Sunday, June 23, 2013

Moonstruck: The Problem of Re-Entry and the S.O.V. solution

We've all faced the difficulty of coming home.  You've gotten away for a couple weeks.  You haven't had to walk the dog or pay the bills (you took care of all of that before you left).  You aren't going to get any bad news.  Or good for that matter.  You can briefly put your money woes aside.  Then you go home.  As any astronaut can tell you, re-entry is always a problem. 

Somehow from the minute you get on the airplane all the good loose feeling just goes away.  The seats are cramped, your seatmate snores.  Your jaw tightens.  By the time you've landed you're already tense, and it's downhill from there.

This is how we felt when we got home from Spain.  Where were those pintxos (Basque tapas) on the bar?  The wine poured from high?  Basically we wanted to sell our house and move there.  But was it really Spain we wanted or was it the way we were when we were in Spain?  I realize that's a complicated sentence, but I can't find another way to say what I mean.  We live in New York City.  Surely we can recreate some aspects of our Spanish vacation.  But can we morph into the footloose people we were then?

 We woke up Saturday morning, feeling blue, and decided that we needed a plan. A plan that would take us back to how we'd been a week before. So we created S.O.V. day.  Not to be confused with S.O.S. or s.o.b.  Or S.U.V. or my favorite show, S.V.U.  Or even H.O.V. whatever that means for commuters on the L.I.E
We decided to have a "Stay on Vacation"  day.

Now "Stay on Vacation" shouldn't be confused with a "staycation."  A "staycation" is a holiday you have at home.  But we were trying to recapture what we'd just done in our two weeks away.

And what did we do on our vacation?  Well, pretty much nothing.  Which is something we're actually very good at.  We like to stare into space.  We can easily sit in one cafe for four hours, then move on to a bar for another three.  We didn't force ourselves to go to museums and look at art (Actually we couldn't because there is no museum in San Sebastian and, despite our best intention, we never made it to Bilbao).  We didn't go sightseeing that much.  We went to cafes.  We wrote in our journals.  We scribbled and drew.  We sat and let our minds wander.  Now we wondered if we could replicate this feeling in NYC.

We packed up our bag with pens, pencils, book to read, journals, the movie section of the NYTimes, my paints and off we went.  First stop was Cafe Martin not far from the house where we read the paper (a luxury we rarely allow ourselves) and sipped espresso from ceramic cups (NOT styrofoam).  Then it was close to noon and we headed to midtown where we stopped at the Biryani Cart on 46thst street for arguably the best chicken tikka with rice in NYC.  And I'm not the only one who thinks so.

On to MOMA where we'd intended to see some photographic and art exhibits, but since we are members we can go to go MOMA anytime.  Instead we found some chairs and sat in them for four hours.  At which point Larry went up to the outdoor bar and brought us back a beer, for him, and a lovely glass of Sicilian rose for me.

On to the Village where we wanted to find a restaurant we like a lot, but haven't been in a while, that's near the High Line.  We got off at West 4th.  Ambled.  Lost our way.  Ambled some more.  Tried to remember where the place was.  I took out my IPhone and then put it away.  I wanted to follow my nose, not my phone.

Half an hour or so later we were seat, eating crostini and frissee salad at ZAMPA (Highly recommended for small bites, near the High Line).  Then off to the High Line for an eve
ning walk.  As dusk was settling we didn't want to go home.  Larry recommended that we go to Txikito - our favorite Basque restaurant in NYC.  Given that we were just back from Basque country what could be better than a glass of txacoli and a plate of Guernica peppers which is what we had.

On our way back to Brooklyn we were stopped dead in our tracks.  I'd read about it.  The Supermoon.  The moon that night at its perigee (the closest to the earth it ever comes).  It was the night of the summer solstice and the moon at its point of perigee.

We stood looking at what seemed like a moon someone had just stuck in the sky.  Like that moon in "Moonstruck."  "Was it Marisa Tomee in that film?" I asked Larry.
"No," he said, "I think it was Cher." Then he paused.  "Maybe they were both in it."

By the light of the Supermoon we made our way home. But we made one more detour, at our local jazz club, for a nightcap of Irish whiskey where we toasted and planned our next "S.O.V."

(Pictures:  My feet and art supplies, at MOMA; our little meal at ZAMPA;  Lovers on the High Line;  Goldenrod blooming on the High Light;  The Empire State Building by the light of the Supermoon)

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