The festivities continued on my actual birthday, Saturday, July 3. It began with an incredible lunch at the Mile End Delicatessan in Boerum Hil, Brooklyn. I've been wanting to go to this place since it opened a few months ago. Passing it by on my way home from Quaker Meeting, there were always long lines to get into the diminutive space.
I arrived a few minutes before noon, which was perfect timing to ease into a counter seat before the lunch crowd. I ordered their famous smoked meat sandwich, using a process that the owner brought over from his native Montreal. Everyone around me was eating some delicious looking breakfast dishes, from sweet cheese pastries to an egg and meat scramble that looked amazing. Next time, next time.
I chatted with the waitress and host while my food was being prepared. Apparently on July 1st they had a huge blowout street BBQ for Canada Day that sounded like a lot of fun. The hostess asked if I was shooting for some publication. "No, I'm just a food nerd," I replied.
Finally the smoked meat sandwich arrived. Not as insanely huge as a Katz's pastrami, but substantial nonetheless. Served on rye bread with mustard, it couldn't be more simple.
As promised, the meat was amazing. Tender, moist, and smokey, it's what every deli meat dreams of being. I liked the bite of the pepper on the edges, and the saltiness of the meat was just perfect.
A bottle of seltzer was all I needed to cut the grease.
I couldn't linger, as much as those sweet danish were calling to me. I had a somewhat ill-advised dance class in half-an-hour at Dance Manhattan.
Biking from Brooklyn to Manhattan was a bit tougher than normal, with a full belly. But I managed to get there just as Evita was starting her class.
I was there with about twenty other people for a three hour Big Apple workshop. The Big Apple is a choreographed dance that originated in the Southern United States and was adapted by Frankie Manning for the film "Keep Punching." To this day, the Big Apple is performed both on stage and spontaneously on the dance floor when the right kind of fast swing song comes on.
I had some illusion that I was going to skate through this routine as a "seasoned" lindy hopper. I was soon proved wrong. Here's my notes on the opening choreography:
▪ Kickstep – rockstep – cross – turn
▪ Jump forward – walk back – cross cross
▪ Rock out – rock in – rock out – spin left
▪ Boogie forward – boogie back
▪ Apple jacks in – apple jacks out….
That's just the first few seconds of the song.
Evita did a great job keeping us pumped and energized, even as our brains were spinning with all the complicated choreo.
Shockingly, despite very little pauses over three hours, we didn't get through all of the choreography. We finished right after the "London Bridge" portion.
Evita gave us very detailed notes on the entire choreography, and the actual perfornance (and various versions done since) is available on YouTube.
To reward myself for working so hard on my birthday, I headed to Chelsea Market for an amazing ice cream sandwich from Milk Bar and a perfect macchiato from Ninth Street Espresso. So decadent and awesome.
What a fun day! And it wasn't over yet!
Next post I will write about visiting the roof of the Brooklyn Museum….