never Made it, Lucky us
bLogged by: Tania
Guest Photographer: Stephanie Levy
On a recent Saturday, I begrudgingly boarded the L train at Union Square. The plan was to meet Bonnie and Stephanie on the M platform at Myrtle Wyckoff for a trip to Forest Hills. I was having a hard time wrapping my head around going from Manhattan to Brooklyn, just to go to back through Manhattan to Queens. We started our M journey to Middle Village at Myrtle Wyckoff back in December, however, and those are the rules. We start where we left off, and we ride the entire line.
I am tired. It has been a long winter filled with long hours (80 hour work weeks to be exact), long days and cold fingers, and I am ready for it to end. March is a very significant month. It is the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is the month of my birth, as well as Bonnie and Stephanie. It is a time for new beginnings. It is funny the way that one marks the end of one thing and the beginning of the next – a new year, a new season, a new age, a new day. This will end today, and tomorrow will be different.
What was not so different on this particular Saturday was that there was yet another weekend schedule change of which we were unaware. By the time that I reached the Myrtle Wyckoff station, I was in a much better mood – aided by the Grateful Dead and the sight of the two pretty ladies I was meeting on the platform.
Joining us that evening as our guest photographer was Stephanie. Stephanie is a good friend of Bonnie, and therefore automatically has the seal of approval from me. However, as I have gotten to know her better, I have come to find she is just the kind of friend that anyone would be lucky to have. She listens intently when you have something to say, she offers insightful advice, she is the sort of friend who is the first to arrive at your birthday party and the last to leave (making sure that 1. You’ve had a great time and 2. Your house is clean). She helps you to organize your space (both mental and physical). She appreciates the little things like the beauty of a single flower and last but not least…she is so much fun!
We boarded the M train headed for Forest Hills. I scratched down the time on a piece of paper in my bag, which I have since lost. No matter, we never made it. Three stops later the train stopped running. What to do? We considered getting off the platform, but that wasn’t really the end of the line. We ran back and forth between the M and J platforms several times before backtracking to Myrtle Wyckoff.
Sometimes you want a new adventure, a new beginning….and sometimes you just want home, the familiar and the comfortable. As luck would have it, that night I got exactly what I wanted. We boarded the L train, headed for the end. 8th Avenue and 14th street. We wandered through the beautiful West Village to a restaurant so familiar to me that it always feels like home.
The West Village has always been a place where I have aspired to live. A brownstone at the end of a windy block. A small quaint town in a concrete jungle. We spent a while walking through the cobblestone streets, crashing stoops and enjoying the street art.
Eventually we ended up at Fish, on Bleeker Street. I have been coming to Fish for over 12 years, and I have never had a bad time or a bad meal. First attracted to the restaurant for their Red, White and Blue special – a half dozen clams or oysters with a PBR or wine for $8 – I never stopped going. Birthdays, Anniversaries, this has always been the place.
We were faced with a wait, but it was probably one of the most enjoyable waits that I can recall. We got a bottle of red wine and sat on the benches in the front, fully enclosed and protected from the elements. A hour must have passed, but it felt like minutes.
When we were finally seated, we were ready to eat! Three red, white and blue specials, one order of buffalo shrimp, a grilled tuna salad sandwich, a lobster cobb salad and king crab legs. Not being one to partake in buffalo wings, I truly appreciate the shrimp option. I could go on forever about the tuna salad. Now when I say tuna salad, you might think of a scoop of bumblebee with a pile of mayo. Not here. Grilled pieces of slightly rare tuna with a wasabi mayo and some celery. Amazing. And king crab legs, they speak for themselves.
We toasted to our birthdays. To new beginnings that are truly new, and new beginnings that feel like home. Out with the old. They brought us some complimentary wine, but at that point we were so filled to the brim, I am not sure we even finished. We left our home for the night for a good night’s sleep that comes after a night of good food and good conversation, excited for the new beginning tomorrow would bring.