Fresh blueberries, green grapes, Bartlett Pears, carrots with hummus and a German beer concoction is a great start to a beautiful Sunday evening.
I got off work yesterday at 4pm. It seemed like the perfect excuse to hang out with my friend Tynan. She too was getting off work at 4pm. Around 5pm, she was heading home to Astoria, so I headed to Astoria myself. I landed at her apartment about 30 minutes later. I found a very tired Tynan. Not surprising when she told me about the night she had had previously. Nothing crazy, just late. She wanted a low-key evening at home and I'm usually always pretty down with that. There are times when I need to blow off some steam and turn it out, but most of the time I'm a sit-on-the-sofa-and-have-a-glass-of-wine-with-some-good-tv-or-conversation kind of guy.
When Tynan headed to the shower, I headed to the Trade Fair to pick up some supplies. On a hot summer evening, the first thought I had was fruit. Juicy, fresh fruit. There's nothing more beautiful that a colorful plate of fresh fruit sitting there waiting to be enjoyed. Anticipating the burst of the juice in your mouth from the first blueberry. I wanted a plate full of more color than green and purple, but upon examination of what was available at Trade Fair, blueberries, pears and grapes were my best option. I wanted the peaches and the plums, but I just wasn't sure they were ripe enough yet. I kept coming back to the peaches. I make a fantastic fruit salad with peaches, mango, blueberries, grapes and pears in the summer. Yum! Alas, last night was not the night for that particular salad.
The next thing I wanted was beer and Sprite. I know it may sound strange, but it is utterly refreshing. We usually drink what we call "white trash sangria" on Sunday evenings. You know, equal parts wine and ginger ale. It's usually red wine in the winter and white in the summer. I've taken to adding fresh oranges and limes or lemons to the mix. Anyway, last night, beer felt more refreshing. About a year ago I was with my German friend, Katrin, at the Beer Garden in Astoria, and we had this beer/Sprite concoction. I needed to revisit that refreshing beverage last night. So with Miller Lite, Sprite and the fruit purchased, I headed back to Tynan's to prepare it all.
After I washed and plated the fruit, Tynan added baby carrots and hummus to the mix, as well as, a Spanish cheese, the name of which escapes me. She added small slices of the cheese to the fruit plate, on top of the pear slices. It was a little bit of heaven right here in Astoria. Anticipation was building for that first bite. We moved everything to the living room, where the low lights and sound of the air conditioner whirring, lulled us to the sofa with a "come and relax on me for a while" ambiance.
Faced with what to watch while passing the time waiting for True Blood to start Tynan started searching HBO on demand. We stumbled upon a series that neither of us had heard of called Masterclass. Some discoveries are good and some bad. This was good. Like Columbus discovering America! Well, maybe not exactly like that, but for a couple of artists, it was pretty damn good. Masterclass is a series where professional artists give a master class to young artists. The first one we watched was Placido Domingo. Perfect for Tynan as she is an opera singer. For me, it was just amazing to sit back and watch those kids react and learn from their hero. The next one we watched was with Jacques d'Ambroise. He was a dancer and is now a respected choreographer. I reverted right back to my early days in college when I was just discovering dance and the joy that I felt back then. It was hard, but I wanted to be good at it so bad that I practiced it. I don't practice any more. Anything. It's sad, really. There was a time when I studied and practiced to learn and get better at something. Now, if I can't do it right away, I kind of give up on it. There are episodes with Liv Ullmann and Bill T. Jones, as well as other names I didn't recognize. I can't wait to watch and discover their magic.
During the first episode of Masterclass, we decided it was time to order dinner. I know, with all that fruit you're thinking how could we possible be hungry for more. Well, we were. We ordered sushi. Another tasty idea for a hot day. Hot and raw don't really go together where food is concerned, but sushi is kept cold and prepared fresh so that made it perfect for the hot summer evening. Salmon, California, mango/avocado and peanut/avocado rolls were ordered and Masterclass was resumed.
Instead of having the food delivered, we decided to walk the block and pick it up ourselves. Not typical New Yorker, but the evening was beautiful and the walk was a joy.
With our appetites satisfied, it was time to satiate our minds with the sexual world of True Blood. That is never hard to do. The world created by Charlaine Harris in her Sookie Stackhouse novels, and translated to the small screen by the mind of Alan Ball, is always sexual. It's full of comedy, intrigue, mystery, thrills and sex. What would you expect from vampires, but sex? It seems to be the nature of the beast. Hypersexual is a good word to describe the vampires of True Blood and the series itself. Let's just say, it's good to have HBO on Sunday nights when the summer starts.
Food, friends, good television. Is there a better way to spend an evening? Well, maybe at a beach or a New England bed & breakfast with a lover, but having no option for that last night, my choices were the perfect ones for me.