Bob turned 40 on Thursday. So he can now stop zinging me for being (numerically) older. Last Saturday, Jen threw a surprise birthday party for him at Rodeo Bar, and Thursday night, we had a late dinner of delivery Indian food and I gave him my present, which was really cool, if I do say so myself. :-)
Rodeo Bar was one of the stops during the multi-venue bachelor party I organized for Bob back in the summer of 1996. I was hoping one of his favorite bands at the time, 5 Chinese Brothers, would be playing at RB, where they appeared frequently, on some weekend leading up to his and Jen's wedding, but they weren't. So the party sucked a little. Hah! No, we still had a lot of fun.
First, we had dinner at an Italian restaurant whose name I will never recall. I assume I must have asked for a restaurant suggestion from Jen because I was neither a city boy nor particularly Internet savvy at the time. I do remember everyone, including myself, being pleased with the food.
And at one point we went to a strip club, which I recall being a totally unsexy place. Not necessarily because it was chickies doing the stripping, though that was kind of an issue for me, but because the rules against contact with strippers in the city were so stringent that it seemed like an exercise in standing around and looking at boobs from a short distance. And us guys would walk up to one of the gals every so often and hand her a dollar like she was a cashier at Gristedes.
And Rodeo Bar was a lot of fun, though my memories are a little hazy. I remember (college buddy) Dan and I calling Hal on a pay phone because he couldn't come to the party, because he was doing his annual training with the Army Reserves. I remember hanging out with Bob's favorite cousin, Tom. And I'm sure there must have been a band there, but I've got no idea who it was.
Bob said he was surprised last week. Jen had said she was going to take him to dinner somewhere nearby and she "spontaneously" suggested they stop in RB for a drink.
I had fun catching up with some friends from college I hadn't seen in a while: John and Tracy Patterson and Phil and Bill Mindler. (From left to right, that's John, Bill, Tracy, and Phil, which is short for Philinda.)
After we ordered our appetizers, I texted Hal to see whether he was on his way. He'd told Jen that he'd try to make it after he did the City to Shore bike ride for the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I was puzzled by his response but didn't even consider that he'd changed his number when he got his iPhone this summer and so I was actually texting someone else. So I defaulted to WTF mode while bringing up Hal's penchant for women with fit backs (though he likes the usual lady parts, too).
Hal eventually showed up. He got the Chicken Chimichanga, as had I. The appetizer had consisted of platters of fried pickles, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, empanaditas, chicken fingers, and chicken wings. For dessert, I ordered the Key Lime Pie but stole a bite of Bill B.'s Mississippi Mud Pie.
John had suggested I ride back to Brooklyn with him and Tracy so that they could get their present for Bob—40 bottles of beer in a large, straw-lined basket—back to the apartment building. Jen's parents, who were driving B&J home, were able to fit it in the back of their car, so I instead went to a diner with Hal so I could meet his new girlfriend, Stacy. She'd been hanging out with a friend of hers from college after having driven Hal up from his bike ride. Stacy seems like a good gal. Hal said he's glad she's an 8th grade teacher because it helps her to deal with him. Hah! And so true too, I'm sure.
On Thursday, we had a bottle of Domaine de Vaufuget Vouvray—which my Dad has been buying for me every so often ever since I told him I really liked it the first time he bought it for me—with our Indian food. And I gave Bob his gift: a bottle of California cabernet sauvignon that, like Bob, is of the 1969 vintage.
I first thought I'd give Bob a bottle of Bordeaux from our birth year, but after doing a little research online, I discovered 1969 was a terrible vintage for Bordeaux. I didn't find a whole lot of 1969 wines available online from hard-to-find-wine shops, which was probably a good thing so that I didn't feel totally overwhelmed by choices. I found some good reviews of this Beaulieu Vineyard bottling, and it's fun to see that BV is still making quality cabernets in the Napa Valley. (Although I see that it's corporate owned—by Diageo Plc—which lessens the fun a little; it would be cooler if it were still all in the de Latour family.)
Bob said the three of us have to go out to eat soon and drink the BV as our second bottle. The BV can be opening up in a decanter while we first drink a wine from the restaurant's list. Here's hoping this particular bottle has held up well. *fingers crossed*
And now some more pictures: