Once upon a time May Day meant walking around the May pole and the hedonistic jumping through fire to celebrate fertility for both the land and people. In the late 1800s it became International Worker’s Day and after the May Day riots in 1894 the day quickly became a time to speak out against government, capitalism, and what have you. This year the month of May kicked off with branches of the Occupy movement storming the streets of Manhattan marching and videotaping police brutality.
All this happened outside the window of Onegin as I sat in a plush chair dining on red caviar wrapped in blintzes and sipped from tiny glasses of spicy horseradish infused vodka. For May Day in my world is also my birthday and for one day, I felt a part of the one percent as I spent the afternoon in completely opulent luxury.
The birthday adventure started with cups of mellow and smooth kopi luwak, otherwise known as civet cat coffee, a brew that comes from beans harvested from the animal’s poop. It tasted great. To go with the poop coffee we stopped at SCRATCHbread for the most amazing poached egg sandwich that popped with bright kale pesto. Breakfast was quickly followed by lunch at Onegin where we downed too many shots of flavorful house-infused vodka and munched on the aforementioned caviar.
Next, our plan was to get birthday cake at Parm, and this is where the day turned sour—they were out! After a childhood filled with Dairy Queen’s beloved ice cream cake all I really wanted was to sample the version at Parm, but alas, this didn’t happen. Instead, the bartender bought me a magenta beet negroni, which had a faint sweet, earthiness to it that was very pleasing. While it didn’t make up for the cake, the cocktail satisfied my taste buds.
From there we headed to Pegu Club to sample their smoked trout deviled eggs, a snappy dish that makes even egg haters swoon. I paired my nibbles with a creamy Earl Gray mar-tea-ni, it was after all, tea time. The end of my birthday commenced at The Vault at Pfaff’s, which ironically was right in the path of more May Day marchers. Police lined the streets and Broadway was blocked off from traffic. So, I did what any self-respecting one percent birthday girl would do: I marched down the dark stairway into the swank cocktail lounge and ordered champagne.