A Morning in Brooklyn

I hung out with the little bro on Friday evening, having spent the week just working and sleeping–mostly working. I needed a night out and we enjoyed some wine with our friend Di, munching on brown rice and roasted chicken and vegetables that Noah had prepared. Later in the evening we headed out for some cocktails and snacks (oops–there went the New Year’s diet…) at a Cuban place around the corner from his waterside home.

Saturday morning we awoke to a new day. It was crisp–freezing, really. Diana needed to head home to Long Island and No and I were starving, so we walked her part way to the subway before finding our spot. The Lovin’ Cup on North Sixth street in Williamsburg boasts a “Drunk Brunch” on a chalkboard out front. We went in and discovered that this delightful $15 prix fix includes a brunch entree and three drinks–mimosas, bloody Mary’s, or draft beers. Or any combination of the three. We each ordered the vegetarian “Sweet Jane scrambler” with egg whites and delighted in the pile of tots that came with it. The coffee was fresh, hot, and bold, and the mimosas were so tall, we each only had two. And left totally drunk.

Hanging out with my cute little bro, wearing one of his oversized t-shirts as a dress and a newsboy cap borrowed from his closet, wandering the streets of his lovely neighborhood, made for an absolutely delightful Saturday morning in winter. And I can tell you this much: nowhere in Manhattan will you find a Drunk Brunch that refreshing and delightful at a price anywhere near $15.

Check out their brunch and dinner menu here.

New Love: The Wind-Up

One of my dearest friends, Diana, turns 25 today. Happy birthday Princess Di! It’s no surprise that being born this time of year can be kind of a bummer because friends and loved ones are scattered here and there, or racing to finish up work on a deadline, or broke from Christmas shopping… or all of the above. Josh suffers from the same problem–he’s on the 27th–but more on that next week.

So I was thrilled to see that at Diana’s birthday bash on Saturday night, so many of her pals made it. The high school girls were there, my bro and I who (sort of) fit the hometown category, college friends about  whom I’d heard countless stories but had never met in person, and the guests of honor were her brother–and his band.

The band doing their thing at Arlene’s Grocery on Saturday Night

Now let me pause for a moment to say that I have a ton of appreciation and admiration for anyone who does something creative in this world. Clearly, as the writer of a blog that is only at its baby beginnings, I know there are a lot of good intentions swirling out there in the artistic world. However, in my humble opinion, usually when you hear someone refer to their “friend’s brother’s band from [insert Hometown, USA here],” chances are, they’re talking about a few crooners who bang around in someone’s dad’s garage a couple times a week putting new, slightly off-key spins on classic jams or writing what ends up sounding like poorly done Guster. Not so with my friend’s brother’s band from Long Island.

I first got introduced to The Wind-Up last year when the band’s album, “You Are a Beautiful Thing,” went up for sale on their website. I had only ever heard a few tunes in the backseat of someone’s car under the influence of at least a couple gin and tonics, so I had no idea if I’d like it or not. But when your friend calls you begging for you to spend ten bucks to make her day, you just do it, right? Within weeks the album was also available on iTunes. I was impressed!

The Wind-Up’s tunes shift in a moment from the soft, emotional sharing of a rock star with a great voice singing to a lost love, to a full-on jam session that leaves you bopping around in your subway seat. My favorite off the album has always been “Eleanor,” but the other night at Arlene’s Grocery, I actually found myself fist-pumping (What???) to “They Promised You Life” and others. I shed a few tears at “Song for Haley,” which is available from their demo on the website. Wow. I glanced around the room slowly and– as if in a movie–saw so many others holding back tears at the honesty and intensity of this ballad. Lyrics include, “…being without you is just like dying.” Every song by the band will resonate, yet the music is so basically catchy and fun, you don’t have to think about it.

What makes The Wind-Up so great is their talent, plain and simple. Each member brings something to the table, and the music is all written by them, reflecting various memories and hopes and pouring out the deepest inner struggles and triumphs. This is some moving sh**. And Robert Jonas can sing! I strongly recommend you check out their website for all songs as well as concert itinerary, photos, bios, etc. And you should just go for it and buy “You Are a Beautiful Thing” on iTunes. You won’t be sorry. I am so glad I finally made it to a Wind-Up concert, I just wish it had happened sooner. When you go, ladies, pack a tissue in your purse. Just in case they play that one song… or whichever one moves you to tears.
Check ‘em out!