The Recent Paterfamilias is proud to announce that his baby’s first birthday party went off seamlessly. The food looked great. The food tasted great. The older kids found our choice of playground locale to be great. The weather was great (the weather was perfect, actually). Even the plates, the napkins, and the ice were great. Everything was just, well, great.
But it very easily might have been not so great.
Our original intended location, the widely reputed idyllic but little known Central Park, as well as New York City’s avenues between our apartment and the Park, were reportedly somewhat congested this past Sunday, the day of the event.
The Aids Walk (noble cause it may be) traveled down the west of the Upper West Side and crossed over to enter and meander through the western regions of the Park. On Central Park West, which spans the entire west side of the Park (much the same as its across town counterpart, Fifth Avenue), the Ecuadorian Day Parade was proudly marching south. On Columbus Avenue, there was a street fair running for a solid mile-and-a-half, and on Amsterdam Avenue, there was some sort of local neighborhood festival, the nature of which even now I don’t fully understand. Broadway was pretty much unobstructed, but that’s only if you don’t count the six lanes of north/south-bound traffic which incessantly flies by at a modest 70 miles an hour. West End Avenue was also pretty much wide open, but as West End was in the opposite direction of where we would’ve been headed, it was kind of a non-issue.
So…how might it have gone had we chosen to hold our party in Central Park, on the so-called Frisbee Lawn, for which we’d gained a permit? I had to make four trips up to the apartment to get everything as it was, and the playground we used is next door to our apartment building, but to get all that food (great though it was), the twelve minute walk over Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus, and Central Park West, and then the seven minutes more through the Park to the so-called Frisbee Lawn, across the historically busy weekend Central Park Drive, past the long bathroom lines outside of Le Pain Quotidien, skirting along the edge of Sheep Meadow, through the gate in the Frisbee Lawn fence, and then fight for a prime real estate shady spot on level ground under one of the London Plane Trees (which in London, I believe, are simply called Plane Trees)? And then to do all of this without a wagon train or a flatbed truck or a camel caravan to carry all the food and drinks and other sundry accoutrements? Impossible! Impossible, I say! Frankly, it had been downright idiotic to even consider attempting the venture in the first place! Impossible, I say! Again, I say impossible!
It was difficult enough just to get all of that stuff next door. Bagels are heavy. Folding accordion tables are heavy. Cupcakes are heavy (especially when there’s about seventy of them—see: photo). But no matter what was heavy and what was great, it, the party, was worth it; it was worth it because the whole shindig came off so well; it was worth it because it made the baby of the Recent Paterfamilias so pleased; and it was worth it because it caused the R.P. himself to come off looking so fantastic (because, after all, that’s really half the battle, ain’t it?—see: photo—though, it must be admitted that we might’ve gotten a couple too many cupcakes for seventeen people).