Cupcakes and Free Speech

A few weeks ago, Mumford and Songs (my favorite band at the moment) announced that they would be playing in NYC at Secret Policemans Ball. It just so happened that Liz (Florida roommate) would be flying back through NY on a work trip that same night, so it worked out perfectly for us to go. We didn’t even care what we were going to, we only knew that Mumford would be, at that was enough for us. 

Sunday we (Liz, Peter, Hilarie and I) spent the day in Soho, wandering aimlessly in and out of stores. We did pass a Baked by Melissa stand, so I had to introduce Liz to the most delicious cupcakes. Usually I’m not a fan of cupcakes – not enough cake, too much frosting, messy,  yuck. But BbM’s are so tiny, full of flavor, and have such variety- you can’t not like them. 

Don’t you want a closer look? I knew it… 

By row from top left. 

Cookie dough, PB&J, Peanut Butter Cup, Cookies and Cream

Cotton Candy, Cinnamon, S’mores, Tie-Dye

Red Velvet, PB&J, Chocolate Chip Pancake, Mint Chocolate Chip

Is your mouth watering yet? Don’t worry, you can order them from anywhere in nation: Baked by Melissa. You’re welcome. 

We weren’t allowed to eat them just yet though, first we had to have lunch. So we went to Peter and Hilarie’s discovery Tacombi. What was once a concrete garage, now there is an old Volkswagen (where the food is prepared inside) and hand painted folding chairs, making you feel as if you are dining beach side. 

Agua de Sandia- Freshly squeezed lime and watermelon juice. 

Seared Veracruzana Fish with roasted tomato, caper and olive salsa and

Crispy Fish, beer battered with chipotle mayo and cabbage slaw. 

After lunch and mini-cupcakes, a nice stroll through chelsea market. 

Who’s excited for the Hunger Games movies?!

(enjoying a pop-up book at the Chelsea Market bookstore) 

Then to Radio City Music Hall we went- for the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Which turns out to more than just Mumford and Sons. It’s the live charity event for Amnesty International, which involves a night full of hilarious skits, gags and comedy sketches. They are trying to make a difference on deadly serious matters by using comedy. 

In their words ” All of us can laugh tonight as these talented comics poke fun at government leaders or even offend them deeply— and then go home safely. None of us will be jailed, tortured or killed for expressing ourselves, speaking our minds or laughing.”

It really was a fun night with TONS of my favorite comedians including: Russell Brand, Rashida Jones, Seth Meyers, Bobby Moynihan, Liam Neeson, Jay Pharaoh, Paul Rudd, Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Rex Lee (Ari’s assistant on Entourage), Statler & Waldorf, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig, and Ben Stiller- who did Blue Steel! 

They touched on the serious just enough to make you want to join, but not enough to make you sad when actor, director, comedian, and often political prisoner, Maung Thura Zarganar of Myanmar was introduced. A little history on the Burmesian, in 2006 he was banned indefinitely from performing publicly in any kind of entertainment related work, then in 2008 arrested for speaking to foreign media about the millions of people left homeless after a devastating cyclone. For that, he was sentenced to 59 years in prison. He was freed in 2011 in a mass amnesty of political prisoners. But because of his jokes he has spent more than 11 years in prison, and told us that a night like this would be impossible in his country. 

Mumford didn’t disappoint, they got to play 3 songs, energetically stomping their feet to the tunes.

 Then Coldplay had 15 minutes at the end to shower us with lasers, neon projections, and shots from the confetti cannon. 

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