Lunch at Raymond's
Raymond's is a charming diner style restaurant on Church Street in Montclair, New Jersey. It's the sort of place you go for a meal but leave feeling uplifted whether from stimulating conversation with a friend, a killer Cobb salad and fries, or the happy chatter of others. Children are always there I've noticed which I interpret as a good omen. The waitstaff are amiable and genuine, dressed in denim for a casual feel. My favorites there are the egg salad sandwich, the calamari salad, and the French toast. It's made with French bread and is simply decadent. It was at Raymond's I had my first Lime Rickey, discussed new business ventures, and comforted a single mom whose youngest was preparing for her wedding. Everyone has a Raymond's. The local spot to get a milkshake or a cup of coffee that is made just right each time.
Water in motion
Water has an inexplicable soothing effect. For the spiritual, it is symbolic of beginnings, the washing away of sins, and forgiveness. For the non-spiritual it is just as powerful. A close friend of mine once told me if I was ever to become worried or anxious, to envision myself floating in a running river, water rushing at my sides, my concerns washing away. I've never forgotten that; it has served me a great deal.
Nurturing a plant
My first semester at Georgetown, my mother got my roommate and I a delicate plant for our little dorm. It only lasted one week. Neither of us were very adept at caring for plants, although understandably it isn't really that difficult. Perhaps we were overwhelmed with the new chapter of college life. Since then I have made a conscious effort to take more attentive care of plants. Throughout our lives we will take care of children, siblings, pets, and elderly family members. We might even dedicate our time to caring for complete strangers. There is a certain comfort though in nurturing something that has nothing to say or give. That you can talk to without fear of judgment or worse, indifference. That won't poop on the carpet.
We've been grilling a great deal as the weather has been warm and summer beckons. The Chef of the house has a wild imagination and can make nearly anything on the charcoal grill. Inspired by a trip to the Monk Room, James recreated their Carbonara pizza with guanciale, eggs and crushed black pepper. It was perfectly, imperfect with its amoeba-like shape. Maybe he will make me another for breakfast.
The sound of fury
No, not William Faulkner , we're talking NASCAR. I attended my first race at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania this past weekend. Unsure what to expect, I imagined it would be loud but wasn't prepared for the sheer magnitude of those engines. Despite the great volume, it was I might even say melodic as the cars whizzed by like furious bees. The roar faded in and out as they rounded the track. Even with ear plugs, the bleachers shook with every lap.