Monday, November 1, 2010

Crisp and Cool

Fall is in the air. This morning my apartment was crisp and cool, beckoning me to please stay under the covers for another five minutes. Seeing as I tend to have a problem getting out of my bed in general, the fact that I am out in public is a major triumph. I find myself once again at my favorite "diner," Sanford's. Yes, they are open 24/7, and I can order breakfast whenever I like (it's still before noon, so I'm not letting myself have any guilt today), but this is not your average grease spoon. Revamped within the past few years, the interior is chic, the glassware and plates modern. While their menu has a few standbys like omelettes and burgers, there are also visages of pestos, aiolis, organic greens, and artisan breads aplenty. There wine list is one of the best and most affordable in Astoria (in truth it probably beats my restaurant's hands down). And anywhere that invites you to get Tuna Tartare at 3 in the morning instead of disco fries or Taco Bell is A-OK in my book. Yes, here I am in this blog, yet again espousing my love for food and restaurants, this time a zinged-up diner, but what is life if not the meals we eat?

The sun is bright outside, but don't be deceived, it's not especially warm. There's a certain buzz in the air this morning. For 11:30 on a Monday morning, this place is especially packed. Perhaps some are still recovering from Halloween frolicking (as I was yesterday morning, thank you for your help Moonstruck Astoria), or celebrating the fact their rent check has gone through (or so we hope). It is the start of a new month, and as my Facebook feed has reminded me, it is the start of the holiday season. Surely, there is a coziness in the air, a buzz of expectancy, all of us a little more thankful to be warm in a restaurant, surrounding by food and friendly faces (not to mention soft lighting and smooth music), as opposed to the cold outside. Though I have been indoors for more than 15 minutes, I still have my scarf wrapped tight around my neck, decked in my sweats and sneakers. My comfort breakfast of coffee, toast, and eggs with avocado and cheese is doing just the trick, waking me up and reinforcing me for the day ahead. Of late, I have given up on keeping food in my house, as half the things I buy go bad before I use them, and I have the tendency to get trapped in my house and never leave (I also love to play "Free Refills" with anything I can get my hands on). On the agenda for today: Living my life, celebrating my life, taking stock of where I am and where I've been. Aka, tonight I finally get to appropriately celebrate my birthday with my closest friends and Spanish tapas. I cannot wait. The Halloween madness over, Back-to-School having long ago given way to midterm reports, this week we will finish the long period of fall campaigning and move into the holiday season, one of my favorite times of the year. I love the holidays, getting together with friends and family, eating and cooking and drinking, generally feasting, glad that we live in a part of the world with cold winters, bulky sweaters and coats able to hide some of our "holiday joy." This morning, I am finding myself very thankful and very excited for the upcoming festivities. For visiting with friends and family, seeing how each has aged in the past year (my little brother is growing up Fast), toasting to all that we have been blessed with in the past year. For holiday turkeys and stuffing and gravy and pies, lots of red wine and pleasures found in purple bags. No doubt, this year will be a little different than most. Well, more than a little. I have no illusions that the coming months will be without many difficulties and more than a few tears, but today I am feeling brave and ready to face what lies ahead. Nothing I can do can get my sister back, but there are so many things I can do to celebrate her life and cling even closer to the family I still have. And you know what, as we gather this year, her place may be empty at the table, but I have no doubt in my mind, that she will be with us. This past weekend, my family was in all corners of the world, my dad fishing in Alabama, my mom frolicking in Spain, myself tearing up the streets of New York, and my poor little brother left at home. And while we are more geographically divided than usual, I feel oh, so close to my family, and looking forward to the days that we will all wake up in the same house this December. And so, I am going to go forth into the cold with a smile on my face (that is until I realize I am in New York and the only people who smile are totally fucking crazy). Warmed from the coffee and heat, my belly full, it is time to forge ahead in my daily effort to Get Something Done. Let's just hope it doesn't get too much colder out. I may be a bit nostalgic for cool weather this morning, but there is nothing cute about single digit temperatures. For today, for now, I will bundle up a little extra, drink my coffee hot, not iced, and make the most of what I hope will be a beautiful day.

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