You have to look at this picture very carefully to see why it stopped me. Look near the black shoes.
Maintaining friendships involves sitting at a table and talking and eating. The last two days have been an intense round of visits with old friends, usually sitting over coffee or something else I shouldn't have. Tuesday morning I met J in the art books at the Strand, which is so large we had to specify a section. From there, talking all the time, we went to a small Israeli restaurant where we sipped fresh squeezed orange juice until the lunchtime crowd came in and needed our seats. We went across the street to the less crowded Au Bon Pain and sat for another hour or two over coffee and soup. I usually eat, but wasn't hungry then. Finally J walked back to the Strand with me so I could continue looking at books and we said goodby.
I managed to get out with only one book and went up to meet another J, Julia, at the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle, starving by this time. Julia got a table while I bought food. We kept that one from four until six thirty, buying a little more as the spirit moved us. Finally I couldn't sit anymore and we walked over to Lincoln Center where we hung out again, until it was time for our eight o'clock concert. It was interesting to see the musicians so casually dressed for the rehearsal now looking very formal and dignified. This was an all Mozart program with the Jupiter Symphony and two choral pieces. Very nice.
Wednesday I met Sybille back at the Film Forum for another documentary; this time about Anselm Kiefer. Many years ago I was awestruck by a large Kiefer painting, Ordnung das Engels, at the Art Institute of Chicago. (It doesn't seem to be there any more.) Since then I have sought out his work wherever I could find it, but nothing had the power of that first experience. The film didn't either. Exhausted by the over long film, and hungry, we went looking for something decadent for lunch. We found Rocco's cheesecake first, but decided it was too decadent for starters so we walked across the street to Amy's Bread, where we had soup and some amazing seeded rolls. Then we went back to Rocco's for the Italian cheesecake, which is not as decadent (read cream cheese) as their American version. Of course, more talk and more coffee.
I returned to the apartment just in time to sit down for 10 minutes, then off to another restaurant to meet C and her niece: lots more talk, salad, no coffee. Two great days.