We hadn't found it. Instead, we drank at an Irish pub, dined at an overpriced, crowded, trendy Italian joint. Not bad, but not transcendent, either.
Why Wendy was drawn to the Liberty Hotel, visible each day as the train rose up to cross the river, I don't know. It was detached from any neighborhood, and attached to a hospital. Its brownish grey facade seemed cold against the steel grey sky. But drawn to it we were. Which is a good thing. The lobby was the inside of a colonial-era jail, and it was truly grand. The bar, called Clink, offered sumptuous couches and an equally sumptuous bartender. We settled in.
A few hours later, we found ourselves in the kitchen of a corporate lawyer, cooking carne asada in various stages of undress and carnality.
And it all started with gin. Hendricks, to be precise. Which is funny, because normally I'm a Bombay Sapphire guy (which causes gin afficianados' livers to pucker up and cringe -- the NY Times called it a "neurotic" gin. Pshaw.). The martini was called the Classic Twist, a delightfully cool concoction of Hendricks, muddled cucumber, black pepper and perhaps some vermouth, all shaken quite beautifully by the aforementioned bartender.
I sipped it, and spoke effusively about a talk I had heard that day about the importance of storytellers in every tribe, community, society. I almost cried, in fact -- maybe it was the words, maybe the martini. Wendy gulped French Kisses -- vodka, chambord, champagne. She delighted in asking the waitress, quite seductively, for another french kiss.
I was about to order a second twist. After all, they say a martini is like a woman's breast: One is not enough, three is too many. But before I could call the waitress over, the couple approached our table. He, a sturdy guy, self-conscious scruff, foreign accent; she, long blonde hair, lips shaped like a heart. We chatted. We drank some more. All four of us left together.
I would not need another Classic Twist. And later that night, I would discover that the saying about martinis and breasts is sometimes wrong, on both counts.
Stick around, and perhaps I'll finish the story sometime. In the meantime, I'll be blogging semiregularly here at gin + gelato (I'm of the slow blogging school, I'm afraid). And here's what this blog will include:
- chronicles of our journey to find the world's best gelato/ice cream;
- recipes from our attempts to create the same;
- musings on gin, and cocktail formulas;
- short fiction (in the hopes that you'll not only read it, but that artists in other media will steal my work and use it in other forms -- like make movies out of it);
- explorations of the intersection between the rational and the hedonistic;
- pointers and commentary on other artists, websites, blogs, etc.
And please: enjoy.