Concettina Died and Other Stories of the East Side

David Zaza at 40, posted June 28, 2009 at 01:33 AM

Me, at 40..... [Click all images for larger; Lots more pictures of the party can be found here...]

Well, I turned 40 a couple of weeks ago. And I don't feel any different, so I guess I'm okay.

My parents came for five days, and we had a great time. Besides my party we had nothing planned, so we were free to float around the city and enjoy some relaxing time together. We went to the movies, we went to the Met, we ate and drank with friends, we cooked at home. Fun!

I received so many wonderful cards, emails, Facebook notes, calls, texts, presents, drinks, and general well-wishes that there can be no doubt that I am more loved than any person deserves. And lord knows I love being the center of attention so it was an especially gratifying week!

Taka and me at B-flat Authentic Bar

I booked the evening of June 3 at B-Flat, which is an authentic bar, right down in Tribeca near my office. The B-flat guys--all of them but especially Shin and Takaachi--are terrific in the extreme and they really helped make the party a success. The food was delicious, but more important, the drinks were absolutely perfect. These guys are like chemists behind that bar--they know exactly how to make a cocktail so that while you're drinking it it's the best cocktail ever made and as soon as it's gone you're wanting another!

Marijane, Mom, and Dad partying it up

James and Melissa

Stephanie and Mark Nelson get to know each other

Laura and Maureen weep for my aged decrepitude

I think about 40 people showed up--friends, colleagues, and family. My folks, of course, were up from North Carolina, and Stephanie and Joe flew in from Atlanta for a just-over-12-hour jaunt through the city. But the surprise was that Adrienne popped up from Orlando, and in her inimitable style arrived as the first guest at the party and made my day right there and then.

Special surprise guest, Adrienne Zaza, feels the Zazaura with me at B-flat

Patsy Cline Bakes

Patsy made me a cake--two actually: one round layer cake to look pretty and then a larger rectangular sheet to feed the masses. It was a yellow butter cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting. Are you seeing a pattern there? She used eight pounds of butter in the production of it. Oh my. Last time Patsy baked me a birthday cake was for my 21st birthday. In the days after this year's party we were talking about all the different details of the event and Patsy mentioned making the cake for my 50th birthday. Shut up! Jeez!

We started the day at Balthazar for breakfast with Mark Fox. Lovely as always. Mark had to miss the party because of work, so he and Elizabeth joined us for a post-party family supper at Landmarc. It was awesome up until the point I spilled bone marrow all over my (extremely expensive) jacket that I bought in Paris. I almost cried, but pulled myself together, removed the jacket, dabbed my shirt with some water and went back to celebrating. We got home pretty late, and I opened presents and cards.

Stephanie and Joe!

Mom and Dad at Landmarc

Mark, Elizabeth, and Annabel at Landmarc

My new ring (on my index finger)!! Shiny!

My parents bought me a fantastic ring from David Yurman. It's beautiful, and just to my taste. It's big and bold and I've received tons of compliments on it these past few weeks. Other booty collected includes two--yes two!--big-ass iPods, a tie, lots of champagne, gorgeous flowers, sunglasses, chocolate, dinner invitations, opera invitations, and a pair of fabulous cufflinks. It was quite a haul.

So yeah, I'm 40. Kind of freaks me out to be honest. But, as they say, it's better than the alternative!

Lots more pictures of the party can be found here...

Special bonus feature: While I was in Ohio last week I was shown a picture of myself when I was, uh, slightly younger. I once was skinny, and it seems I used to tan:

Maria Catullo and David Zaza dancing at Jerry Zaza's bar "The Belmont," "The Shadows" sometime in the 70s...

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