Any restaurant of Suzanne Goin’s is a favorite. I first fell in love with Lucques, have come to enjoy Tavern equally – and AOC from which CF co-opted dates filled with parmesan cheese wrapped in bacon. Part of the CF dinner repertoire and the perfect sweet and savory appetizer. So, when the opportunity presented itself for the two of us to sneak off to AOC for lunch (a big juicy burger sans bun – but not sans french fries)… and a lovely bottle of wine. Good conversation, good company and good curiosity. Frankly, I couldn’t understand what the bartender was doing but after some conversation I realized he was making snowballs for cocktails. The copper device came from Japan and takes pure clear ice blocks and makes them smooth clear ice balls. I would take to drinking scotch or whisky if I could get my hands on these in a beautiful glass. So sexy.
RTH is the shop of my friend Rene. It is filled with treasures and is a rare pleasure to visit. It is the type of shop where you wish to sit and enjoy the surroundings while visiting with the shopkeeper – which is precisely what I did. His enthusiasm engaging, his warmth intoxicating and the visit a treat for all the senses. Great smells, but even more so, music that made you want to get up and dance. He is One of a Kind.
And when not in the courtyard or out about on the day’s business, I would enjoy the light streaming through the windows into the small kitchen in my room. I have shot these shelves before in other rooms at other times. I am still engaged by the light as it reflects off the stainless steel, ceramic cups and teapot.
The Pali House hotel in Los Angeles California holds many memories for me, including a visit last summer with Little a., her BFF and Tio. That trip was sunny perfect California days. This trip was rainy. Each morning I would sit in the restaurant off the courtyard and listen to the rain fall while having my tea and catching up on correspondence. It felt like being home, known and comfortable. Those around me – as Californians are apt to do – complained of the rain. It was Oscar weekend – an inopportune time for downfalls. For me, it was just a perfect Spring storm.
Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye
It was year’s ago. I had been on the east coast and was flying to NY to meet CF. It was early in our relationship. I was on a small commuter jet flying into LaGuardia that pulled up outside this hangar. As I walked across the tarmac, I saw CF inside the hangar, standing and waiting to meet me and to share a cab into the city. On his arm, a tote bag I would later discover was loaded with two champagne flutes and a bottle of Champagne. These experiences passed with 9.11. Seeing the hangar at the airport made me remember those days and to reflect that even now, the sight of him brings butterflies to my stomach and the anticipation of time in his company one of my greatest pleasures.