The Last Two Weekends, March 23, 2014

Last Weekend (or, Double L. )

 

Last Saturday I did two things I always wanted to do: 1. I woke and left the house early and 2. I met up with LM for breakfast at Birch Coffee.

New York feels private and intimate on Saturday mornings. As I walked through the Garment District to Birch coffee sleepy Broadway was just starting to open its eyes. I remembered how much I like to see the city this way, how I must go out early more often.

I hadn’t been to the new Birch outpost and was impressed by its gray, minimalist design. Ms. LM was sitting at a communal table waiting for me. I was right on time.

I love new faces and new things, but I love old faces in new settings even more. (In example, the time I spotted my father alone, at a table in New York the first time. My father is a man who loves the country, and it was nice to see him so comfortable in New York, leaning back at an outdoor table at a restaurant, sipping a glass of wheat beer.) My friendship with LM was restricted to the house parties and gatherings hosted by my mutual friends, so it was nice to see and speak with her one-on-one, when we both weren’t in cocktail dresses, or I four cocktails in. We both write and blog, its refreshing to sit with someone who’s doing exactly what I’m doing, whose head is in the same realm. We’re both fans of each others work, which is also helpful to get feedback (and secretly, I hope some of her effortlessly-chic-ness will rub off on me). I write this thing and have a hard time stepping back from it objectively, seeing where I can improve.

The artists’ dilemma.

I had a workshop to attend near the Empire State Building and afterwards, did light shopping on 34th Street. The weather hasn’t yet matured into spring, but in a light coat I was able to enjoy the sun without muffs and gloves and appreciate that New York broke 50 degrees for the first time. I took the M7 up Sixth Avenue and stopped at Columbus Circle for a few of my favorite things: macarons at Bouchon and the views out of Time Warner Center. Sure, it’s a glorified mall. But most days, it feels like it’s all mine.

The following day I met with L. (the other L.!) for coffee at Irving Farm on the Upper West Side. As always with L., conversation was delightful. There’s nothing you can mention that L. is not an expert in. I’m rather envious of all the subjects she reads about and studies she is familiar with and how often she can recall them from memory.

The weather grew cold by the time we left.

The work-week was full of good news, minor triumphs and overall optimism that is abnormal to Ariel Davis. On Friday I took a peek at my phone during lunch break and noticed an email from my pen pal, Mr. Pemberton in the UK. He had good news to share, he was coming to New York in less than two weeks for business and we’d finally have that good, long talk we’d been meaning to have.

I beamed so brightly at this -- you’d think I was meeting the Queen.

 

 

This Weekend

 

I had many plans this weekend, too, but on Thursday I woke with a swollen jaw and a stubborn wisdom tooth. I scheduled a dentist appointment, started taking an anti-inflammatory and decided to power through all my weekend plans as if everything was peachy keen.

I wanted to get the girls from my Writing Group together, even though I was a defunct member I missed seeing their faces, I missed the conversations. So I picked my favorite spot in Soho, Delicatessen, and told them to meet me there early Saturday morning. We had a great time. I ate too much and laughed too much, and was glad I didn’t cancel.

Afterwards, L. and I went to McNally, and Utrect and all the good spots, including my old favorite writing spot, La Colombe. But I couldn’t lounge like I normally do, I was due in Crown Heights for a dance party.

I made it to Eastern Parkway at 9:30 pm with a bottle of gin tucked under my arm. All my close friends were gathered in M.’s living room, her roommate’s dog was stealing the attention and let me pet him and hold him. I sat chatting with all my friends, catching up on all the details that get lost between us when the days get busier. At midnight the whole party marched to Franklin Park bar for dancing. (Being the dork that I am, whenever I am walking to a bar with a group of friends, I feel like “Romeo” with my masked friends going to the Montague’s.)

Franklin Park was packed, and dancing was limited to a very small space. Eventually we went to the front garden, joining the smokers in the fresh air. At 2 am I was ready to call it a night, I rode the train to Brooklyn Heights with MM, the temperature had dropped significantly. I took a cab the rest of the way home.

The best thing about leaving New York is seeing it from far away, the view from Brooklyn Bridge from a cab window was (and always is) breathtaking. I love a good New York weekend.