On Saturday, I drove to Washington for my friend Andrew’s talent show birthday extravaganza. The party began with his sister Caroline’s parody card,
and Andrew opened the night’s slate of featured performers with an original song he composed for Annie, who is in library school, called “I Want You to Check Me Out”:
Highly referential and a very difficult act to follow, warm vegan banana bread was a good, gooey thing after the birthday Piano Man,
and folding an origami fox another great talent drawn randomly out of the bowl,
Cardmaker Caroline, who has just started nursing school, demonstrated her new skills taking Andrew’s blood pressure,
I donned a hat and shoes for Tap Like a Pirate Day (it’s really Talk Like a Pirate Day that is widely celebrated, but I subbed tap shoes for dramatic effect);
all the African countries were named,
some joint flexibility displayed,
a couple, newly married, impressed with athletic synchronicity,
a buried flask was opened (freshly filled with whiskey),
and used as a prop in a Eugene Debs reading (many of the guests work at a progressive think tank in the area, so more than a few of the acts alluded to the room’s high collective political and geographic knowledge).
A gentleman in an unusual tie did acrobatics (furniture was relocated),
and “Gin and Juice” was reinterpreted for the guitar,
(here’s the chorus)
and Annie closed with a German song and a truly incredible cake with diverse layers and a splendid sour cream icing,
The next morning, I was recovering from potent tumblers of homemade limoncello mixed with hibiscus tea (Annie and Andrew seemed fine), and my friend Cameron met the three of us at the Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market with a ready explanation of how to pronounce “praline” (he poses the quandary in his calm, forthright way):
We four ambled around the market, spotting the praline muffins Cameron had referred to,
and beautiful fresh ginger, a nice reminder of the freshness ginger can bring to cooking and baking.
In Adams Morgan, Annie ordered homemade yogurt,
Andrew a crêpe with roasted peppers and goat cheese,
and my friend Nina arrived on her trusty bike Rusty.
Closing the loop on a weekend of celebratory sugar, we walked with Nina to Biagio, one of my favorite places, where she explained how the white chocolate we were about to taste surrounded a kulfi-like nougat (heavy on the traditional cardamom), that takes her back to the sweets at the end of Ramadan she waited for as a child.
I think D.C. is quite lucky to have all of these talented friends of mine that I hope to have occasion to see again soon; happy, happy birthday again, Andrew–
More images of talented people in the Flickr set.