The Phenomenon: Making birthday plans.
The Establishments: Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, Lolita, your house
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for our yearly birthday issue. Birthdays in the city are a tricky business, and not just because Manhattan pony rental fees are exorbitant. The thing, and I’ve realized this as I’ve gotten older, is that different birthdays call for different types of parties. To celebrate 26 the same way you would 40 would just be self-indulgent. As far as I can tell, there are four levels of birthday celebration available:
Whether it’s a romantic twosome or a small group of friends-type-thing, the dinner is the lowest level of celebration. Don’t mistake this choice for being too old to rock out, though. Sometimes, particularly in a boring birthday year, dinner is the funnest choice. I recommend going to Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse (Chrystie and Delancey). Any birthday dinner that stars a bottle of vodka frozen in a block of ice is a pretty good one.
Drinks are an evening-long affair, so they’re a bit of a step up from dinner. There’s also more pressure, as you are required to choose a bar that is cool enough not to offend, but not so cool that there won’t be enough space for your adoring friends to fawn on you. The best birthday bar, in my opinion, is Lolita (Broome and Orchard.) Not too crowded, not too pricey, and the last time I was there they had a wall-sized collage of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s heads on porn stars bodies fucking stuff.
Putting together a party at your house is a lot of work, man. Unless you can trick someone else into hosting it, this one is for semi-major birthdays only. You’ve gotta clean up before and after, buy all the booze and snacks, and then wait around worrying that no one will show up. Then you’ll get drunk because you’re tired of waiting, then when everyone does show up you’re already yelling for someone to play ‘Glory Days’ and popping balloons with your cigarette.
Someday, when you’re older and richer, you’ll be able to rent out a space and throw yourself a huge party with strippers and some guy DJ-ing and all that shit. And catering. All your middle-aged friends will come and get plowed and dance around like retards. The rental is the future, and the future is for living your dreams