PIG ROAST(S), August 2010 / July 2012, Redhook, (Upstate) NY

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This coming weekend I have VERY big plans to roast a lamb in honor of mine and my friend Pete’s birthday. But before I blog about my upcoming roast I wanted to share some photos from my past roasts. PIG roasts that is! I have been lucky enough to host not one but TWO pigs roasts in my life time, all thanks to my bestie Spencer (as you may remember from earlier Party Pirls posts) and his loving parents (who just happen to be my unofficial god-parents) Marsha and Steven, who donated their lovely home and yard for the festivities.

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MY WEEK WITH TYLER / A DINNER PARTY / I’M BACK, June 2014, Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY

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I am officially the worst blogger ever – I haven’t written a post since August 2013 and haven’t even thought of writing one until May of 2014. But just like I can’t not finish a book (still reading Infinite Jest after two months and only 350 pages) I cannot just abandon my not yet beloved blog. SO I am making a concerted effort to document and post! So in honor of my first blog post in almost a year I threw a little dinner party!

My parents went to Greece (without me) for two weeks and my boyfriend, his boy friend, Tyler, and his boyfriend, Brandon, and I, had the honor of house/puppy sitting while they were gone. My parent’s have one of those beautiful sprawling rent stabilized Upper West Side side apartments that were made for parties. They throw epic Christmas parties every year which all my friends love (though I now have a cap on invites since the Jews vs Gentiles Flip Cup Debacle of 2012). I myself have been known to throw a rager or two there in the past (and also known to get caught). In high school a friend drank all my stepfather’s expensive tequila AND i destroyed a $500 nickel door knob (I mean, who spends $500 on a door  knob?!) and I still haven’t lived it down. Now that I’m somewhat of an adult I decided to host a more upscale event. For Tyler and Brandon’s last night I roasted a pork shoulder Momofuku style and invited a whole bunch of friends over. It was delicious and I got to use my parents extremely nice dish ware, which made my meal super fancy.

I still need to get a nicer camera to get better photos of my food (or recruit one of my many photog friends to do so) but until then enjoy the photos of pork and friends! And I promise many more posts in the NEAR future!

We brined the pork shoulder in Salt, White and Brown Sugar for 12 hours

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I’m super bad at saran wrapping, so I made my boyfriend do it

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Vietnamese-inspired mung bean noodle salad

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Black sesame brussel sprout salad

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Shredding hot pork shoulder is hard, so I made my boyfriend do it

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Misses Loretta and some atmosphere

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Signs of a successful dinner party: no leftovers

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I made the mistake of telling the boys if you play the recorder the dog sings along…

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The end of the photos but NOT the end of the night

IT WAS MY 26TH BIRTHDAY, September, 2013, Benihana Midtown, Manhattan, NY

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I have a love-hate relationship with my birthday. I say I hate it because I always seem to be disappointed by it. My birthday falls on or around Labor Day weekend. Growing up it was the awkward period between Camp and School where there are no friends to come celebrate with you. Even now there’s this sense of “this has to be the best day ever because it’s my day” and then when it inevitably doesn’t live up to its potential I’m super bummed. That’s not saying I haven’t had awesome birthday parties in the past, including but not limited to, my Brooklyn Cyclones Baseball Birthday and my 48 hour 21st birthday extravaganza which involved four kegs and counting down till midnight. But a couple of years ago I gave up on my birthday all together, planned absolutely nothing, and for lack of a better word, it blowed. So last year, with the help of my most wonderful boyfriend, I planned one of the most epic birthday weeks of all time. Kicked off with a Bouncy Castle Pool Party with all my besties at my friend’s parent’s mansion on Long Island (Thanks again Mr. and Mrs. Treiber for giving us your house for the weekend!) Then continued on to a road trip to Detroit where I spent my actual Birth Day with my boyfriend, our puppy and our BFF Jonas drinking 40s on Belle Isle then sitting sixth row at a Detroit Tigers game! I wanted my birthday to live up to last years but I had neither the time, the money nor the energy to fund such extravagant celebrations.

