My Leo nature has always driven me to blend sentiment with spontaneity while celebrating my birthday. New York City offers an abundance of exceptional activities inviting partiers to make smile-inducing memories. Recognizing my first birthday as a New York City resident called for a chain of special occasions.
Earlier in the summer, I received a discount for half priced Yankees tickets as a token of gratitude for voting Giancarlo Stanton in the 2018 MLB All Star Game’s fan favorite competition. One of the eligible games fell on the day before my birthday. Redeeming the offer for this particular date allowed me to pregame for my completion of another revolution around the sun. I took advantage of the discount to slightly splurge on field level seats near first base. Any seat in Yankee Stadium welcomes fans for a fun time, but I enjoyed spectating from a lesser distance.
I often dub Yankee Stadium the “Disney World of baseball parks.” Any marketable item and imaginable food concoction is available. One excessive dessert that undoubtedly prompts mouths to water is the made-for-Instagram Grand Slam Shake. I have shamelessly indulged in two of the four available sugary masterpieces. For recognizing one’s birthday, the Celebration Shake rendition is most appropriate. Multiple cupcakes rest on of ice cream while a souvenir glass uses frosting as an adhesive to coat the rim with crumbs and sprinkles. The Celebration Shake certainly delivered a personal birthday party to my taste buds.
In addition to visiting Yankee Stadium for a Grand Slam Shake, Rita’s Italian Ice across the street from Coney Island also provided me a delicious option for a festive treat. I spent the early afternoon of my birthday strolling along the beach and boardwalk of Brooklyn’s famous attraction for my first visit to the popular summer destination. My excursion commenced with ordering Rita’s signature Gelati consisting of Italian ice between layers of custard. For a festive occasion, I would normally customize a combination including cake batter custard. Unfortunately, the Coney Island location did not offer this flavor when I visited. However, my tropical integration of orange cream custard and coconut ice roared with flavor fit for a Leo.
While exploring Luna Park and surrounding areas, I used my camera to build my own visual amusement park. I chased chromatic thrills and colorful fun. Coney Island’s inclusive palette spun me like the Tilt-A-Whirl allowing me to absorb all of the fantastic colors. Tints delivered me to a peak before dropping as an entirely different shade like the Cyclone coaster. The saturated colors triggered my visual sweet tooth like fried dough or a candy apple. An infinite view of the ocean symbolized the endless opportunities twenty-three years of age now bestowed. My photographic pursuits succeeded in offering an adrenaline rush.
From the southern coast of Brooklyn to the borough’s northwestern edge, I traveled to Williamsburg for the evening portion of my celebratory itinerary. A couple of friends met me at the Dream Machine exhibition. This surreal showcase is one of the several trending installations discarding traditions pertaining to museums and galleries while serving as a factory producing social media content. Only such a place offers the opportunity to lose your head in the clouds, enter through a washing machine to a mirrored cove full of suspended crystals, and meander through a jungle of tinsel. As both a lucid dreamer and an ambitious dreamer, this particular attraction appealed to me. The whimsical destination offered an out-of-body experience in which I wandered through my subconscious mind. Similar to Alice falling through the rabbit hole or young Charlie discovering a golden ticket, Dream Machine transported me to a realm eluding reality.
From a sensational atmosphere to a tasty sensation, my friends and I later indulged in dessert for dinner. Rather than celebrating traditionally with cake, I opted for one of the many birthday-themed treats at Milk Bar. The Momofoku sub-franchise markets itself with an appealing leftover complex. Its cereal-infused ice cream alludes to the taste of milk settled in a bowl of cornflakes. Many of Milk Bar’s baked goods also include unconventional ingredients. For example, their Compost Cookie successfully integrates potato chips, coffee, and more. Although I find the Compost Cookie recommendable based on my previous experience, I ordered a more appropriate Confetti Cookie to coincide with my B’day MilkQuake. The thick and creamy celebratory concoction blends Milk Bar’s signature Cereal Milk Soft Serve, sprinkles, and B’day Cake Truffles into a milkshake rendition of a cake.
Because we did not have a traditional dessert from which I could blow out a candle, I improvised by blowing out the flame from my friend’s ignited lighter held above my cookie. The lighter flickered long enough for me to contemplate a wish, but we conducted the makeshift candle quickly enough to avoid being arrested for potential arson. I’m not sure if it counted, but I did not want to waste an opportunity to make my rightful birthday wish. However, I felt full of gratitude ready to erupt like a confetti cannon. I was blessed to commence my year as a twenty-three-year-old with genuine friends in New York City pursuing our dreams in art, design, and fashion. It seems the older I grow, the less for which I have to wish.