Posse! I (finally!) took A Little Day Trip to Chicago. I promised TGirl that I wouldn’t moulder, that I would get out and DO STUFF that I hadn’t done since she’d become so infirm-yet-still-lethal (hard to get just anybody to ‘stop in and check on her’, y’know? Apex Predators look upon that as ‘lunch’). So I planned a quick shop and lunch with my prima and hied on up to Chi-town.
Well. Lemmetellya. First impressions: Chicago’s got a bit of a Body Snatchers vibe to it right now (remember how QUIET San Francisco got? Nobody on the streets? Yeah, like that.). Pedestrian traffic is halved, even on Boul Mich (I first wrote ‘pedestrians are halved’ which conjured some really gross imagery!). It was a glorious 75F day and I could’ve launched an ICBM and probably not hit anybody. My sole stop, pre-lunch, was Neiman-Marcus to say hi to Andy, try the new Synthetic Jungle and buy something (because Andy. He’s been my SA bae for 20 years and in my darkest days he kept me in fun stuff and bottles of water and hugs. I’mo buy somethin’, you betcha!). Agraria Citrus Lily (refill) to make my house smell divine!
Synthetic Jungle is All The Things. Everything Patty said here. It’s got that Jacomo Silences/Private Collection (oooh-rah!!)/Charms and Leaves/Cristalle vibe, updated. Elegantly smooth yet going all the way to Eleven.
I didn’t have a lot of time (or energy) to sniff perfume but I was beguiled by the gorgeous newer Kilian collection – my favorite amongst them is Apple Brandy on the Rocks, which smells like a grownup fruit-infused rum/cognac cocktail (NO umbrella), sipped while sitting in a well-worn and well cared-for leather chair in an elegant private club. I’m projecting like a lima bean, aren’t I? You can tell I’m missing urban life somethin’ awful. It smells like I imagine Kilian Hennessey’s life smells like, which is pretty luxe (though I do wish he’d button his shirt). But! I’m not sure this is a comfortable wear for me (and I say that because I feel it’s designed to be comfortable-luxe; this isn’t a challenging perfume). I’d like to wear this out somewhere, see if others enjoy it on me. We’ll see.
Lunch. I’ve heard so many low-level horror stories of Dining in Variant Days, tales of food that is just ‘eh’ and sometimes nearly awful in flavor and presentation. To combat this, I chose an Old Standby, Shaw’s Crab House. I was a Shaw’s customer for 20 years because the food and service were always topnotch. It’s not groundbreaking, nor does it position itself so – but I have never had a substandard meal at Shaw’s – and this lunch was no exception. Great food, excellent service.
But the cherry on that lunch sundae was the table near us. 3 visitors from Mexico City, lunching late but with an elan rarely seen here. This was a delight to witness. This trio… they didn’t eat. They dined. Wave after wave of appetizers, mains, cocktails, coffees… conversation with our server, Francisco, in Spanish about each sauce or condiment……. I nearly wept with joy. And envy. Yes, I am a sinner. But it was such a glorious thing to witness. For awhile now food has mostly been basic sustenance for me. To once again see eating elevated to art (not in gluttony, just elegant enjoyment) – sublime. Throughout the meal I was trying to figure out what it reminded me of. Then it hit me – there’s a film wherein a group of Japanese businessmen are lunching at a vaunted 5-star restaurant. Alas, the CEO sets the tone for lunch by ordering some bland whitefish and some steamed veg. All follow suit. Except one very young, very junior executive. He looks at the menu, realizes he’s in Food Heaven and orders ALL The Fabulous Things. The chef is delighted and the entire staff turns out to watch him indulge. I have no idea what film that scene is attached to but I’ve never forgotten the scene itself. Hedonism at its erotically innocent best.
All too soon it was back to the train. Sigh. But. Y’know…. it’s okay. If we don’t get clobbered by Variants there’s a good chance travel will resume in the not too distant future. When that happens I’ll be thrilled to leave Hoots and go to Civilization. And, after awhile, I’ll probably be just as glad to return here.