After having spent a day having fun with the boys at the zoo and park, my husband and I went home and started making plans for a date night. Date nights don’t come around too often for us. With as many kids as we have it can become an expensive venture, and not having a lot family nearby to call on for help makes getting away just that much harder.
But we lucked out, found a great sitter that was a perfect fit for all their needs (and financial limitations) and we decided to go out, without the kids, on one of the most celebrated nights in New York City: Fourth of July. This fourth of July was a special one because it was also the celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s first exploration. Thus an event which usually takes place on the East River, moved to the West side and thousands upon thousands of people were joining in on the festivities.
So, we left our 3 boys under the care of our angel/babysitter and made our way to 26th St., by way of 34th St. When we exited the station the sun was a bright yellow, the breeze was refreshing and a bit strong, and the sky was a beautiful blue. We walked past some of my favorite spots, such as the Empire State Building, the beautiful post office building (James Farley Post Office) on 33rd St, and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (from Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh) before arriving to 27th St and standing almost in awe at how empty and quiet the streets were. An incredible site for sure.
The people around us were in a hurry, many with bags of food and blankets in their hands, quickly making their way towards 12th Ave, along the Hudson River. Those who did stop, stopped only for a drink or snack at the nearest hot dog stand, or for all the fun trinkets being sold for the upcoming ceremonies and fire works displays. But not us, we strolled down the empty streets, holding hands, kissing every so often, enjoying our time alone.
The scene along 12th Avenue was anything but empty. Tons of people had already gathered and it was only 6:00pm! We found a spot to sit and even met a lovely couple from Canada who were there on vacation, celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Though the wait was long we made the best of it and had some pretty good laughs before we heard the first BOOM! in the sky.
The sky was alive with a beautiful display of lights, the booming sounds followed by a colorful, wow-inducing brilliance of pyrotechnics.
After all the excitement of the fire works and bidding farewell to our new Canadian friends, we made our way down 8th Ave. and had dinner at the vibrant Cuba Cafe. While Latin music played in the background, we chatted over mojitos (excellent by the way)and chicharrón, which consisted of small bits of deep fried sausages, pork, and beef.
I ordered the Ropa Vieja which was a bit salty, even for the dish which tends to be on the salty side already, but still good. Hubby ordered the best dish ever, which was Grilled Chicken with Habanero Sauce, served with fresh Spanish and mashed potatoes. Yum!
It was, by far, the best Fourth of July ever…and the best date night in a long time.