Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ramen and Romance

I'd forgotten how seductive more daylight and warmer air can be.

By the time I put down my book, "1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music," and came in off my balcony, it was already after 6:00. Ordinarily, that wouldn't matter except Mondays are ramen days.

And as I've learned from my past visits to the Shoryuken Ramen pop-up at Lunch, prompt arrival at 5:00 is the only guarantee of a seat.

But after seeing their post saying, "Today's warm weather calls for garlic shrimp mazemen (mixed ramen, no broth) with Shoyu tare, Mayu garlic oil and soft-poached egg," I decided to risk a wait.

And there would have been one if I'd not been alone because the sole unoccupied seat was the center stool at the bar to which the manager gestured, smiling, saying, "It's yours."

Bingo. Pays to be date-less (sometimes).

Since it was already two hours into the pop-up, I made sure to put in my order for the mazemen, knowing that the specials always sell out before the night is over (it did).

The couple next to me were having the regular ramen so I assumed they were first-timers and we got to talking when they said it was their second visit. They'd recently tried Grace Noodle Bar and been disappointed.

She said she was a transplant from D.C., but upon questioning, turned out to have been an Arlington resident. When I told her I was a native Washingtonian, she was amazed to learn I actually meant I lived in D.C., not Virginia. Turns out she was originally from Michigan, so perhaps she didn't understand the difference.

Actual state versus taxation without representation. Hello?

My mazemen was a satisfying bowl of garlic goodness and despite being advertised as broth-less, had some broth. While slurping noodles, I heard from the owner that they've found their own building and will be moving in soon, meaning ramen six days a week instead of two.

I say it's good timing because eating at 5 is losing its appeal with every every extra minute of daylight.

Bidding farewell to a full dining room, I left just as they ran out of mazemen. Latecomers pay the price.

From there, it was a short hop to the Bowtie to see some of Britain's finest actors in "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Walking into the theater, there were only a handful of people but as I took my seat, I heard my name called. A few rows back were some dedicated wine lovers I know.

I'd chosen the film for - let's be honest here - something to do and because the original film had been a feast for the eyes (the light, colors and textures of India sumptuous) offset by some of the best older actors working today in a story in which they loved and lusted just like young people real life.

The sequel wasn't as good but how often is a sequel a match for the original? The actors were still impressive but the story had so many convoluted sub-plots that it began to feel like an unnecessary pile-on.

In one relationship, the woman is unfaithful only because she thinks her boyfriend is. An annoying ex shows up talking about an imaginary boyfriend. Two guests at the hotel are pretending to be someone other than who they really are. It's all too much.

Still, there were plenty of good observations about life and love.

That's the point for all relationships - it's the journey.

Structured around the engagement party, family party and wedding of the hilarious ("There's no present like the time") young Indian owner of the hotel and his gorgeous fiancee, it was also about these people's life after retirement. About second acts.

How many new lives can we have?
As many as we can for as long as we can.

I happen to agree 100% with this philosophy.

Although Richard Gere was the handsome newcomer in this installment, I'd still take Bill Nighy for his sweet devotion to Judi Densch despite her best efforts to slow their inevitable relationship.

In the end, all it takes is to look into someone's eyes and say, "Yes, I want this" and for them to say, "I want it, too."

Sigh. Call me a sucker for old people romance.

And humor. Bill Nighy nails it when he says, "The great horror of life is that there's just so much bloody potential."

So. Much.

Maybe it's just me, but trying to realize the horror of that potential is what makes the journey so much fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment