21st Birthday [read: we’ve moved to Birthday Weekend status]

And to think 20 was where it all began.

From birthday to birthday, we’ve upgraded to birthday weekend status this year. The big 2-1. Still not really sure how I feel about it. As much as I’d like to say I’m old and irrelevant, I’d say my friends did a pretty good job ignoring that statement by giving me some relevance. Here we go:


FRIDAY: You know it’s going to be a good weekend when work lets you out early the day of your birthday. And gives you an ice cream celebration the day before your birthday. Does that extend this weekend to being 4 days? Nah, that’s too extra.

I did leave early, though, and headed over to the food trucks for Mei Mei and meeting Lela. Lela has Fridays off at her co-op this summer/fall, so she came in from NYC earlier than the rest of the squad. Of course, she helped me shop, and get ready for the actual night. She was an angel, ordering Thai food and getting me out and back all in one piece.

The night, then, was pretty monumental. I invited over some friends for a small gathering [read: aforementioned Thai food feast] and we climbed the 5-story walk-up that is my building to the roof to pop that bottle of champagne. I’m not sure there’s anything else in this world as quintessentially 21 than popping that bottle without hitting anyone with a flying cork. I was a little nervous, and emotionally overwhelmed as it was, but no windows or people were harmed in this adventure. Friendships were also maintained despite my inability to stand still {I was just too excited!} and tendency to cry when overwhelmed with all the feelings. Eesha, madam photog, captured the night for all of us to remember. Thank goodness.

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At  least I got a picture with the photog. Check her out!

We stayed upstairs through the sunset, laughing and catching up, until we had to attend (albeit fashionably late) a Southern-themed party for yours truly. Dear party planners, that was some truly amazing, really really great work. The sweet teas, outfit choices, and presence was all a present. Post-party meant going to the bar and our choice had to be Loretta’s Last Call in Fenway for this Southern gal. A live country band to seal the deal.


SATURDAY: Mornings are made less difficult with brunch, especially at Pour House. The same birthday crew showed up for a mid-morning Pour House brunch, one where I could fight off a hangover in good company.

Melissa and Tiffany came in to meet us at Pour House right after their trip up from NYC. Every time we reunite, it’s as if we’re getting the band back together. This time, the immediate plan of action following brunch was a group nap that was probably the highlight of my afternoon. Much needed. Once we managed to drag ourselves out of bed, we went back up to the rooftop to replicate the previous night before going to dinner at Taranta, in the North End. The Italian-Peruvian fusion food did not disappoint, especially paired with a great Chardonnay and birthday limoncello. We have this curse of always being seated by ourselves on a different floor in the restaurant from every other consumer [read: we’re basically royalty] but this time it was pretty nice as we gushed over everything we ate.

Melissa got us tickets to Improv Asylum, a personal favorite of mine. The main stage show was hilarious as usual, and right next door to Taranta, so this night just kept on going. She made me wear a sash and tiara, borrowed from Sharon, just in case they’d make fun of me for my birthday. We didn’t have time for dessert at Taranta, so we walked across the street to Modern Pastry after recollecting ourselves (Lela was crying from laughter) for chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate mousse cake, pretty much a lot of chocolate except for Tiffany who doesn’t like chocolate. The North End isn’t too far from Faneuil Hall so we wandered over to Ned Devine’s Irish Pub and met up with every other birthday girl in Boston and Northeastern’s party bus groupies AKA my friends. Needless to say, it was quite a night.

I ended the night at Our House East, Northeastern’s bar, and with an unnecessarily (really quite necessary) large slice of Cappy’s pizza. I guess I can finally say I’m a real Northeastern student. We stayed up late playing “Who’s Most Likely To…” like we did at the start of 2016, but this time it was a formal game that Melissa got me for my birthday. Not a board game, but it might be my personal favorite. Now you get to know how your friends think about you ruthlessly in a formalized judging format. The answers will remain secret, just between the four of us, for some time.


SUNDAY: Stephanie’s brunch just can’t be beat. And neither can its portions. We finished our meals (to an extent, I’m looking at you Melissa) and lethargically moved through the rest of the day. Eventually we made it to Primark for a quick shopping spree before rushing back to South Station so my main ladies could catch their bus back to NYC. I’m telling you, these weekends just keep getting shorter every time.

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Do you see how #MelissaisBae?

I’m not sure if I have wise words for 21. I’m thankful for a lot of wonderful people, and am giving an online toast to them for putting all of this together. It always makes me feel so loved that so many people rally around me every year. Last year, I thought nothing could top Cambridge. And I wasn’t wrong, but that was a completely different experience. Maybe it’s not about topping each and every year with something ‘better’; maybe it’s about appreciating what you have. Even though my birthday shot this year was a slice of pizza, and last year’s was a cupcake, I’d say it was just another experience to add to this life.

Cheers to another year, amazing relationships, and Boston as my backdrop as we start another journey around the sun. Sure, I’m older, and arguably wiser, but I’d like to say thank you to everyone who kept me young and relevant this weekend. Here we go again, into another year, close to the 1-year anniversary of [Read: Twenty-Something]. No, I’m not freaking out, of course not.

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They made me wear the tiara.
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