Friday, September 9, 2011

A Heaping Bowl of Heaven

  I rounded out my short-albeit-seemingly-long work week with a practice session for a presentation Ginny & I are co-presenting on Tuesday. I'm really excited about the opportunity to unveil my group's recent work to the entire company. Then I had an appointment for a therapeutic massage, right near work AND my favorite Vietnamese restaurant AND the annual Westport Art Fair, so I decided to spend the evening in Midtown. (Shout-out to Mary Ann for letting the dogs out for me... Making all this possible! She is my hero for sure!!!)
  I first tried Saigon 39 about thirteen years ago & I will always be a fan. The place is small and the decor a little dated, but the service and the food are divine. I had my usual: shrimp spring rolls, and a big bowl of rice noodle stir fry: chicken, tofu, onions, peppers, carrots, cilantro, spicy red peppers, peanuts, peanut sauce, and anchovy-vinaigrette. Simple, clean, and fresh. (Yep, I ate the whole thing!)
   The woman who greeted me when I came in, and whom I paid, remembered me. She said, "I haven't seen you in a little while, but you've been coming here for a long time, haven't you?" 
   "Over thirteen years!" I said.
   "Wow—thank you! We've been open 19 years now," she informed me.
   We had a nice chat. I complimented her on the great food, she explained how the economy and how a kitchen fire that shut down the restaurant for three months last year, almost destroyed their business. They're still trying to get people back. Which is a shame, because it's a great family-run business and a staple on 39th Street.
   And then I headed to see some art... Westport Art Fair is always a favorite; it's not too big (about 100 artists), it's local (artists must live within a 40 mile radius to be considered), there's a great variety of media, and overall the work is good. Tonight it was the usual fun atmosphere: bumping into friends, talking to artists, buying some art (Christmas presents!), and people-watching. Also, bat-watching. There were several bats—large ones—circling the lights, grabbing a snack. Odd to see in the heart of Westport, but cool nonetheless.
  Now I'm heading home, belly full of noodles and mind full of inspiration, to walk my pooches and call it a week.
   I heard a quote today from Picasso that I really like, and it's apropos: "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." And so it did. :)