Tucked into sheep skin boots, I pushed my face into my jacket as I walked Pilgrim this evening. Bourbon thoughts wrapped into me, I pushed them aside. Few things on the streets: shadows, two brosnakes arguing outside their running car: door ajar.
Earlier in the evening, I had stepped into the bacce ball, sunken couchs and books shelves of Union Hall. The sliders I shared with Vadim were sticking to me. Thick patty, English muffin, cheese and jalapenos. The steak fries were pretty good too. A satisfying meal for a chilly night. A simple series of events, it seemed appropriate for closing another year in New York City.
If I had a time machine: I'd go to the Prohibition Era. The Campbell Apartment stirs up a certain feeling: be bad. Sip on some bourbon, sink in our chairs. I found myself in good company, taking in the Anjou Cocktail: scotch, muddled pears. The presence of the scotch proved quite delightful and paired well with the Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie plates. Be advised: this is a tremendous amount of food, meant to be shared with at least four people. Get in early to put your name on the list. The Grand Central venue fills in quickly, but do not fret: the servers have no reserve in asking people to leave if they do not maintain a constant stream of orders (a Toronto man informed me while chatting me up at the bar counter).
They close at 1am: and I will go ahead and admit, we shut them down (earning me a fist pump from a role-playing bond salesman). There you go.
Arrival NYC. The humidity feels warm and good. I sat down to wait on the E. Woman and child sit behind me. The child leans into me. I am suddenly aware: people don't touch in Seattle, the way they do in New York City. There is reason that the film Crash was developed around an LA scene. You can't get more down with the people, then you can on the subway. It's an uncanny lesson in humanity that exists in this metropolis and no where else I have ever encountered.
jetBlue sent me packing early, I hopped on the 6:30 boat to Seattle. As I rose my head to pay the cashier for my glass of wine: John Paul. "Sit together?" "Yea, grab one." As per usual, the ferries promise random reconnects, which shake up plans, shape the hours nicely. We caught up a bit. The boat docked. A voice behind me interrupted, "Keisha?"
Dan. Let's get a drink John Paul says, ok sure. Yea I have time. Erin and Randi are picking me to take me to SeaTac. I'll call them to meet us under the viaduct. Owl & Thistle? Yea, let's watch the fight.
John Paul suggested: bourbon shots, beer backs. Dan rose, returned. We slung our heads back, then snagged our Pacific Northwest Microbrews. I miss beer like this. Dry hopped, unfiltered. Earthy.
"That was bottom shelf," John Paul raised a brow and threw a chuckle, "I respect you for doing that, Kee- not many girls or people- Let me get the next round. "
"She's always been so pure to me," Dan interjected.
Randi showed up, we hugged it out. A few more sips, the running jokes, tales. Food. Sushi? Do we have time?
The drop off. At which point I venture to the counter where the jetBlue staff basically tells me not to lose my bag by checking it- and my Tivoli model One tidal waves security.
We come together in the same way each year: a late call, a few bottles of wine, a few beers and beef stew from scratch. The assortment of people varies, this evening: Dan at Lisa & Becky's place. We circled thoughts, nibbled on my Mum's Chex Mix and watched the bottles drain.
I learned that gift wrap should not be placed near candles. Lisa, in all her nannying experience, remained calm, poised: and in the most simple tone, "We are equipped to handle this." I barked, "Oh! No-" Lisa cut me off, "We are equipped to handle this." She plucked the flaming bag from the dining room table and plopped it into the sink. I think the gingerbread house in the background really pulls the photo together, no?
Braxton (Lisa's dog, and the canine equivalent ofLionel Richie)rose to investigate thecommotion. We assure him all is under control, and proceed to make a few calls to old friends. Promises of future engagements are made. We slip into beds, the house is over a hundred years old, there is no heat upstairs. Extra blankets were distributed.
We woke to coffee from the french press, discussed the moments ahead: Boxing Day shopping, cocktails at the hotels Becky designed Christmas decorations for. I met up with Julia briefly, sipped vodka and devoured plump, divine scallops with an Irish man at Contour.The happy hour menu has continued to evolve into more amazing directions ($2.50 drinks, full meals $1.95-3.95. Try: the Istanbul Mahi Mahi Sandwich).
Although we planned to hit up five of the hotels that Becky (self moniker, "Head Elf") crafted into holiday festive treats, we only made it to:The Sorrento, The Four Seasonsand Juno.
Lisa does the red velvet couch quite well.
Becky speaks of the bobbles, the trees and informs me, "Keisha, your drink has a piece ofbacon in it."
"Yes. I know. That's why I ordered it. I'm hungry. It has blue cheese too. Here try. Have you had thatVosges barwith chocolate?"
The evening was puncuated with cream cheese dogs and gyros inPioneer Square. I could not ask for more.
While Christmas Eve calls for my mother's Swedish family recipes, Christmas brunch promises apple tart, heuvos, homemade cinnamon roles and cocoa. The Danes remain close for handouts, carefully monitoring for weaknesses at the table.
In usual form, my Mum hands out poppers that include: a riddle, a gold crown (that must be donned) and a toy. For dinner: Oysters in the half shell, crab, smoked salmon.