Friday, April 3, 2009

Fat and Happy

There is no better way to end a hectic work week than by going out on Friday night to hang with friends and have a delicious dinner. Besides the utter craziness that happened on Tuesday, we've suddenly transitioned to an entirely new computer system, so everything is different. Some of us had a little bit of training in it, but for the most part it has been trial by fire. And not all of my coworkers handle change well! Needless to say, we were all ready for the weekend. Dali had us all over to her place after work for an unveiling of her new over-the-sofa art.

Back in the 70s, Dali led a free-spirited, uninhibited life. She was a groupie for a popular Spanish singer, and scored a gig modelling on a float in the Easter Parade one year. She won a contest and got a free trip to Europe. Once, she and a friend rented a hotel room, dressed up, and covered themselves entirely in gold paint. Then they hit the town, like golden Grecian goddesses. A professional photographer happened to see them strolling down the street, and snapped their picture from behind. The image is black and white, but captures Dali's purposeful sway, her braids jangling, her low-cut dress revealing two alluring dimples on her back. Miraculously, the photographer happened to run into Dali some time later, and gave her a copy of the photograph. She stashed it away, over the years changing her focus from partying to raising a family. Thirty years and three kids later, Dali found the picture at the back of her closet, and was overwhelmed with the good memories that resurfaced. She had the image enlarged and printed on a stretched canvas, and hung it in her living room. "When my kids and my grandkids see it, I want them to say, 'My mom really did something! She really was someone!'" says Dali.

After drinks (me=coke and lime, they=margaritas) and reminiscing at Dali's house, we all decided to go to Ricardo's. When my dad was here last weekend and I was trying to think of places to go eat, I forgot about Ricardo's! It is the best steak restaurant I've ever been to. The food is divine. Located in East Harlem, it's able to stay small enough to feel exclusive but cozy. But it's not a dive--in fact, it's really classy, and this is coming from a person who tends to hate fancy restaurants because they always try to hard. Ricardo's doesn't try too hard, they just do a good job and keep it real. The food is exquisitely presented but not snobby, expertly prepared but not exotic, and so delicious. I ate a big juicy steak!

Walking to the subway afterwards, I found myself enchanted with the warm wet night. Spring is here: it rained all day, giving way eventually to a warm windy night. People were out enjoying it, strolling arm in arm, walking their dogs, savoring the freshness of the city after a good rain. The warm wind wreaked havoc with litter, forming small whirlwinds. A discarded wooden door that someone had propped against a street-lamp crashed down onto the pavement as I passed by. My hair flew around like a witch's, and broken umbrellas lay like crumpled flowers in the gutters. Though I had intended to take a subway, before I knew it I had walked across town, and from there it was just a few streets till I was home. Now I'm too stuffed to sleep, but too tired to do anything but lay here and write...

1 comment:

tkangaroo said...

Gorgeous. Love the visuals evoked. Thanks!