G is for Grand Gestures, Goosebumps & Gamblin’
Or: A Second Examination on Love and Romance
forGed by: Bonnie
You may have gathered, dear reader, that I’m (ahem, just ever so slightly) inclined toward the romantic. Romantic in that I am obsessed with love, yes. But more so that I am possessed by a desire for adventure and the need to be swept away. I mean, look at this End of the Line Dining project as an example—how I want to be swept to the far corners of this city (that I love!) and discover the undiscovered over a glass too many of wine and eating to excess. That’s romantic if you ask me!
I’ve always been into grand gestures. When I am into someone romantically, I will very often suggest some grand plan, something wild to get into, and if that someone doesn’t jump at the opportunity then I see a red flag and retreat. My friend Mary was the first one to point out that I tend to present big tests to the boys that are showing interest, and then I am disappointed when they can’t keep up. We’ve talked about how maaaaaaybe I need to suggest something a little easier than heading to the beach for a night swim NOW OR NEVER as a first test but I say: why? If someone can keep up with my need for the grand gesture then they are worth keeping. It’s taking awhile to find that but I say it’s worth the wait. Maybe I’ll never love as passionately as I did when I was sixteen but I’m going to keep trying.
Tania has known everyone that I’ve ever been in love with. And sometimes I think she hopes that I find my way back to that one that I loved when I was a teenager. But he’s far away in an “I” state and I’m tucked away in my city with dreams and years between us. Tania has seen my heart almost every time it’s been broken and she’s been rock solid through it all. She, herself, is a deeply romantic person, and I know that our sensibilities really match on that front. In fact, it’s pretty much our favorite topic of conversation when we make our End of the Line Dining excursions.
This trip to Long Island City on the G train Monday evening was no exception.
I sat on the sweaty Metropolitan Avenue G platform, waiting for Tania. Being a half hour early, I cracked open my book in which a young girl meets Lord Death and bargains a reprieve if she can find true love in 24 hours. Yep, I’m serious. Meanwhile there was a woman singing some serious love tunes on the platform such as “At Last” and “Natural Woman,” throwing in some Mary J. and Beyoncé too. Tania arrived just as a train did and at 8:33pm we were heading away from this romancey k-hole and towards Queens.
The ride was 8 minutes.
I used to feel like Long Island City was so far away. But now that I’ve reached a little further into this city, I realize that it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump, really.
When I think of Long Island City, I think of that little hole on the floor when you enter PS1 where a video screen shows a woman pounding on the glass like she’s trying to get out of the hole. I think of my friend, James Rickman, who lives there and who throws magical singer/songwriter shows in his living room and how jerky it is that I haven’t made it to a single one of them. I think of the looming Citibank building. I think of when my friend Stephanie and I used to teach in Flushing, Queens, and how we used to transfer to the 7 train here. That was when we really got to know each other, on those train rides. I think of the time that I gave my phone number to an ex-cop stoner comedian after a comedy show. I think of Materials for the Arts and gathering supplies for children’s theater productions.
I know this neighborhood a little bit. There’s an ease in going there.
When Tania and I got off the train, we started walking toward a vague memory of a seafood restaurant we had been to with my brother back in 2007. It was drizzling out but we both kept our umbrellas in our bags. There was something refreshing about the light rain as we strolled along.
We ended up passing a French spot called Café Henri, in which a three-piece jazz band was playing. The live music and the coziness and the promise of French cuisine drew us in. Oh well, we’ll keep that crab shack in our memories.
We ordered some wine and then settled upon our feast.
- French Onion Soup
- Salad Nicoise
- Moule Frites, (Mariniere)
All the essentials in French cuisine, if you ask me! We didn’t ask for a server’s choice. It seemed as if we had enough with our selections, I suppose.
Everything was delicious. The escargot dripping with butter and garlic and the French onion soup cheesy and delightful. The tuna on the salad cooked a perfect medium rare and the mussels as satisfying as we could have hoped.
Not to mention the crispy, salty French fries that sealed the deal. We ate just about every last morsel. Left some of the bread behind that came with the mussels. Tooooo full at that point. But we were happy. Stuffed. Buzzed. Happy.
We sat for awhile after the plates were cleared, discussing our favorite songs… I think I drew Tania over to the dark side with “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (obsessed!) (sorry, not sorry) and she told me of her aspiration to make a recording of “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush with her on drums and maybe me on the keys. I love that about Tania. I love how into specific songs she gets. And they are usually the most random like “Big Bills” by Flosstradamus. It’s one of the most endearing things about her. I solemnly swear I will help to make that recording happen, Tania. Hounds of Love. Kills me.
It was still drizzly as we rambled on back to the G train. Happy as little snails. Umbrellas still in our bags. The rainy city night was perfectly romantic. Lights twinkling like dreams.
Maybe it’s the unknown of romance that makes it so enticing to me. I love the gamble of it. The goosebumps. Maybe I’m just hopeless. But I’m going to keep living and loving like there’s no tomorrow. And we’ll see who is up for the ride.