Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Initial Smell

As weekends go, this past one was right up my alley in that it contained many of life's little bonuses including but not limited to friends, cleanliness, booze and television. Here's a recap because this is my blog and you arrived here somehow so I assume you want to know about this non?

I count Thursday night as my weekend beginning because I didn't have to go to my second job and whenever that happens, an angel gets his wings. My friend Dana and I had heard about a wig party happening at a local bar on Saturday so compulsory wig shopping and dinner eating had to happen despite the cyclonic weather we were having. Going to a party supply/Halloween costume supply store three days before Halloween is not the smartest thing I've ever done in my life. I picked up a geisha girl wig that was really random but the randomness was offset by the fact that it was $10. The long, long wait to pay combined with the long, long line of people waiting to get their "custom" costumes drove home the fact that Halloween is like Mardi Gras for me: a once magical and amazing day of the year that has since been muddled by the boozy fakery of it all (booby fakery if we are talking about Mardi Gras). In my memories I don't ever see the brassy falseness of Halloween wigs and the lame, lame things people try to sex-FY. But there under the fluorescent lighting, the grown ups buying their own versions of cat suits and the candy stealing toddlers, it was all on blast, so to speak. Most people love Halloween. I love the idea of Halloween and the way my brain conjures up a filtered version of the past. So sue me.

On Friday I made plans with an out of town friend, Sylvia, in from Houston for the week and as previously stated in this blog, I will take every single opportunity to hang out in NYC. My sister also joined us and found out about this incredible speakeasy (strangely they still exist) right in the middle of Chinatown. Though I lived in the city for about 10 years, I think I only ever really went to Chinatown about three times, each time to eat. And if I recall correctly, each of those three or so times, I got lost. Apparently when the city becomes anything more intricate than a clearly outlined grid, I'm hopeless.  Friday, however, was different due to the fact that I simply followed the exact opposite of what my instinct told me to do (made a left when I really felt I should have made a right) and I ended up on Doyers street, a street which is really an alley. Apart from the clear signage of the post office on that small street, there were quite a few unlabeled/ unnumbered buildings and I was the first one there so I kind of stupidly walked up to nondescript doors only to discover they were closed. As I stood there waiting, two women walked by looking very confused. I asked if they were looking for the same place I was and they told me about a "secret" Mexican restaurant on that same block. Ok, so a speakeasy I understand but a whole restaurant that is hidden? I felt so exclusive. And yes I acknowledge the falseness of that "exclusivity" but I've already explained that my brain makes things more fun after they are over. Can we move past this?

Sylvia arrived and we spent some time catching up and walking around Chinatown while we waited for Lorraine. Among other things we talked about how much we miss the city. My first apartment in Manhattan was with Sylvia and that was many, many moons ago. Walking around chatting with a good friend with no schedule or aim to adhere to is truly one of life's pleasures.  Eventually we made it back just in time to meet with Lorraine and we decided to try out the "hidden" Mexican place before drinking expensive cocktails at the "hidden" bar. It was the right choice. The food was delicious, authentic Mexican and I tried a cocktail I've never had before (perish the thought) called a pulque. Honestly I didn't much care for it. It was rather viscous for an alcoholic drink. I think I will stick to nectar when it comes to agave.

And after dinner was the piece de resistance, a visit to Apotheke. For my birthday this year a group of my friends and I went to a show called Sleep No More that was a whole experience in itself but this particular bar we went to on Friday night reminded me so much of that show in its design and in its concoctions. I could visualize the Lady Macbeth of Sleep No More downing one of their cocktails.
And oh, what cocktails they were. Lorraine got this amazing beet cognac based cocktail that I will never forget. I drank the "Violet Hour", each sip of which was like an event. There were layers to it that you could experience separately on different parts of your tongue. Lorraine kept saying "I love the initial smell you get from each cocktail." For a drink to have an initial smell is both hilariously put and really kind of incredible. It being the weekend of Halloween, the bar had the smoke machine going, the lights dimmed (there is no natural light in this bar) and the bartenders and wait staff were wearing ghoulish face paint. It was positively Victorian. But you know, dirtier? I wish I had the capability to explain it.

I crashed at Lorraine's house and made it home early the next morning due to an impending nor' easter we were bracing for and pretty much just scrubbed my apartment clean, nursed a slight hangover and endured the cancellation of the wig party plans due to inclement weather. Because I am loathe to stay at home (only when I'm told I should do exactly that) I decided to go see a movie. I originally wanted to see Anonymous but when I arrived at the mega maxi extreme ultra multiplex it was sold out. (!) A film about Shakespeare selling out in suburbia blew my mind. And though the sensible thing was to go home I decided to watch 50/50, again. Yes I enjoy watching an attractive young man as he suffers through cancer. Twice. No but it is a really well acted film. With a very attractive lead. Did I mention that?

Sunday I helped Marianne do some wedding shopping for the wedding which is unbelievably next week We had an early dinner which involved a lot of wine and not nearly enough food to be the foundation for all that wine. As a testament to that, I started writing this blog on Monday and am now just finishing it on Wednesday.
I expect the rest of this week will be uneventful as weeks often are in the buildup to a big event. I'm working on some poetry that I'd like to share here but that is turning out to be way more torturous than it used to be. I'll keep at it though.

You keep at it too. Yes I'm talking to you.

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