head off for a friends weekend in New York back then. Everything in its place and all that.

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