Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Posts tagged “partying

Giving, Receiving, And Leaving Town

Because we live in a sitcom, the plan the husband and I had for our Super Bowl party didn’t go so well, but it turned out alright in the end.

Our first mistake was not going grocery shopping ahead of time. We waited until Sunday after church.

Saturday night, I went to bed early-ish, which was nice. I got ten whole hours of sleep, which basically made up for the extreme lack of sleep from the week.

The husband was out super late Saturday night. He’s so friendly that he was hanging out with his old friends as well as making some new ones. He came home with this.

dollars

Where do you think he was? Strip club? Chuck E. Cheese? Playing for tips in Times Square? The options are humorous and endless.

So we get to church for morning service. It turns out there are two meetings scheduled after church. One for new members and one for the young adult ministry. Both are meeting the husband and I were to attend.

I didn’t want to go to either meeting. Because seriously, who calls a meeting on Super Bowl Sunday? Seriously?

But to the meetings we went. We didn’t leave church until after 3pm. We didn’t get home from the grocery store until after 4:30pm.

Did I mention the store had run out of chicken wings? I don’t just buy a bag of frozen wings and throw it in the oven. I cook fresh wings and make sauce to go with it. I get fancy, y’all.

So I sent the husband out in search of fresh wings and started on my sauces.

The guests started arriving and there was no food ready to eat. I felt badly, but there wasn’t much I could do. Luckily one of his friend made home-made humus and flatbread chips to go with it. And they were delicious!

I’m sure you all know how the game went down. All I’m going to say about the game is that I enjoyed watching the team I wanted to win whoop ass up and down the field. Oh, and the commercials were great too.

As the food started trickling out of the kitchen, everyone dug in. I was pretty satisfied with the final products: taco salad with sweet pepper sour cream topping; tortilla chips with ground turkey queso dip; loaded fresh-cut french fries with bacon and cheese; and chicken wings with a choice of spicy BBQ, honey mustard, or ranch sauce.

And of course I made my everything punch. When I say this is everything punch, I mean it. It has everything in it.

Don’t tell me you can’t mix certain types of alcohol. Don’t tell me dark & light liquors get into a fight in your stomach. I don’t wanna hear it!

I make this punch at most big parties we throw. I know the night is a success when people who I’ve seen drink several glasses of straight whiskey out at jazz clubs can only drink 2-3 cups of my punch before they’re really tipsy.

After the game ended, people still stayed to hang out a bit. We ended up playing a few hilarious rounds of cell-phone based Taboo. It was nice to not have to clean up all the cards and game pieces after we’re done playing.

Trying to guess the name of Oscar-nominated actors when you’re on your fifth cup of everything punch is no joke y’all. I tried to remember to take a picture of it, but I kinda forgot, so this is the best I have, a punch bowl only filled a third of the way with poor lighting.

everything punch

Looks harmless, doesn’t it? All a part of my master plan, mwah ha ha.

The good use I put my chemistry degree to is making a strong yet tasty drink that won’t leave you hung over. As long as you have a good electrolyte balance going before you start drinking, you can drink a half-gallon of this stuff and be fine.

You’re welcome.

Anyway, the husband gets on a plane later today to head to Chicago, assuming his flight isn’t delayed because of all the Monday travel issues. He’s gone for a whole month. I won’t see him until I meet him in Chicago for a wedding on March 1st. When he’s gone, we’re both so busy that we have to work hard to make time to talk. I’m sure we’ll manage though.

I’m going to miss him, but I do have something to distract me for a bit. I wrote a post recently about how I was looking forward to eventually getting my birthday gifts. I figured it would help jumpstart my efforts to stay healthy.

Guess what I got in the mail?

fitbit

A lovely lady I met in Chicago bought it for me. I met her while out with the husband at a jazz club, which makes sense because she’s a singer.

I was so excited about it, I forgot how sleepy I was and immediately got it setup. It’s as cool as advertised. I didn’t even have to take it off to have one of my marathon baths.

This is my first ever gift received purely because of something I wrote in my blog. It’s a moment for me, and I promise I’ll put it to good use girl!

I’d say I had a pretty amazing weekend. I’ll probably be a bit more low-key in the coming days. I’ll need to make time to workout so I can stay on track with my new healthy plan.

I think I may have someone to go rock climbing with. It’s one of the random cool people I’ve met while out at a jazz club with the husband. We shall see.

And I think this couple I met another time out is going to join me at the soup kitchen next weekend when I go to volunteer.

At this rate, I may actually have friends in NYC, but I won’t get my hopes up too soon.