After a couple weeks of debating, I decided all I really wanted was to be with my boyfriend, my friends and my puppy on my actual birthday. I didn’t need a weekend long celebration (though sometimes those are necessary), or an all out rager, I just wanted to have a good time. Then it came to me, almost like a dream, BENIHANA. Yes, you read right, a Benihana Birthday Party for a 26 year old that owns her own restaurant. I know it’s over priced, gimmicky and you leave smelling like Benihana but I can’t help it, it’s my absolute favorite restaurant. Here’s the back story:  Benihana has been my favorite restaurant since my parents got divorced when I was 5 and they started buying my love. I used to tell my restaurateur father that his restaurant was only my second favorite after Benihana. We would go for all special occasions, including a few Christamas’. We went there so often we even had a private chef, Kareem, who called my father Papa, and made us a special sauce that he only made for Donald Trump. I am still a proud recipient of the Benihana Chef’s Table email alerts.

Some old school Benihana celebration photos – which I obviously attached to my party invite and many reminders:image

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I made a reservation for 16 (that max for two tables facing each other), invited 30 of my closest friends, knowing that my birthday fell on a Jewish holiday and fashion week so people would have plans, and let the rest work itself out! I also invited everyone to my bar (which is just a short walk from Benihana midtown) for free drinks before dinner for those that couldn’t make it to the latter dinner portion of the evening, or reasonably didn’t want to drop at least $50 for hibachi. Even though the guest list changed too many times to count and literally wasn’t confirmed till we sat down to dinner at 9:30 I didn’t let anything stress me out. After a wonderful day walking around, eating and shopping in Brooklyn I was the happiest I could be drinking with friends at my bar then moseying on over to Benihana. I accidentally ordered the most expensive bottle of Sake and proceded to drink it to the face, wore the children’s menu like a chef’s hat all night, overly reacted to pretty much every time a shrimp tale landed in someones pocket and of course sang along to “Japanese Happy Birthday” which is just “if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands”. The night could have ended there but we naturally went to one of the many Karaoke bars in midtown and sang the night away. A perfect ending to a low key, low maintenance but super fun birthday.

Birthday #Selfie

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Splurge! Porcelain Buddha Dranks!

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Double Mustard Sauce- the only way to goimage

I HEART Benihana

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I have about ten other Karaoke photos that look just like this, you’ll just have to trust me that it was SUPER FUNimage

The only thing that could have made it more perfect was if my post birthday hangover hadn’t kept me in bed the entire next day….

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CAMP PARTY, March, 2009, Oberlin, Ohio

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In honor of August, and in an effort to bring back some happy memories, I present probably the best party we threw in college, THE CAMP PARTY! In college you can do things like ask all your friends to dress up as they’re fourteen year old selves at sleep away camp and they’ll not only do it, they’ll go above and beyond, and actually act like their at camp.

I don’t know about you guys but I LOVED camp. 6 weeks every summer, for 8 summers. I would count down the days during the school year until next summer started (like 297 days left). But you know who loved camp even more than me, my best friend and college roommate, Sarina. I am not sure of her stats, but it’s something similar to mine if not way more impressive. Her and her camp friends say things like CBFF (Camp BFF, Duh), and “Live nine months for three”. Who loves camp even more than Sarina? LEVI AND MAX, a high school and college friend, respectively, who are themselves CBFF. Honestly, the list can keep getting topped. What I’m getting at here is that a lot of people (especially upper middle class Jewish college kids) seriously loved camp and have serious nostalgia for it. Even if you weren’t a die hard over nighter, you were a tennis camper or at least you went to some day camp that looked just like a real camp but you go to go home to your parents at 5 o’clock. Or you always wanted to go and this party was your first real chance! Basically all types of people were REALLY into the camp party.

