Thursday, January 13, 2005

Regrets, I've Had a Few, Thank God I'm Losing My Memory

I heard the joke when we first came to California:

If you try and fail in New York, you can always move to LA and try again. Or you can give up and move to San Francisco.

That does capture my sense of this place, this glittering irresistible backwater, which is the real Lotus Land, not LA.

I continue to talk talk talk about hitting 60, of the realization of all the things I will never do. Of course, you will reply: "Look at your glass! It's half full!" And I reply but it's mostly ice cubes covered with a sheen of the delicious brown goods I drained at one gulp.

Speaking of draining things at one gulp and my regret at never having taken a crack at NYC -- my wife wanted to give it a try back in her acting days and she was good but I hesitated -- in a recent New Yorker they had this wonderful capsule description, which I have copied verbatim on the fair use principle.

BRANDY LIBRARY 25 N. Moore St., at Varick St. (212-226-5545)—More often than not, bottles of liquor are kept behind the bar and at a distance from patrons. Not so at this newly opened outpost of after-dinner culture, where softly lit single-malt Scotches, amber Cognacs and Armagnacs, and glistening Calvados are lined up on shelves along each wall, just begging to be touched. And, like books in a library, hundreds of bottles are there to be sampled and perused at will. The intimate room has elegant round wood tables and soft leather chairs, the music is strictly twentieth-century jazz (the pianist Joel Forrester is at the upright on Monday nights), and there are high-end bar snacks available. It’s a space designed for lingering; the owner, Flavien Desoblin, a native Burgundian, says he’ll often sniff a glass of Armagnac twenty times before taking the first sip.

Sounds perfect and in no way hazardous to my health since those golden thimblefuls of booze sound pricey and, in my case, a keen sense of economy equals moderation.

We cannot all be intentionally virtuous.

And if the temptation grew too great? "Flavien," I would say. "That's Armagnac, not a dog you've just met."

And so I would be expelled by some burly yuppies in tight-waisted suits. But they say the slush in the gutters of New York is soft as cotton and the jeers of the winos leaning against the wall are as sweet as any siren song.


Anonymous said...

You know how many shitbirds in the world turned sixty the day you did?

....J.Michael Robertson said...


Anonymous said...

You think they talk about it all the time?

Anonymous said...

If I could find a job in the Bay Area, I would leave New York on the next Greyhound bus. Count your blessings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Darwin's Cat:

Thank you for the kind words! For those in the New York City area who might like to come to us, may I direct your attention to