josh hartnett, barack and michelle obama, meryl streep = pretty much best weekend ever
DAMN people. yes, that one word might the be the only one adequate enough to describe my weekend. actually it's more DAMN! or OMGOMG!!! something to that effect.
first i meet erika for dinner at locanda verde, the new restaurant from acclaimed chef andrew carmellini, previously of A Voce. she stopped into the bathroom right when she got to the restaurant. when she returned she says, "jasmine, some crazy dude downstairs accosted me. he said, 'come eat with me.' i'm like, 'right now?' and he says, 'yes, let me buy you dinner.' and i told him i was with a friend and he said he'd buy us both dinner but i told him no thank you. so weird." and a minute later a good-looking late 40's guy walks through the restaurant and erika said, "that's him." and wouldn't you know it, we get sat right next to him. and he's chatty as all get out. erika takes the first chance she can get to mention her boyfriend. he seems undeterred. or at least, lonely. he buys us the most expensive bottle of barolo on the menu and starts telling us his life story which mostly involves the fact that he's filthy rich. he was a cariacture of himself and it took everything in us to not laugh right in his face with every sentence. "i founded X." (a beverage company, HUGE, think "snapple".) "I have a child from my first marriage but we divorced before X so she didn't get all my money but i still take good care of her." "i dabble in real estate, i own a few buildings in the west 70's" "i just broke up with my girlfriend of four years, she's pretty pissed. she is 38, afterall. basically, i've had a bad week." "come to my place afterwards, i have a cellar, we'll drink some really expensive wine." so he's pompous, but highly insecure, but nice enough. he chats with us a while longer and then heads out so we can eat in peace. we promise him we'll stop by after dinner for a drink (because we're not stupid, who are we to turn down some $300 wine? also, he wasn't threatening, just a putz).
dinner was fantastic. they bring out this pizza bread-type stuff to start. we ordered the herbed ricotta with garlic toasts. SO GOOD. I COULD LIVE ON THIS. we had the pasta with sunday meat sauce (i looooooooove sunday meat sauces, which basically means it's been cooked for a really really long time and the meat is tender and flavors super developed), then we had the porchetta which was tender and fatty and rich but was served with bitter greens with an even more bitter lemon dressing which cut the fat nicely. service was great. and with a few glasses of wine pre-dinner and food (we obv didn't have to pay for the phat barolo) it was like $45 a piece or something ungodly cheap. i want to go back. right now.
so as we head out we call the beverage ceo. i hear erika say, "hey, it's your new best friends! oh, am i waking you up? oh! so sorry about that, okay go back to sleep. we'll do it another time!" it was 11pm. or maybe not even. so we head to this new trendy sportsbar just around the corner, 77 warren. it's totally douchey. everyone there has too much money and is generally trying too hard to look cool. we pretty much can't stand the high maintenance crowd but we stay for a beer ($8 amstel light, BOOO. they had nothing cheaper). so we're chatting and some guy was about to walk past me but stops so a kitchen cook an come through with a huge tupperware bin full of something. the guy says, "what is that?" glancing over at the white hard things in the box i say, "um, i think it's frozen fried chicken?" "guy says, "fried chicken? really?" "yeah, i'm afraid so." the guy holding the box says firmly yet sheepishly, "this isn't fried chicken! all our chicken is fresly battered and never frozen!" and kind of starts to run away, thinking he's been caught revealing dirty restaurant secrets. "don't worry," i say, "your secret is safe with us." the guy behind me moves past me and it's josh harnett. and he's really fucking gorgeous.
saturday i get a massage and head to emilys where we barbequed and layed out and drank beer on her terrace. and then i headed into town to see joe turner's come and gone with the obamas. if you read my last post, you knew that i pretty much knew that they'd be there. i got a heads up and tickets reserved for me. but we got there plenty early, the entire street was closed off and there were 100 camera crews on 6th avenue which must have been where they were driving in from. we needed to show 10 policemen our tickets and then had to be escorted to the theater. at the theater they went through our bags, we walked through a metal detector and we got wanded but it was quick. the thing is that not enough people showed up early. the theatre crowds have a tendency to show up 10 minutes before hand and it caused this massive backlog. the show started a full one hour late. the obamas were there before 8 (they ate at blue hill! such a good choice! sister restaurant of this place) so they also had to sit around for a full hour, twiddling their thumbs. but we were first row mezzanine so if we stood up and leaned over the railing we could totally see them. we saw them walk in. michelle looked chic, classic little black dress. barack looked the same as he always does. i've sen obama in person maybe a dozen times. my favorite is probably a book signing he did years and years ago that had maybe 100 people at it. awesome. also, will never happen again ;) at intermission reggie love totally brushed past me to grab a program. he's a fine black man. that is all. i totally restrained myself from jumping on top of him. so that's twice in two days that i was near hotness and didn't act like a total crazy person. be proud of me. otherwise the show was good. and long. intense but also warm and funny. the only annoying thing was the sheer manic of the crowd because the first family was there. lots of people were being rude and pushy and some ladies were in our seats and didn't want to move. we were like, "yes, these are good seats. and they're ours. move your fat ass." but i couldn't shake the feeling that someone was going to get trampled and killed a'la walmart on black friday. i was kind of scared half the time. on the sidewalk outside the theater we then saw meryl streep walk out of the stage door. that woman is all cool. i wanted to reach out to touch her so that i could say "i've touched meryl streep!" but yet AGAIN, restraint was practiced.
afterwards we went next door to have a glass of wine and i see zeki. my infamous former stylist. he's still on the way to monkism but i guess he needs a couple more years of training. he's back in nyc for a couple months. so crazy. seeing him and after all the obama stuff, just an insanely surreal night. emily met me then (it was after midnight) and we cabbed it downtown to meet her friend for a drink. shes a sommelier at one of the best restaurants in the city but we met her at 'ino after her shift for some greco di bianco and truffled egg toast.
i also saw coraline the musical. it was fascinating and still managed to be whimsical and not nearly as dark as the movie. the music was interesting and moody and the instrumentation was so dream-like. it's a small space it was staged beautifully. everyone played a few characters and they all made it work and looked like they were having fun with it. i think the entire run is sold out but it's a quick sweet little show and if you have the chance, i'd recommend it. lots of dissonant chords (this is NOT bye bye birdie) but the music fits with the darkness of the show.
um, that grizzly thing? totally not real. his explanation is awesome. also, gaffers are hot.