Friday, June 29, 2018

Count the Miles Before They Pass You By

A very dear friend came to visit me. Me! America's Least Wanted. Or so I feel like half the time. But full transparency, I have very shoddy friendship skills.  I have been shamefully slow to learn how to be mindful and considerate of others, which is an odd flaw given what a worry wort I am.  I've always been quick to acknowledge my downfalls but in these last years finally put effort into making them better.  This was no ordinary friend either.  In my life she has proven to be one of those very important people that shared in a significant time in my life.  We became roommates in San Francisco.  I was heading to 30 and she was just coming off 21.  We worked together at Leopold Records in Berkeley.  We have a mass of mutual friends.  We are connected in not just time but in worlds of people and scenes.  Music retail, San Francisco - Los Angeles migrants, inter connected networks.  But mostly we had an amazing friendship that was not abusive or one sided, nor convoluted.  You know, like most of my relationships.  We bonded on music and ideology. Time seemed to slow down for those precious years.  My fondest memories are of our countless long talks, laughing, going to live shows and just being, but doing it together.  Somehow, and maybe because it was such a crucial period, we broke apart abruptly and haven't seen each other in 28 years.  28 years!!!
To my delight she is now a full fledged foodie of the best kind.  She's a girl with a voracious appetite like me, something I truly admire and respect, especially in women. 
Dinner at Olea Mediterranean Taverna - Tapas galore.  One more spectacular then the next.  Cool location.  Special. Thoughtful. The most fun I could have without drinking. Delicious. Spicy Sautéed Calamari with Pancetta   $15
calabrian chili aioli, cannellini beans, spinach wine, scallions, cilantro
Flash-Fried' Brussels Sprouts - honey, lemon, crushed red pepper
Sauteed Shrimp -  five large shrimp sauteed your choice of three different ways.  Below - Falafel-crusted Artichoke Hearts - sweet and sour Turkish eggplant salad, tahini-lemon sauce  
Fried Green Olives - coated with breadcrumbs, flash-fried, tzatziki and harissa, Almond-Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates
Boquerones al Vinagre - marinated white anchovies, toasted almonds and arugula 
Sauteed Halloumi Cheese - sheep & goat's milk cheese from Cyprus, harissa, romesco 
The story is partially of finally getting to this amazing locavore restaurant down the street for one of the best meals I've had in forever.  And actually planning a successful walking day in the city for a visitor. Including the Brooklyn Bridge, the High Line, Central Park for chocolate croissants and getting lost in Wall Street.  Unfortunately, In my excitement to upload, I erased all of those amazing picture memories.
The High Line

Blue Velvet and Strawberries and Cream slices - best cake ever!
Did I mention it was a full moon?
But it wouldn't be right to focus on the food or sites because this girl is such a bright light. She's a woke human. People throw that word around but I can say she makes me understand the term.  I often miss my California friends because they are deep thinkers.  Maybe it's all the sun but they seem to stay on a self documented journey.  Journey, the term I normally abhor but only because its been so misused.
I won't tell her story but I can say it's one of the more interesting ones I know.  She has come through an incredible world of mystery and exploration.  She beat some tough odds and puts in the effort to keep the positive moving forward.
She was there through my harshest realities but always with this amazing support.  Having years to digest my own past this visit was especially rewarding to stand together smiling, happy for the moment, which is something I never dreamed of so many years ago.  I can only liken it to a pick-up truck crash I was involved in back in Indiana.  A group of friends out smoking and dranking and having a blast along the back roads just outside of town across the Ohio border.  Next thing we know the truck is tumbling like dice and we're all scattered out in a corn field.  I blew out the back window.  I don't remember much after that except for hearing my shoes crunch in the snow walking to the nearest farm like a zombie.  Next I recall is being in the quietest smallest hospital I assume just overnight but it could have been 2 days.  I came home with broken ribs and no recollection of where my other friends had gone or how I'd gotten home.  To this day I still don't know what happened.  I can barely remember who I was with. 
But this time I can remember and am able to hold on to Lisa in the real flesh and blood.  Not just alive but well. Not just a memory but in the present.  The best place!  And hopefully the future.
Paquena for breakfast Burritos and Chicken Chilaquiles
The best photo!

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