NY, Wednesday, September 7, 2011
First of all let's put ourselves in prospect: What's going on in NY?
Rain, rain and more is coming its way. This has been the norm for the last few days. With almost unrestrained persistence, water is pouring from the skies day and night, night and day soaking our shoes, bones and everything in between. Of course, it's dampening our spirits too.
We haven't had time to forget the strange hurricane that hit us recently. It didn't affect the city too much but flooded entire towns in our State, the state of New Jersey and all across the region. And not long ago we had an even more rare earthquake that had us shaken long after the few seconds it lasted (well, not me, really: but I'm just the compassionate and supportive type of guy looking for the well-being of others).
However, all that was not sufficient to stop us from choosing a moment to share with our friends. You heard it well, even though I'm in the USA and my friend Sophie is in France and our junior member Grace is in Spain our plan is to share a "coffee" between the three of us celebrating the start of the new season. This time around each and everyone will choose when and where would be better to share an instant of his/her time, and the results will be posted here.
Weird, right? Crazy perhaps! Yes, we're weird people. We like rituals and we believe we prolong our existence not only when we're conscious of ourselves but when we're in the conscience and in the mind of others, other people, dear people like these friends, the ones who are with us day after day, or those who provide us with their company in any possible way, specially those who had become our readers.
But we're not more weird than those who believe in God or The Saints or dead people walking around / in the middle of the living ones. They have never seen, heard him. Nor spoken / chat by any means to him and still they feel his omnipresence. Well, at least we have more than enough proof that can validate the existence of Mademoiselle Sophie and la señorita Grace.
Here, I can't help but become a little philosophical. I wonder, if we exist only when we are in front of people and there's an exchange of glances, there's eye contact between the parts involved or if we could acknowledge the existence of others by other means than the physical ones. Do I exist only on myself or could I exist at the same time in other people's minds and thoughts? I certainly believe that all these possibilities are perfectly valid and coexist and they do not necessarily exclude each other. Just knowing or presuming that a friend have me in his/her thoughts is very comforting and seen posted here is indeed very fulfilling.
So I had the opportunity to start first and I picked today's day, Wednesday the 7th of September. The time? Well, nature is not working with me and I have to wait for the rain to stop. Waiting didn't help and to help create the mood it was not an option to stay home...It's 6:00 in the afternoon (18:00 local time) and I have to decide real quick what I'm going to do because time is running out. After a quick shower (you have to be presentable for your friends even if they're not in blood and flesh with you), I'm craving some Tequila and suddenly there's a bartender who is a friend of mine and works in Agave Azul, a Mexican bar and restaurant in an area of Washington Heights (Upper Manhattan) that is 10 minutes from where I live. That area is mainly populated by Russians, Jews and Dominicans.
Luck is not on my side and the place have been closed. Looks like they're renovating and is going to open with a different name... Rapidly and under the rain I have to revise my options: there's a Japanese restaurant, a Starbucks two blocks on my way back and there's a new place that I haven't seen/been there before. Looks nice from the outside and it's not very crowded. So this is going to be: Saggio, my friends, ...let's drink Tequila in an Italian restaurant!!!. Why not? That's an option they already have in their full bar as a very helpful bartender tells me; she's so attentive, in her high boots, black attire...huh, so tight..She moves, maybe she glides with gracefulness exerting total control of her territory..owning the space is more appropriate. Ahhh!
Saggio with the Sushi Rest. next door
You know that cheating is allowed in The Bridge. Even if I said we were going to share a coffee it doesn't mean literally that we were going to drink coffee. My friend Sonia who I'm exchanging SMS with, warns me that this is an excuse I'm using to go out and have some drinks. I absolutely agree. We need excuses in our lives to do things that look good to ourselves (do our conscience need the reassurance?).
First glass of tequila on the rocks. The first sip takes place at 8:24 PM local time (20:24). Gosh!, I can't take pictures of the inside of Saggio. I feel some shyness that I can't overcome sitting there in the counter. It has an L shape and I sit in the shorter side of the letter. The main door is behind me. Also four or five guys in high chairs with their backs to the glass walls facing the street share their lively conversation and beers in a high and loud pitch. In front of me there's this girl having a glass ... two glasses of white wine..three?. Our eyes never met. Looks like we were trying very hard to ignore each other.
There's soft rock music in the air... the 80, 90, older? No, you can't hurry love, no no! Perhaps. They mix it very well and this is the second tequila glass. I need extra lemon slices. Salt will always do some good. I hear some voice asking permission for sitting on the chair next to me. I nod with a slight gesture of my head and continue writing in the Moleskine... I hear the guy choosing a glass of Red Wine... a couple came for pasta and just left but two new guys replace them.. Cocktail? Bloody Mary? Who knows and who cares? I realized I've been a little rude with the guy next to me. Probably he came here because he wanted to have some conversation. Maybe I can fix it... Oh yes! His name is Chris. We're having an engaging and intelligent conversation. Now he knows why I am here, oh! he's a painter "on the side". Acrylic is what he does. Interesting, no doubt but more interesting is that after my conversation the two guys having the cocktails started talking to the painter. Unbelievable, they all live in the same building (Mr Chris have an apartment there for eight years) and looks like is the first time they talk to each other...
I was supposed to stop here (It's now past ten) but I ask for a third Tequila....I just got carried away for such a nice company and I'm not talking about Lisa, the bartender, Chris, the painter, the other people inside the bar, or the noisy guys, no no...