The planning of the camp party was key to it’s success. We turned every room of our dilapidated college house (which was obviously party central, to the point that our landlord once wrote our parents a letter saying he’d never in 20 years of renting had such outrageous partiers!) into different camp activities. We demarcated each section with make shift banners made from dorm bathroom paper towels and sharpies. The entrance room was the ARTS AND CRAFTS station – we provided face paint, lanyards, friendship bracelet string. The living room was the WATERFRONT, we bought pool toys, noodles and beach balls. But some friends went even further and brought a BOAT. Not a canoe, a full row boat, chilling in our living room. The dining room was the CAMP DANCE, we decorated with cheap streamers and curated an excellent 90s jams playlist. Finally, the dining room was the MESS HALL, we didn’t do much to transform it but we did make a huge vat of alcoholic Bug Juice (fruit punch and Popov vodka) and provided styrofoam cups (not the most eco friends, but the most realistic). The last thing we had to do was name our camp, which was much easier than it sounds, when someone came up with CAMP TUCTHATITTI we were all sold. (Camp banner also made of paper towels and sharpies!) We also made a huge camp flag out of a found green sheet that we had already ripped apart to make a cape for the Super Hero Party (more on that later), on which we just painted “CAMP” and left sharpies for our campers to share their memories.

Beyond the planning, our friends really brought their A Game for the party. Everyone was decked out in camp gear, someone even dressed up as a Teva (oh hey, McCarth!). Getting into the party only made it funner.

The night devolved into debauchery on it’s own accord. The drunker everyone got, the more like children we acted, and the more real camp felt. Here were some highlights : never ending games of SUCK AND BLOW, so many hair wraps, everyone bonging bug juice out of pool noodles, Hannah Tepper in her Kitty face paint crying because she’s home sick ALL NIGHT (literally didn’t break character once), sing alongs in the boat, Rowan’s “pantie raid” (aka stealing our undies and hanging them on the Tappan Square flag pole), the subsequent rescue of the panties, and finding two girls passed out in my bed at the end of the night. The party was one of the best nights of my life – just unadulterated fun. Though Sarina’s biggest regret in college will forever be not using the “Fire” DVD’s (left over from our Christmas party) Camp Fire setting (it’s all in the details). I obvi have an entire Facebook album dedicated to this party (tag line,”best summa eva!”, CHECK IT OUT), but here are some of my fave moments!

Mr.Cool aka Counselor Levi

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Thrice rolled up MJ Sophie shorts, CLASSIC camp lookimage

Hannah’s homesickness begins

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One of many a sing a long

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The First of never ending Suck and Blow games (also Oren might have won for best outfit/facepaint combo)

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Noodle Bonging (I never imagined pool noodles could be used in this way, but my friends are ingenious)

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TEVA

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ARTS N CRAFTS room (Stockings leftover, once again, from our Christmas party)image

Alie representing Team White for COLOR WARS

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FACE PAINT CITY

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CAMP

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THE BOAT (the morning after…)

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And finally our panties on the flag poleimage

GOT EM

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ALL AMERICAN RAGER / FOURTH OF JULY, 2013, Old Brookville, NY

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Unfortunately, a minor case of self diagnosed bronchitis and some major technical difficulties at the restaurant have delayed my first real party post but it was worth the wait! Fourth of July though only my fourth favorite holiday (after Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, in ascending order in case you were wondering) it is definitely always one of the best party days of the year. 

For the second year in a row my badass friend Chiara offered her (parent’s) Long Island Mansion for festivities. Last year, while extremely fun, was a little last minute gathering Chiara put together as a joint Independence day/ going away party for herself. This year she wanted to amp up the festivities and she was kind enough to ask me to help!  Obviously nothing gets me going like a good Long Island Pool Party and I was beyond excited to help.

Let me start with describing Chiara’s ridiculously party friendly property: huge house, huge kitchen, on 4 acres of landscaped lawn AND woods, pool, grill, tables for beer pong, bocce and corn hole locals, enough space for tons to crash and most importantly far enough from the neighbors to rage till the wee hours of the morning. Straight up ideal party local. But wait there’s more. Chiara’s party animal little bro, Joey, and his adorable Southern Bell friend, went above and beyond and rented a BOUNCEY CASTLE AND VELCRO WALL. After crafting one of my “famous” party email invites, we invited about 60 friends, mostly Brooklynites, to trek out to the Island and eat, sleep, party and play. We would provide the food if everyone brought their own booze. We made it be known in one of the many preparty emails that if they wanted, guests could make a small donation to the party fund but it was in no way mandatory. While Chiara’s father called us “shysters” for accepting money, we are broke 20 somethings and I for one don’t find it too gauche. When I’m thirty and raking in the big bucks (that’s what happens when you turn 30, right?) I’ll probably have a different opinion.

