Monday, October 25, 2004

Vancouver - New York - Scranton

driving in NYC
Originally uploaded by gailontheweb.
Life's funny, isn't it? Who would've thought I'd be writing this, sitting in a printing plant, typing on my PowerBook beside David Fielding, who's typing away on his Mac, as his colleagues walk by and check us out (yes, I'm a real person, not a figment of David's imagination).

Had a lovely weekend in New York City, but I'll get David to write about it. *Mush alert* It was unbearably romantic. I also met David's mom last night, and I am relieved to report that I have passed the Mom Test. It's not one of those tests one can study for, so my nervous system can relax now...

The Weekend Report, by David Fielding

I'm back, although:

1) I'm not a better writer than Gail;
2) We both remember the details (and they aren't all here);
3) No one will believe a word of this, since Gail did not take any photos!

Gail returned to Pennsylvania this weekend, by way of New York; and since I exhausted all of the entertainment possibilities of Scranton last time, we spent Saturday night in Manhattan. I met Gail at the airport (and managed not to miss her at the gate - unlike last time!). The greeting was much warmer this time, and I took her bags and we drove into the city.

I had kept the plans a secret, until we parked the car. Being of a literary bent, and a history geek, I chose the historic Algonquin Hotel, haunt of Dorothy Parker, George S. Kaufman and Gertrude Stein. It was also, I recently found, the home of one of my grandmother's sisters in the 1930s; my mother clearly recalls visiting there over the summers as a little girl. It was restored to pristine original condition some years ago, and the service is excellent. We had a courtyard room on the top floor, with a view. (If you opened the bathroom window and stood on the toilet, you could see the Chrysler building!)

I had made reservations for a late-night supper and a table in the Oak Room for the cabaret show. It featured Jeremy Davenport, an amazing vocalist-trumpeter in a four-piece jazz set. We finally got our food very late - during the show, which was a bit embarrassing, because we were at the center table immediately in front of the musicians. Davenport and his pianist, Thaddeus Richards, kidded us and looked longingly at our entrees. The set was amazing; an intimate performance with four brilliant jazz musicians, in the dark-panelled Oak Room. The songs were classic Sinatra-era love songs:

I’ve got the world on a string,
I’m sitting on a rainbow,
got the string around my finger...
What a world, what a life - I’m in love!

After the show it was past 1:00 am, but we were not at all ready to sleep. We left the hotel and strolled around Manhattan, walked through the theater district to Times Square. The weather was mild for the season, and we chatted and strolled. We stopped in a rather American Irish pub for a drink, and at an all-night deli for a grilled panini. During the past few weeks we have spent long hours on the phone in conversation; now, walking together again, the pace of the talk slowed and we were at ease to enjoy ourselves. We enjoyed ourselves.

It was, as Gail said, "unbearably romantic". Just the sort of evening that makes one want many, many more; when everything is perfect, and time stands still. A man might ask a woman to marry him, on an evening like this.

One did.