It’s so windy here today! But R and I still walked around for a little while — with red noses, flying hair and freezing hands in our pockets. I have always loved going out for impromptu walks with her. More often than not, they happen on Saturdays with lunch being the immediate goal. We live on different streets. She on Broadway and I on Amsterdam. We start by not knowing where to meet. More rational people would pick a restaurant first and then meet somewhere accordingly. But we are not those people. R is always in the mood for East Asian food and I am always in a post-coffee brunch state of mind. So, we meet on Broadway — never on Amsterdam, and survey the same twenty-odd restaurants in our neighborhood. Most of the pre-lunch walk involves a lot of futile bargaining about where to eat. Almost always, I lose. Quite graciously though, I must add. And with a promise to go to a brunch-y place next time. We all know what happens to promises.

Usually we go to one of these three places: Thai MarketColumbia Cottage or Sookk. At Sookk, we never deviate from the lunch special, mostly because it’s a good deal and we are cheap. At Columbia Cottage, it’s always shredded beef with hot peppers, sautéed snow pea tips with minced garlic and a pot of green tea, and that’s because they are really tasty. But, the one thing I really didn’t want to eat today was Thai. Of course, that’s what we ate. But thankfully, it was at a new place (our second visit) called Sura and my vegetable pad-thai was delicious! The spring rolls were too oily though.

For me, these lunches and walks are not really about food though. I like the habitual little routine we follow. I like walking around the same blocks and avenues in different permutations and combinations. We talk about silly things mostly, admire the dogs and babies on the streets, plan to buy flowers and watch more movies, dream of living in the same city in future and working together, the usual stuff. Occasionally, one of us is in a bad mood and the other becomes the cheer-leader. I guess that’s how friends are — you eat Thai food even if you don’t want to and she patiently lets you take a photo in the middle of the conversation. It’s easy and nice and makes you wish that life was a Saturday!

P.S. Here’s a window-shot of the Silver Moon bakery. I love how everything is superimposed in this photo. I was just watching the baker knead his dough from outside and he instinctually asked me to take a photo. Telepathy!


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