While only 35 people RSVPed (why is it so hard for people to say they are coming to a party?) we figured at least 60 would show up between the people we invited, unannounced plus ones, Joey’s friends, and word of mouth. Once everyone was invited and guest list tentative enough to plan our next biggest concern was food. There can never be too much food (or beer for that matter) and with so many mouths to feed we wanted to be ready. Chiara bought a couple hundred dollars worth of burgers, hot dogs, sausages, chips, etc. Chiara’s generous parents supplied (in addition to their home) 12 feet of italian subs. And I made a couple of very large side “salads” (salads in quotation marks because they were mostly mayonaise based). Oh and I made 100 watermellon Jell-O shots. We were ready. On July 3rd, Chiara, myself and a couple of VIP friends spent the night pre partying, making potato salads and preparing the house. I always like doing as much prep work the night before as possible. So often I miss half a day time party cause I’m in the kitchen cooking. By making everything the night before or the in the morning I avoid the hot kitchen and can lounge pool side with everyone else. 

The party officially started at 3 PM, we asked any train riders not to come past 5:30 PM so we would avoid any drunk drivers picking up people at the station. So by 6 o’clock the backyard was packed with joyous kids in their mid-twenties decked out in red, white and blue. My ridiculously good at pretty much everything he does boyfriend, Calvin, silk screened tons of custom Fourth of July Bosco shirts and hats (the photo company he and most of my friends work for, which will inevitably be discussed in future posts), which made a great party favor! (I love party favors)(and party shirts) Everyone looked awesome rocking matching apparel, drinking cold beers and what eventualy became warm Jell-O shots and frolicking around the property. The party continued smoothly into the night, at midnight we sang happy birthday to Sarina who turned 26 on the 5th, gave out Funfetti Cupcakes (the best kind of cupcakes) and since we didn’t have any birthday candles, we used one of the many glow sticks myself and my friend Jose brought for the party (always a great party addition! for birthday candles). I was one of the first to zonk out at 3AM but the party went on till the sun came up with activities probably too debaucherous to discuss on the internets.

Throughout the 18 hour festivities we estimated about 75 guests rolled through (both invited and uninvited), over 30 people slept every and anywhere they could (examples include two to a cushioned window seat, the outdoor supply shed, and the middle of the dining room floor). I have never seen “Project X” but everyone kept saying that’s what it looked like. We all woke up hungover (me probably the most) took a dip in the cold pool and hauled ass outta there so Chiara could go to a wedding (poor girl). As all parties do, there were a few minor mishaps, which we don’t need to dwell on. Oh except the Velcro Wall. That was an minor fail we can discuss. While hilarious to watch your friends eat shit in a too small velcro suit on a super hot day, those things are not built to hold anyone that weighs more than 100 lbs. Overall all the entire day/night/morning was a RESOUNDING SUCCESS. Don’t just take my word for it, check out the photographic evidence!

The beautiful hostess, Chiara, and 12 feet of subsimage

Bouncy Castle/Velcro Wall station, Tanner Kingsley and Loretta also picturedimage

Calvin modeling the children’s size velcro suitimageAnd splat.image

Uncle Knuckle enjoying some mayonaise free German Potato Salad I made JUST for himimage

Our resident male model Joey showing off Calvin’s Bosco Swag with Wally and LorettaimageSome festive Fourth outfits. Including mine and Cal’s matching lame steeze.image

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Is there anything better than a pool party?image9 too many Jell-O shots later..

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Happy 4th of July Sarina! The birthday girl

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And my last photo of the night.