Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Farewell Trip - Part IV

Every year at year-end, Martha and I list our personal awards, in categories such as best book, best movie, best trip, best weekend, best new place, best new person, best new discovery, and most important goal accomplished. We usually do this in the course of a long phone conversation. This was a chance to do it in person! It was still a long conversation.

We then spent some time at LACMA (L.A. County Museum of Art); we had gone there two years ago and I wanted to see more of the permanent collection. It seemed fitting to see the Asian art! I was able to incorporate some of what I had learned the day before into the conversation, too. We also had manicures/pedicures, something that we often do when I visit.

That night, we went to the Bazaar, the site of Martha’s Best Dinner of 2010. I can see why; it’s a front-runner for 2011 for me! Jose Andres, the owner, was profiled on 60 Minutes earlier this year. He’s a practitioner of molecular gastronomy, also known as deconstruction, where the tastes of familiar things are duplicated in unusual form. It’s not your average Spanish tapas place. We had egg-and-potato tortillas that came in a glass, sweet potato chips, a caprese salad with infused tomatoes and liquid mozzarella, a Philly cheese steak with air bread and more liquid cheese, jicama-wrap guacamole, tuna ceviche in avocado roll and more – but just listing what we had doesn’t do justice to the bursts of flavor and texture that we had in every bite. It was exquisite. And of course there were some different mini-desserts to top it off.

When I made the plane reservations, my tentative departure date was January 17, and I thought I would like to have the better part of a week to pack and prepare. The departure date was pushed back to January 23, but I didn’t do any packing or preparing before I left for the farewell trip, so even though it’s never easy to sleep in a red-eye, I’m glad I took it; I felt I needed the time. I hadn’t taken a coast-to-coast red-eye in years. It’s not any more fun than it used to be! And this flight was full, with many people who moved up to take it because of the big storm forecast for the east coast for the next day. I didn’t get a lot of sleep, but I was able to bask not only in the Bazaar dinner but also in the time spent with several friends in several cities!

I went from the airport right to the jitney and spent the day catching up and also stocking up; this time the predictions were right and through the night and next day over a foot of snow fell. I’ve had a lot to do in Southampton, with Everywhere Exercise and packing and emails and phone calls to and from friends, but I’ve also had errands to do and even though I was able to get rides into town anytime, I would have liked the independence of coming and going as I pleased. I took some walks along the beach and on the unplowed, unshoveled property – I love seeing the footprints in the snow of birds, bunnies, deer and other unidentified critters. I went to a restorative yoga workshop – the one at the library had been an hour; this one (same teacher) was two and a half – very restorative! And then I was looking at the paper and I noticed that Rodney Yee, the star of the yoga DVDs that I do just about every day, was speaking at a luncheon in Sag Harbor this week. He’s been in Sag Harbor this whole time and I didn’t know?

I convinced Debbie to come out from New Jersey for the day. We went to the luncheon (at the fancy American Hotel); he really was inspiring, talking about the philosophy and practice of yoga and about his own history. The luncheon was for the League of Women Voters, which seems like an interesting organization and a nice group of people. Something to think about! Debbie also took me around to do errands, and we had time to play cards and watch the sunset.

I took one last farewell trip, to New York on Thursday. I made some appointments, saw a friend, saw my family, and went to the Morgan. The library at the Morgan reopened in late October and I have passed it several times, wanting to go in but never having the time. It’s beautiful, with paintings and books and items from the collections. I cruised through it, but was glad I went at all. Some highlights that had nice ties for me – a letter from Jefferson (I’ve just relived my Monticello trip), one of Lincoln’s writings (I’m still thinking about Gettysburg and have been reading Disunion, the Times on-line series about the Civil War’s 150th), a life mask of Washington used in the statue in the Virginia State Capitol (which I saw this summer), and ancient jewelry and other decorative items of Eurasia (so… where I’ve been and where I’m going). When I left, I felt lighter and happier than I think I’ve felt in a while. It was a nice farewell day!

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