Saturday, May 31, 2014

More Than a Woman

Being lazy for tonight. A seven hour belated birthday celebration with old friends gets seven paragraphs.

Art: A docent-led highlights tour at the VMFA begins with the golden hare but is most enjoyable when admiring Gaston Lachaise's "Standing Woman." There's something about an artistic young man doing everything he can to prove to a decade-older woman that he is worthy (including casting her in bronze). It only takes her 10 years and letting him depict her voluptuous body nude to convince her he's worth bothering with. Marriage and sculpture ensue.

Favorite story about this sculpture? Years ago I was at the museum's Jumpin' in July and a woman walked up to me and gestured at "Standing Woman," saying apropos of nothing, "You, me and her, the best bodies here." Ah, but someone immortalized hers, so she wins.

New restaurant: Main Street's newest, Brux'l Cafe, has every table but one reserved (we luckily get it) and a full bar. While I applaud (and order) the recent catch, lobster in garlic butter, the place is too busy for its own good, meaning the servers are more than a bit challenged at keeping up. Given all the great things I've heard about Belle Vie, their last place, I expect it's more that they've just opened this location and are undoubtedly still figuring things out.

Two large croquettes de fromages are stellar, oozing with flavor and textural contrast. Ordering Patron on the rocks costs an extra dollar for the ice? Unacceptable. Not a single bottle of sparkling on the wine list? Hello? Bila Haut Rose helps assuage the absence of bubbles. Music? Lost in the din. Giant screen? Annoying. Bright lights? No ambiance. I've never been to Brussels, but surely it's a lot more fun. My guess is they're still working things out and bumps will be smoothed out in time. A Belgian cafe is a terrific addition to the strip.

The stories: My friends are recently back from Newport and Boston and have scads of tales to tell. Hot dogs and a kite festival in Newport, the charm and dimness of the Isabella Stewart Gardener museum and the best clam chowder they've ever eaten. A colonial wedding and brass band on the beach. It all sounds fabulous.

Dessert: A line out the door and down the block at Shyndigz turns off my friends and we move on. We decide to improvise dessert instead.

House party: DB sparkling brut, dessert partially courtesy of the birthday girl who makes a colossal mess ("Oh, Karen...," the homeowner moans when he sees), Clapton's "Crossroads" for tonight's music history lesson and the big finale: the album that got the former disco babes dancing, albeit not in their platform shoes. Disco thrills some while others sit it out. Not me.

I should be dancing and am. Nobody gets too much heaven in one night. Or do they?

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