Husbands and Birthdays

My daddy came into town this past weekend. My parents came to visit for Thanksgiving, along with some family friends from church. There were five of them total; the couple has a 10-year-old son.

Once we realized we could comfortable fit 6 adults and one kid into the apartment, a whole world of opportunity opened up. That’s why we keep doing musician’s dinners, and we’ll probably do a Super Bowl party this weekend.

But this post isn’t about Thanksgiving or the Super Bowl, it’s about my daddy’s trip. When they were here for Thanksgiving, my daddy and the husband of the family friend couple decided they loved New York City so much that they were coming back– with or without their wives.

The timing ended up working out so they could come at the end of January. The husband had a pretty big couple of gigs with Winard Harper at Smalls Jazz Club. Plus it was my daddy’s birthday.

Is it weird that my daddy took a birthday trip out-of-town for his birthday without my mom? Honestly, it’s not. My parents are cool like that. They do their own thing from time to time and I think it’s great. Plus, he came to see his daughter, so it’s not exactly like he was running off.

That didn’t stop me from making many wife-centered jokes for the weekend. The one I really ran into the ground was when I kept checking to make sure it was fine I was there seeing as how they uninvited all the wives for the weekend. But spending time with the husband, my daddy, and our good family friend was a lot of fun.

They came to the Brooklyn brownstone for dinner with some of the members of Winard’s band before the gig on Friday.

There is this scene in the Temptations movie that shows the guys sitting around the dinner table eating dinner after one of their gigs. They’re just bonding and eating home-made good food and becoming even more themselves because of the time spent.

At some point, one of these musicians is going to get a movie made about them, and I need a scene with me serving these guys dinner.

And I need the actress who plays me to look like Lela Rochon.

Lela Rochon with her husband from Wikipedia

But anyway. My daddy and our family friend are just so much fun. Cooking dinner for the guys as we’re all laughing, talking, drinking, and listening to music before the gig was so much fun. Socializing is so much easier in the comfort of my home.

After dinner, we headed out to the gig and the music was amazing. I’ve never heard Winard Harper play before, but I immediately understood why he’s famous. He’s Wikipedia-paging, Lincoln Center-gigging, Google update-requesting famous.

And he’s so nice and gregarious and funny. That man knows how to command a microphone in between songs.

The fact that we’re barely six months in to our lives here in New York and the husband is already doing these things is freaking amazing.

winard smalls 1 winard smalls 2

The first picture is from the last song they played Friday night. If you look on the right side of the picture, you’ll see a line of horns reflecting the soft lighting.

Winard Harper announced they were going to finish it out with a short song, and they would just take one chorus each. If you know anything about jazz, you know that means shorter solos and a (possibly) shorter song.

Then he invited all the horn guys he saw in the back to “come up and get some of this.” If you know anything about jazz, you know that means that even though they were only playing one solo each, he’d just invited an additional 3-6 guys to each take a solo, thus lengthening the song even further.

But man, if you could’ve been there, you would’ve been glad for it. They played the hell out of that song. Because there were so many playing, they kept building and building and by the time they got to the end, the whole crowd was screaming in approval.

Fast forward 20 or so minutes, and we were all sad for them to finally stop playing.

My daddy, who loves live music had an amazing time. I don’t think he could’ve had a better birthday in Chicago this year.

He ended up going to the 9/11 Memorial early Saturday with the family friend. They found it really interesting. I can totally see why as my daddy is a fan of history and America and tourism.

After they finished with that, the four of us went to dinner. I was so tired at this point, I went to their hotel room to take a nap while the three men went back to Smalls for another gig.

I of course cracked some more jokes about how they finally got rid of the last wife.

My daddy and our family friend headed back to Chicago on Sunday evening. They had a really great weekend hanging out in New York.

I feel like a need to get a testimonial posted somewhere that a quick celebratory trip to NYC is great. Especially if you get your hotel room. Please tell my friends and family that so more of them can come visit us.

So far, I’ve had 7 of the 10 people who stood up with me at my wedding come visit me, which is actually pretty amazing. I love my friends. I’m trying to get a perfect 10 before our one year anniversary here in NYC, but it probably won’t happen since one of my girls had a baby a few days ago.

Poor thing was in labor for two days.

Two days.

Think on that for a minute. I’m personally making a note to postpone having children for at least a few more months.

And I’m also making a note so that whenever I do have children, my daughter will know I’m making a birthday trip to come visit her without the husband in 30 years, and she better show me a good time.

Super random, I wasn’t the only one tuckered out this weekend.

sleepy jazz

That’s our cat Jazz giving me the eye for daring to photograph her while she’s trying to sleep


What’s Hot In Chicago? Enye

Enye is hot. If you’ve already ready my blog post about it, you don’t need to read this. I am just writing this for my What’s Hot series. It just happened that it also made a blog post as well.

