A Big Apple Birthday

August is here. The month of my birthday is at hand. Remember the time I made up a birthday registry? That was fun. Even if I only got one item on the list. (When the starting price of a gift is $250 you tend to weed out a lot of casual gift-givers. Lesson learned.) Nowadays, I have this convenient Amazon wish list with all the incidental smaller gifts on it – along with several big-ticket items (there are a couple of Tom Ford Private Blends available – not to mention some fantastic art books). For those closer to me who may still be wondering what might tickle my fancy this birthday season, allow me to produce a list more reasonable than the Louis Vuitton items that occupied that first birthday registry in my more hubris-oriented youth.

In rather unprecedented fashion, Tom Ford is not at the top of my wish list this time. Since the Mandarino di Amalfi craze of earlier this summer (a scent so intoxicating I had to run out and purchase it myself) I haven’t found a Private Blend that really called to me. Mandarino’s sister frag, Costa Azzurra, was nice, but doesn’t have the staying power to merit such a hefty price point. Besides, the end of August doesn’t call for a bright summer fragrance. If I were to go for a Tom Ford fragrance, it would be the elusive ‘London’ Private Blend – currently only available in the London flagship store (and perhaps online if one is especially crafty and willing to deal with the steep exchange rate). That may be a wish beyond realistic possibility, but that’s what wishes are.

Without Mr. Ford, that frees up a spot for another fragrance. September is a tricky pocket of time for cologne. The days can be summer-hot, but the nights can be cooler. A little bit of citrus and a little bit of pepper offer a good balance together, but I haven’t had time to determine which scents best exemplify that right now. It may mean a spur-of-the-moment selection (like the Amber Absolute birthday gift from a few years ago). Or it may mean no new fragrance, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Given my love of theater and travel, it seems odd that I’ve never asked for a trip or tickets to a show, but it’s never too late to start a new tradition. And so, in the winding trajectory of this post, I may have talked myself out of a birthday cologne, and into something entirely different. After this year’s Broadway renaissance, a rekindled passion for the Broadway musical may mean that my birthday wish is a weekend in New York. Never in my life did I think I would want to spend my birthday in the city that too often annoys me, but if I can stick to those activities and the spaces that I love, why shouldn’t it be a wonderful time?

So I’m thinking Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24 at the Waldorf Towers or the Standard – two hotels that are quite different, but have each called to me over the years.  I’ve taken that Monday off for the return trip home. A day of shopping on Fifth Avenue, perhaps venturing all the way up to the Tom Ford flagship store, and maybe a walk back through Central Park, and then a show (one of the following four) on the evening we don’t do the fancy dinner:

  • Kinky Boots (seen it, but worth seeing again, if only to get Andy’s take on it)
  • The Book of Mormon (because, rather blasphemously, I’ve NEVER seen it)
  • Bullets Over Broadway (which actually closes on my birthday – hello cosmic hint)
  • A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (perhaps too close-to-home?)

I’m leaning toward ‘Bullets’ as that’s one of our favorite movies, and with a closing date on my birthday I think it may be the one (I’ve never seen a show on its closing date, but I’m guessing that’s a bittersweet and special time).

I looked at La Grenouille for a dinner (it’s one of the places Truman Capote reportedly took his swans), but that was booked the entire weekend so I need to find up with a suitable substitution. Recommendations always welcome. In the meantime, start saving: my Amazon Wish List.

The month of the Virgo is upon us.

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