Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birthdays Galore

This weekend was such a sweet success in my endeavors to stay up past midnight on weekends, I can barely stand it.

Fridays are always a bit of a challenge for me - it's the end of a (typically) long week and all I really want to do is hang out with people for a bit but still go to bed by like 10 PM (which is what happened last weekend). I figured that kind of mentality wasn't going to fly this Friday, since I had two birthday parties lined up.

I just love celebrating people's birthdays - it's just so festive and guaranteed to be a good time (and sure, the cake aspect of things certainly doesn't hurt...). And I was especially excited for these two birthdays - for the people and the vastly different venue choices.

My first stop on this Friday birthday tour was for my friend (Arpana)'s husband (Kaushik)'s birthday. The venue? A bar filled with... arcade games! I love exploring "different" kinds of bars, and Headquarters Beercade was no exception. It's kind of tucked on a quiet little side street in Lincoln Park / Lakeview and it's fairly small, so the whole "cozy" feel is totally there. Also, while the bar doesn't serve food, you can totally order food in, which I also think is such a great idea for a chill bar.

But most importantly - the arcade games!! It was a TOTAL blast from the past! While I didn't have a chance to actually PLAY any of the games (I got a little caught up with socializing), I just loved the whole idea... and don't think PacMan tucked in the corner didn't catch my eye!

Overall, I have to say that stop #1 was a sweet success - arcade games, Pequod's pizza ordered in (nice choice, Kaushik and Arpana!), a Sugar Bliss cupcake (or two... Vimmi and I are apparently the definition of "enabler") and of course, some pretty great (mostly Ohio-based, holler) company!

My second stop on this Friday birthday tour was for one of my best friends in Chicago - Alma. (You have likely seen her name referenced throughout this blog...) Alma's husband, Doug, had arranged this birthday extravaganza at this place called Northside Bar and Grill, out in Wicker Park. It had been SO long since I had been to Wicker Park and since I'd seen Alma (and a few others at her party), so I was quite excited for some reunions galore.

I'd never been to Northside Bar, but as soon as I walked in, I was just so darn pleased. This place was actually pretty big, but still retained a fairly chill vibe. Once I spotted Alma's crew, I made a beeline for the birthday girl and totally bear hugged it out.

(Picture courtesy of Alma:

Unfortunately, I'd arrived a little late (I guess that was the theme of the night) so I had JUST missed the big birthday singing / birthday cake candle blowing extravaganza, but I managed to snag a picture from Alma's Facebook page... (I love this picture, primarily because it captures both Alma and Doug... and Alma's gorgeous necklace - but that's just an aside).

And, let's just have a minute here to... check out that CAKE. Doug - all I have to say is... well done. (I would applaud at my computer but I think that's a little weird).

Overall, though, it was such a fun time - to be expected, since I always love hanging out with Alma and Doug... they are just so FUNNY together (and individually).

(Picture courtesy of Alma:

And it certainly didn't hurt that I got the chance to reunite with some old favorites of mine..

(Picture courtesy of Alma:

Overall, such a great night. Happy birthdays, Alma and Kaushik! I hope you both had wonderful ones :) Cheers to another sweet, sweet year.

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