tom's birthday extravaganza

Hello again everyone and Happy Happy Saturday. We are enjoying our very chilly day here in the NE. Tom went to the boat to do some tinkering (I officially do not go until it warms up. Its always freezing and I end up waiting and wondering [often out loud to him] "when are we going", so he is happy to go alone in the Winter), and I just hung around the house some then headed to the nearby coffee shop to do a little writing.

Now to the explanation of the post title... Tom's birthday!!!!
His actual birthday is not for a couple days, but its on a weeknight and the plans I had made to celebrate were much better suited to a weekend, so yesterday, we took the afternoon off work and headed into the city for a full day of just walking around and being together! Our day started downtown, around the WTC site and then we went all the way uptown almost to Harlem to wander around the Upper East Side. We took the train quite a bit along this route, but also did a great deal of walking which is my favorite thing to do--and Tom humours me as I wax poetic on the city, the architecture, the image, the feeling I get when there, my desire for us to live in a brownstone etc.

All of this walking and sight seeing made us hungry so it was a good thing we had reservations at 5 30 at the famous restaurant One if by Land, Two if by Sea located in the heart of Greenwich Village. This very romantic and charming restaurant is also very unique. It occupies the old carriage and stable house of Aaron Burr (known for his term as Vice President under Thomas Jefferson and also for the murder (but never tried) following the death of Alexander Hamilton who perished after being shot by Burr in their famous duel) and to this day, is supposedly haunted by the ghost of the niece of Aaron Burr who died in her carriage, from this house, on the way to her wedding back in the late 1700's (I think).
(We didn't feel her presence, which the waiter said was our fault for not having more wine, so we'll have to go back again to try and see if this centuries old mystery is real).

The restaurant, being an old stable, still has the same layout it had way back when Mr Burr frequented there. The upstairs dining room was the hay loft and the bar is in the carriage house area. With all of the round door frames, one can easily imagine horses populating the place.
Of course I am sure many of you know the history of the saying "one if by land, two if by sea"... it is found in the famous Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride"

'One if by land, two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex, village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.'

note: this was the signal: one lantern hung if the invading British soldiers were coming by land, or two if they were coming by sea. See our Boston blog post last month for more on Paul Revere.

We have been dying to dine here for a while now. Most of our guests that have visited pass by here with me while touring the Village. It is quite expensive, so what made our dinner even better was that its still Restaurant Week in NY. One if by Land only has 2 menu options normally-- A Chef's tasting menu priced at $95 a person, not including desert or beverages or the Fixe Prixe menu at $75 a person which allows you to choose an appetizer and main dish (again, alcohol and dessert are not included). With Restaurant Week, the Fixe Prixe menu is reduced to only $35 a person and includes dessert. Some of you may be thinking that we are paying less, but also getting less during this popular NY promotion, but that is not the case. The entrees were beautifully prepared and quite filling. The key lime cheesecake and caramel chocolate cake with maple ice cream that Tom had were two of the best desserts we have ever tasted. Our main courses (fish and steak) and the apps were also very tasty.

After a wonderful dinner we caught a cab to take us back uptown for Tom's big surprise of the night... tickets to the Broadway production of Wicked!!! I have to give props here to my Aunt in Seattle. She was able to pull some strings and call in a favor to her friends at the theatre company to see if any tickets were available. The outlook wasn't good-- Wicked is nearly impossible to get seats to and when trying to get tickets on our own through the normal venues, the earliest date we could get was in September. HOWEVER--she pulled through and not only did we get seats, we got HOUSE seats, about 12 rows up, center stage. The show was SO wonderful and went 3 hours--so worth the money. If you haven't seen it, we of course recommend it. It tells the "other side of the story" of the Wizard of Oz--from the witches' point of view.

After the show we entered out into the very well lit Times Square, packed with people and seeping energy as always and caught a cab back to the train for home. It was a perfect weather day too---cold, but not too bad, around 36, and no precipitation except some snow early. We had so much fun!!

Here are some pics:

1) Shots of the restaurant-- inside and out (very unassuming exterior. only a very small sign flush with the brick wall)
2) Tom and I at dinner
3) great set-- the witch flying
4) glinda the good witch and elphie the wicked witch from the show


  1. cortney said...

    you are a FABULOUS writer!!! love this post - very interesting! (i love a good history/literature lesson!)  

  2. Di and Tom said...

    thanks cort--that is so inspiring to me! glad you like it. I miss you. I wish you'd come and visit soon...  

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