My brother-in-law is completely delicious. I have a soft spot for him, mostly because he really didn’t know he was even a bit delicious until recently. Kind, smart, talented, cute, he would be kind of annoying if he was also not so gracious. His wife is also pretty spectacular, she is a wise ass, a creative, intelligent, and stylish sort. She can crack me up like no other. Spending time with these two is always a treat, something I missed, I am not sure I knew how much I missed it until the other night.
I like to call myself a New Yorker, but in actuality, I left…I did not stick it out through 9/11, getting kids into high school, or the pandemic. I live in the suburbs, sigh. Ron and Leah stuck it out. True New Yorkers know other New Yorkers…and that is why I got to experience the most perfect Thursday night. Swoon.
I picked up my man from his after school gig of painting sets for a 5/6 grade play. He has the patience of a saint. He goes from wrangling pre-pubescent boys who find paint a fun weapon…to gently teaching a child that in actuality, they are not the only person who counts…to pumping up quiet bits of goodness who need some confidence…all while painting the land of Oz on old cardboard boxes. He did his magic then jumped in the car using wipes to remove paint from his everywhere while I drove.
A perk of having friends in the restaurant business is “soft opening, friends & family nights”. They were the friends, we were their family…dinner out at Great Jones Distilling Co. here we come. A just under two hour drive to a place 35 miles away! No problem, we listened to Judge John Hodgman, piping in with our opinions…we talked about our days, we held hands. The traffic, the skyline, the George Washington Bridge, I could feel myself becoming myself. I love Manhattan. Finding a free parking spot on West 4th a block from Washington Square Park we knew we were in for a magical night.
The park was alive. A warm fall night in Washington Square Park is straight out of the movies. A couple doing tai chi, their red and blue lightsabers making calm deliberate movements of geeky light. The man on the trumpet silhouetted by the fountain lights, entertaining people both ignoring and appreciating him simultaneously. The student shooting take after take of a ghost twirling in the trees, the ghost adjusting their sheet after each shot. The arch, oh that beautiful arch, glowing in glee, happy its people were back. The rollerbladers twisting and grinding and feeling their feels, days of the boom box gone, AirPods create silence. The overwhelming smell of weed. The joy. New York.
Broadway at West 4th, was once hopping, Tower Records, restaurants, vintage clothing stores, flea markets, punks and homeless people galore. Today, it is dark and deserted, unrecognizable. The greed of landlords pushed out the soul and the life…well, except for this new distillery and restaurant. This is not a review, because that is not what this blog is about. My blog is about my feels. I will say, we had the best time. The bartenders put on a show creating magical drinks out of exceptional ingredients. Three different shapes of ice used…the embossed block for the Old Fashioned, the rounded cubes for the Sour Cherry Spritzer, the partially crushed for the Julep in the elegant silver cup. It was choreographed and it was delightful. Every detail taken care of, delicious food, safe atmosphere, good company. Another win for the evening.
Once I got married and had kids I knew I would never think of just myself again. Remembering that there is still a version of me, the part before I split my soul into pieces is so rejuvenating. One night out, back in my city, black overalls, Doc Martens, big hair, and red lipstick…with my guy and my dear people. Walking, eating, drinking, laughing.
I was at peace, I was me.