Enye.  2977 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60618, (773) 866-9898. Hours not listed online, but they’re pretty much open for lunch and dinner and after dinner.

This restaurant is nice. When it gets call-the-fire-marshal crowded as a dance club, it’s even better. The service is slow, likely because it’s so crowded. Don’t forget your ID or the bouncer won’t let you in. Get ready to sweat if you show up after 10pm.

 

I’d Recommend: Going on Tuesday night. The music is fantastic and the crowd is too. Everyone there just seems happy to be there and ready for a good time.If you prefer lounges over clubs, but occasionally want that club feel to go dancing, this is the place to get your Latin dancing on.

Stay Away From: Aggressive men trying to dance with you. I’m not trying to make any sweeping cultural statements here, but if you don’t want to dance with someone, make it super clear. Some of the men are pretty aggressive on the dance floor.

[Score has a max of 4 pts for each section] Food (3); Music (4); Drinks (4); Atmosphere (3); Price (3); Consumer Review (3); Extra Factor (1)

Enye gets 21 points, which is pretty damn good. They’re almost there. I didn’t give them a four for food because i haven’t tried enough of it to vouch for the whole menu. I didn’t even order a drink myself, but when I went, it was with such a large crowd that I got to try several cocktails and there were all amazing. Atmosphere is great, but not if you don’t like loud or crowded. Assuming you’re going to get your groove on, you shouldn’t mind too much. And price is good, but not perfect. Even though their online presence is lacking, they have over 25 reviews on Yelp and they’re pretty much all positive.

I highly recommend this place. Whether you live in Avondale and you’re looking for a local watering hole or you are looking for something new and different to try on a weekday date night.


Ultimate Blog Party 2013

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

I didn’t even know this was a thing until yesterday afternoon, when I was checking out My So-Called Chaos, a great blog you should check out. I’ve been looking for a way to connect to more bloggers other than yet another social network (sue me, I’m not on Facebook), and this is the ticket.

From April 5th – 12th, Janice and Susan over at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting their 7th Annual Ultimate Blog Party!

They want everyone to think of this as a blogger conference of sorts, with a focus  on not having to leave your couch, desk, etc. to participate. They are having two live events this week you can join in. So head over to their blog to read all about this party.

The first step to join this party is by doing exactly what I am, writing a post about it and linking up at their website, which is party headquarters. I’m so excited to do some blog hopping and Twitter following. I’m always looking for new and inspiring blogs to read.

The second step is to introduce your blog to new readers so they know what to expect if they keep reading.

What A Chicago-Style Girl is all about…

This blog is all about my life as a twenty-something being a born and raised Chicagoan.

I Doooooo, Cherish Yooooouuuu

I Doooooo, Cherish Yooooouuuu

Say cheese

Say cheese

I talk about the husband a lot. We’ve been married for just shy of 14 months. He’s amazing and probably way too emotionally mature for me. But he’s my best friend and my partner in music, TV, and avoiding getting pregnant. He’s a full-time musician (primarily jazz), and we do some pretty amazing things together. Also, he’s funny as hell. I’m hoping our future children have his chin, my eyes, and either smile.

Donate LifeI talk about work more than I should. Donation is 24/7 and sometimes it feels like I work exactly that much. I’m a bit of a workaholic. I’m that chick who’s out at a famous fancy restaurant in Manhattan, calling work to check in because her gut told her to. I suppose when I get an ulcer, I’ll calm all this down, but for now, I’m all in at work.

Love me and my cat tricks

Love me and my cat tricks

I talk about my friends and family. They are amazing and the husband and I are just as likely to double date with our parents as one of our couple friends. I also talk about our cats. Belle and Jasmine (Jazz for short, the husband named her) are crazy cats who act like people, dogs, and cats all rolled together.

I make surprisingly human facial expressions

I make surprisingly human facial expressions

I share tales of my attempts at being healthy, unpacking my apartment, and traveling the world. So basically that means I rant about Tracy Anderson trying to kill me, I admit to the world I’ve been living with boxes for almost two years, and every couple of months I cross another state of  my list after a trip purely for food purposes.

And, every now and again, I talk about amazing places I’ve been that you need to go to as well. I’d like to think I can tell you what’s hot in Chicago, as long as you’re not looking for a great dance club. For that, you should see this guy.

Stefon

Full disclosure, most of my posts never have this many pictures. And most of my posts have much more cursing. And also–

Bacon!!!

Bacon!!!

Now, please comment and let me know you stopped by, and I’ll return the favor!