Destination: New York City
Mode of Transport: Beer and Wine
There were 10 days in October in which I felt life passing me by a little. My ten year old daughter, Bailey and I went shopping for shoes, only to realize that she now wears a women’s size versus a girl’s size. My wife Brenda, can only shake her head; knowing that it would be just a matter of time before she will need to share her closet.
We were both wondering where our little girl went. A couple of pairs and a few hours later, Brenda and I needed a drink. That night, we uncorked a barolo that went down real nice with a couple of burgers.
A few days later we attended the marriage of one of our closest friends, Julio; hence the reason for the shoe excursion. It was one of life’s touchstones, that many guests at the wedding thought was an occasion reserved for someone other than Julio. The oddsmakers never saw this coming. We were all so happy it did. He found himself a wonderful partner in his now wife, Abby.
The celebration was very New York. It was held in a West Village Townhouse, the catering was done by one of his dearest friends, the coordinators were all bartenders and waitstaff he knew throughout his years in the restaurant business; and the field of guests were fashionable rather than formal.
The informality, didn’t take away from the level of food and the wine offerings presented that evening. The lamb meatballs and the Barbaresco pairing was my personal favorite. What made the event was all the story-telling. The core of the party was made up of a bunch of former tough kids that grew in Chelsea and the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
We all laughed, mostly because we were all amazed that we were all still alive and partying in a 5 story townhouse. Not bad. It was an amazing time spent with friends. And in fine fashion, we drank the bar dry.
The next day, I was a bit cloudy; as was the weather. I got myself motivated, put on my Sunday best; and headed to Brooklyn. This time it wasn’t a happy celebration; but a sad one. My old college roommate, Mike, lost his wife Linda, to her battle with cancer.
They were highschool sweethearts, and I knew her quite well, she was basically my roommate every weekend when she visited. Like the wedding, I saw some old faces and shared some stories.
Brooklyn Lager under the Brooklyn Bridge.
On our way home from the ceremony, Brenda and I had a Brooklyn Lager under the Brooklyn Bridge and I purposely left a little bit in my cup and tossed it into the river for the Angel’s Share. This ritual is something I do every time someone I know passes away.
I learned this from an old man I met in County Tipperary when I visited Ireland as a young man. I think it’s a nice salute, a final cheers per se.
Pursuant to this big weekend, I emotionally had to prepare myself for leaving the company I spent the last three years working for. I know it isn’t much in the way of tenure, but the blood and the sweat extracted from my life during that time was equivalent to all my working years previous. My leaving that post in some way was my swan song.
It was my goodbye to an industry I’ve worked for many years. More importantly, it was departing from a work family and a culture I helped build. That last day, my closest colleagues and I polished off a few bottles of champagne as they helped me turn the page.
The big birthday celebration
Two days later I celebrated my 47th Birthday. I awoke that morning to my daughter and wife greeting me with all the enthusiasm they can muster. I picked up my iphone to see many voice and text messages; and because I recently embraced being on Facebook, many wishes came from that portal as well.
That night, a party was thrown for me and again there was much rejoicing, food, and of course, drink. Mostly red wine and mostly Italian brought from DiPalo Enoteca (a place I’d like to call my private wine cellar) right across the street from my apartment. My favorite food/drink combination that night were the empanadas prepared by my Argentinian friend, Fabian paired with a Primitivo.
To my beautiful City, to my dear Friends… Cheers!
Most of all a toast to my Wife and Daughter for joining me through the meal I call my life.
I’m far from where I was and where I need to be, and while I’m trying to get there, my daughter is getting that much closer to sharing her mother’s closet. I can use a drink.
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