Happy Birthday Dexter!

This year our boy Dexter turned 34 on April 22. To celebrate, we decided to venture off to New York on an adventure. Along for the ride: Dexter's co-fellows Javier, his partner Kim, and Alvaro.

Javier kindly drove us into the city and we surprisingly was able to find parking. Our first stop was in Brooklyn where we brunched at Agi's Counter, a breakfast, lunch, dinner and pastry shop offering market driven cuisine with heavy Jewish & Eastern European influence.

We enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and a Ferdinand Bun, one of their most popular pastry (a Hungarian dessert that's soft and crispy.
Kim, Javier, Alvaro, and us enjoying our brunch at the counter of the small restaurant.

Once we finished brunch, we made our way to the Brooklyn Bridge, taking our time to walk across and enjoy the sights:

Funny enough, we even saw my friend Brianne, who lives in Brooklyn, run past us on the bridge. She didn't hear us shouting after her, but luckily we were going to be meeting up with her later that night anyway.

Once we crossed the bridge into Manhattan, we ended up walking to the 9/11 Memorial, all the while making the occasional stops to admire our surroundings.

We think this is City Hall.
The 9/11 Memorial Pools - reflecting pools honoring those killed in the 9/11 terror attacks & 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Across from the pools was a subway stop/shopping center. We decided to take a little break inside. Dex and Javier took the time for some fun photo ops:

One of Dex's request for his birthday weekend was to visit the Museum of the City of New York, which documents the founding and development of the city. To Dex's delight, they had a lot of maps.

Inside the museum, there's a lovely light installation in the middle of the building by the stairs. 

After a couple hours browsing the exhibits, we finally left and wandered through Central Park in order to get to the other side to catch a Lyft to dinner. The day was warm and sunny, making the walk through the park pleasant. Lots of people were out and about enjoying the day as well.

For dinner, Dex's main desire was to have oysters. We opted to try out a place called ROKC, a restaurant specializing in ramen, fancy cocktails, and oysters. From 5 to 7 p.m., they have happy hour for oysters, so we made sure we arrived right on time.

We ordered lots of oysters to enjoy and they were delicious!
We definitely wanted to try their unique cocktails. I ordered the Pineapple + Passion Fruit drink, which has rum, pineapple, passionfruit, vanilla, lime and burned cinnamon. The drink came out with a flaming lime and once the waitress started to sprinkle some cinnamon, we had a fire show. 
One thing you got to know about Javier - he loves his pisco from Peru. Once he realized there was a pisco sour (with some yuzu) drink on the menu, he had to try. Verdict by Javier: It was okay. Clearly, Javier thinks he could do better.
We all ordered ramen and found it quite tasty!

Sadly once dinner came to an end, we said our goodbyes to Kim, Javier, and Alvaro who were driving back to Connecticut. Dex and I decided to spend the night in the city so we got a hotel room in Chinatown.  The stars were in our favor because when we checked-in, they gave us a free upgrade to a suite, which meant a bigger and better room.

Me showing off our room. Not the fanciest of hotels, but we still enjoyed the upgrade.

After resting for a bit, we went back out to the New York Comedy Club and met up with Brianne for some laughs. Surprisingly, we were treated to about 7 or so comedians, all varying levels of comedic skills, but we had quite a show. Dex got a bellyful of laughs, so what more could we ask for?

We ended the night grabbing some late dessert (boba cake and some mango pudding) and after devouring it, we quickly crashed. The next morning, I made Dex go with me on a coffee run followed by a search for sponge cakes. I discovered the place Kam Hing, a popular bakery in Chinatown known for cheap sponge cakes with a variety of flavors. I picked up some for home and also posed with the cartoon sponge cake lady:

For our last leg of the trip, we met up with Dexter's cousin Laura for some bagels and lox at Sable's Smoked Fish and caught up with each other. I enjoyed a lobster salad on an everything bagel, which was quite filling.

And so our weekend quickly ended with a two hour train ride back to Connecticut. When asked how he would grade his birthday weekend, Dex says: A+.

Jennifer Ta

Jennifer Ta