Saturday, April 03, 2010

flutter the cherry tree till every blossom falls down upon us

You know those moments you have sometimes. When every sound, smell, sight seems as though you have lived it, will live it forever.

And you want the moment to go on and on, but you know it can't. That as you live it, the moment has already changed. But for that split second, life was utter perfection.

I took my time getting ready to go out, didn't focus on dressing up much. I'd picked a place online ahead of time for dinner, and decided to eat before the opera instead of after.

First stop Rosa Mexicano, at 62nd and Columbus, one block away from Lincoln Center. I walked in at 5:30, trying to beat the dinner rush so they wouldn't balk at giving a single person a table for two -- I hate eating at the bar, which is where I often get relegated.

The restaurant was the type of place that didn't list prices online, so I figured I'd be ordering slim, but that was ok with me. I wanted to try a new place, and mexican is my favorite.

I had a nice table by the window with a view of the street and the sidewalk diners. That's one of the unique things about NYC -- most restaurants move tables to the walk as soon as it gets warm, so we can 'fine dine' with a view.

The weather was incredible, 60 today, and sunny. I decided to do something I almost never do, and ordered a drink. One of their specialties -- also something I seldom do. A pomegranate frozen margarita -- a bit tart, but it grew on me as I sipped it throughout dinner.

I ordered my fav meal, carne asada. But oh, how they do it at Rosa's! It's about the taste [I]and[/I] the presentation here. No slapping a huge steak on a plate and piling on beans and rice. The carne was sliced into strips and served on a tasting plate with side tasters, and tiny little corn tortillas the side of my palm.

It was hands down the best meal I've had in NYC so far. After dinner -- at which I took my time and read edgar wallace's the daffodil murder on my ereader -- I declined the dessert menu. I hadn't finished my drink, so the waiter left me alone for a bit. He was cool about giving me plenty of time, despite knowing I was only one person i.e. one sale. Anyway, after a few moments, I decided to go for the dessert after all. I mean, I can always go to the gym tomorrow, right?

So I had the Pingüino, a Mexican chocolate cupcake filled with hazelnut mousse and topped with créme fraiche whipped cream, and served with an espresso- piloncillo- chocolate sauce. Words cannot do this dessert justice, my friends -- it simply can't.

I eventually managed to get myself up and out of the restaurant and across the street to pick up my ticket. I had a half-hour to kill, so I went out to sit at the fountain. It's a popular spot, a picture-taking spot, and sitting in the sun, slightly buzzed from the margarita, very full from dinner, watching people, and reading...that's when I had my moment.

That I-don't-want-it-to-end moment, there with the sun warming my hair, the sounds of people and laughter, the fountain shooting funnels of water in a pattern that builds to a crescendo and earns the applause of the crowd, the smells of the sidewalk vendor's roasted sweet nuts wafting on the breeze. God, I wanted to cry it was so poignant.

And then it was time to find my seat for Mda Butterfly. I was very lucky to be seated in between a couple of friendly, outgoing groups who said hello and were pleasant throughout the evening. And then I was treated to the most incredible evening of the most beautiful voices NYC has to offer.

You can all read about Mda Butterfly if you're not familiar. What I found very interesting is that my first ever Broadway play in NYC years ago was Miss Saigon. Check that story too, but they are similar stories. White dude does young Asian girl wrong, takes the resulting kid, and mom kills herself.

I have to admit there's a bit of the surreal in watching a play about a white American man and a young Japanese girl, being sung in Italian. You know what I mean? But the whole play was lovely, just lovely. Today left me feeling quiet and peaceful, and I don't get enough of that these days.

photo of the fountain at Lincoln Center, and dessert at Rosa Mexicano taken with my cell...apologies for the quality

Friday, April 02, 2010

assessment- the process of assessing the situation

The title is a definition from one of my student's study guides.

Another one:

Termination- the act of terminating or the condition of being terminated. I love it when my students don't have a clue, but try to bullshit their way through it.

I'm heading to my first opera Friday night. I'm seeing the NYC Opera do Madama Butterfly at Lincoln Center. It's the first time I've been to Lincoln Center, too.

I already anticipate that I'll be moved near to tears.

photo from the NYC opera