Every year, on the first Saturday after the New Year, I gather my friends for a dinner. Not to celebrate times past, or the start of something new, but to celebrate what is truly most important to me… me. My birthday is on the 4th of January, and for the past few years (as more and more people travel farther and farther for the holidays) it always seems like a good idea to gather returned and weary travelers in one place and toast Me… ok, mostly we celebrate the end of the holidays, but let me have my illusions.
In years past I have held the dinners in TriBeca, Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. But this year, after close to a year working at The Downtown Alliance, I thought I would introduce my friends to a little strip known as Stone Street.
Adrienne’s Pizza Bar had just the atmosphere I was looking for, and after some simple negotiations with management they set up an amazing deal for my guests. For a very reasonable price per head my entire party had two hours of endless wine, beer and mixed drinks, antipasti and salad, and enough artisan pizza to feed an army.
Most of my guests had never been to Stone Street (let alone Adrienne’s) and many got lost along the way! But I was so pleased to hear from many of them, “Thank God there are those Way Finding signs all over the place, they saved the night!” How proud was I to tell them that the Downtown Alliance put those up for just such an occasion!
It was a cold night, and my guests were NOT interested in traveling very far after our dinner. Again, Stone Street provided. Right next door to Adrienne’s is Ulysses’, a well known neighborhood haunt. And though Stone Street was deserted because of the cold, the bar was full of Downtowners listening to live music and reconnecting after the holiday.
Once warmed up inside the Jameson began to flow, and I’m afraid the rest of the story is for privileged ears only. But suffice it to say, my guests will all be returning to Stone Street and Lower Manhattan on their own to find some of the other gems that are only just being discovered by the rest of the island.