Tonight, I headed downtown for dinner with my cousin Dana, to celebrate her new abode in the heart of the West Village. A Long Island native whose previous stint as an NYC resident ended eight years ago, Dana is jubilant to be back in the Big Apple and I’m thrilled that she’s only a quick subway ride away now.
From her sunlight-flooded fifth floor pad on Perry Street (located just a few blocks from the stoop that doubled as Carrie’s on Sex and the City), we strolled over to Sant Ambroeus, an intimate Italian eatery with equal parts charm and delicious fare.
Over some white wine, a shared plate of trenette in pesto sauce and grilled sea bass, Dana and I reminisced about memorable childhood moments --- including the tricked out performance that we along with her sister, my cousin Carla produced for other relatives as “Glitter Girls,” complete with show tickets, multiple costume changes, and a faux backstage that consisted of a bed sheet thrown over the stereo system.
Also part of our stroll down memory lane -- the predilection all three of us had as kids for consuming entire tubs of Betty Crocker’s Creamy Deluxe frosting. Our decadent little habit remained a secret from our parents…until one unfortunate night when the chocolate frosting didn’t agree with Dana, and her body virulently rejected every last ounce she’d consumed.
Though that unpleasant episode permanently put the kibosh on our frosting orgies, we’ve continued to share many sweet treats over the years (tonight’s were chocolate gelato and pear sorbet) and, of course, so much more. Dana is one of my heroes -- a smart, accomplished career woman whose flair for fashion, food and event planning is matched by her devotion to those she loves and unfailing moral compass. I feel so proud and fortunate to have her as my cousin, dear friend and, once again, fellow New Yorker.
We did plenty of gushing about our fair city tonight. And we both agreed, there’s no place in the world like it.