First off, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! NYC right now has that lovely holiday feeling, it's only a little chilly, and everyone has smiles on their faces. Today was my first day back in the city after my trip to Las Vegas with my Dad on our usual Thanksgiving tradition! But more about that in a bit...
Although I LOVED getting out of the city, and I had an amazing holiday with Dad, there isn't anything quite like coming home. That little speck of the earth you can call your own (even if you do rent it!).
So as I sat in the cab from the airport, driving over Manhattan bridge, I looked over the skyline I call home, the Empire State Building lit up in red, orange, and yellow for the holidays, and I smiled. Like most, I have a love hate relationship with NYC.. but it's still home, and because of it's own little ways, I love it more than I hate it!
Reveling in those moments, I thought of my cat Oscar, I know he'll be at the door meowing away before the key is in the door! Beaming, I can't wait to see the lil fella, holidays are for family, and my lil boy is very much part of mine.
Vegas with Dad this year was one of the best yet, we had such a great time!! We stayed in the hotel and casino 'Paris', and following in that theme, it certainly doesn't do it by halves! With the classic tacky Vegas twist, 'Paris' is my all time favorite...I love it there! Dad and I are even recognized by the dealers and pit bosses! Still, for us, the gambling is paying for the entertainment. The house does always win, so it's about having fun, rolling with the highs and lows and meeting all the great people (even if there are a few crazies too!) that Vegas unsurprisingly attracts!
Above and below are a few pics of the 'Paris' interior, and you might just see what I'm talking about! Sitting down and having the Blue Cheese burger (which was heavenly by the way!) in the restaurant below, is like sitting outside on a street! To enjoy Vegas, you really have to embrace the high end of tacky too!! Ha!
Oh, and while there, I had a funny realization. Conversation in Las Vegas isn't so different as NYC ya' know. There are two questions you are guaranteed to be asked in NYC. They are; 'Where do you live?' and 'What do you do?'. In Vegas, they are; 'Where are you staying?' and 'How long are you in town?'. I just wonder what the two golden questions are for other cities in America!
And just one more thing for this Thanksgiving post......
Two years ago tonight, I walked into the restaurant and bar called Gusto on Greenwich Avenue. I was meeting a man there I'd only met once before, and that was after I'd imbibed a bottle of red wine and two cosmopolitans... so at any rate, and embarrassing to admit, I was unsure I could remember what he looked like.. but I did remember our first encounter back in September vividly.
I remembered the conversation, that I said "I don't know much about politics to say" and he replied with, "you know enough to have an opinion". I remember being surprised by that, that only in just knowing this man for a few minutes, he had already made me feel confident in myself, and for no apparent gain for himself. We talked about the Hopper painting in the bar too, and about art in general... I suppose thats why I have a softer spot for Hopper than I ever have before...and funny and telling that it should be Hopper too...
So Thanksgiving, months later, I text him. The next night (tonight), we meet at Gusto. I'm nervous as hell. I spoke to my friend Miriam with a last cigarette just outside the place before I ventured in, just as we girls do... Stepping in, my heart is pounding with nerves, questions running through my head, "do I look okay?", "will he recognize me?", "will I recognize HIM?", "am I early? - oh no, did I get here first??!"...... anyways, after arranging to meet at the bar, I didn't have to scan the tables at least. Expecting to see a man alone at the bar of course would be a helpful hint, or at least make my nerve ridden brain calm down a little and focus... But instead he was with the manager whom he knew, so as I walked to an open seat further down the bar, I yes...... walk right by him!!!! ARG!
Flushed with embarrassment on him catching me, what else could I possibly do but laugh at myself?!! Seriously, it was way too typical and funny for me not to have some entertainment in my fumble! After that, my nerves were washed away.... his handsome smiling face came flooding back to me from months before, and we settled into drinking too many gin and tonics (for me) and vodka OJ's (if I remember correctly!) (for him).
Somewhere in the conversation, a metaphor for something else, he described two flies. One leaving California and the other leaving NYC...both buzzing towards each other and with the likelihood of them meeting up in Chicago... to which I added, "where they would buy a condo and live happily ever after!".... I will never forget that smile and laughter in his face....
Back then, I didn't realized how my life would change on agreeing to meet him that night. I never expected any of it, I never thought I would find someone like him, and I never thought I could, or would, feel anything so great.
My life was opened up to me, and through my own doing, but I would have never seem the possibilities of my life without him. I am grateful every day for even just having known him. He is one of the best men I have ever met, kind, generous, intelligent, and full of those flaws we all love to put up with! But sometimes, there still has to be a goodbye.
And even though I will probably never rest my eyes on his smile again, I wish him my very best wishes and the greatest of thank you's... Happy Thanksgiving.
Gusto Interior and Bar