Monday, April 02, 2007

happy birthday to you, you belong in a zoo

This is where I had my birthday party on Saturday.

Let me explain. AK and I discovered the Old Zoo Picnic Area of Griffith Park when we went hiking over the holidays. Built by the WPA, these old habitats and enclosures served as the LA Zoo until the mid-‘60s, when the animals moved on up to (comparatively) deluxe quarters a couple of miles northeast.

Now you can picnic in and around the Old Zoo. Since wandering through decaying ruins and eating outdoors are two of my favorite activities, there was really no other place I could have my party, even though a small corner of the park caught on fire on Friday and the Old Zoo is almost impossibly hard to find. My friend Amy circled Griffith Park for almost an hour. Finally she gave up and text messaged, “Happy Birthday. Sorry I’m retarded.” (Sorry, Amy—it’s not you, it’s the zoo.)

Each habitat seemed to have drawn a different subculture to picnic there—kid’s family birthday, stoner couple with dog, teenage punks who called out, “Hey, what are you drinking?”—so it really was like wandering around a human zoo. One of the stoners gave Jamie the finger when she took his picture, so I didn’t even try.

When we weren’t engaging in armchair anthropology, we played Frisbee and bocce ball, blew bubbles, drank Alberto’s park-ready Birthday Punch, ate burgers and dogs (veggie and non) grilled with amazing rapidity and skill by AK, and gobbled up three kinds of pasta salad and two kinds of cake. Thanks for coming everyone, and thanks, Sara, for the pictures.

I’m not actually 30 until tomorrow, so I’ll save the requisite freaking out about getting older until then.


Claire said...

Excellent. Happy Birthday!

The Observatory is probably my fave spot from my LA days. I didn't know about the old zoo though-cool.

And Amy shouldn't feel bad. I once tried to meet someone to play tennis there, and it was a bust because there were more than one set of courts within a couple miles of each other.

Anonymous said...

hey! happy birthday! you'll love your 30's - it's when we gals really start cooking!


Cheryl said...

C: One more reason I don't play tennis (at my party, I discovered I'm not even good at bocce ball).

J: You don't mean cooking literally, right? Last night I made a grilled cheese sandwich, but that's where I draw the line.

Ms. Q said...

Happy real birthday and thanks for the fun Saturday.
As easy as grilled cheese - almost.

Paradise Peak Bars
Preheat Oven to 350.
Unwrap a stick of butter and put it in a baking dish (9x13 is good) put the dish in the oven and keep an eye on it till the butter melts.
While you're watching it melt, crush up one pouch of graham crackers. This will be more graham crackers than you need so it's okay to eat a few.
When the butter is melted, measure about 1-1/2 cups of the crushed crackers into the pan and mush it into the butter. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded coconut on top unless you would like to put more. Sprinkle 1-1/3 cups chocolate chips on top unless you would like to put more. Sprinkle 1-1/2 cups sliced almonds on top unless you would like to put more. Pour a can of condensed milk over the top.
Bake 20-25 minutes.

PS - I discovered I am bad at frisbee, and CC is really good. Secret Sporty Spice.

Cheryl said...

Who needs frisbee when you're Martha Stewart (except for the bitchy/sometime-criminal part)?

P.S. Brilliant blog! I'd heard rumors of it, but hadn't yet seen the link.

Schrodinger's Kitten said...

I feel famous. Gosh! Thanks for the swell party!