Miraculously, I managed to pop into Manhattan twice in one month!  My first visit, the city had burst into color.  Cherry blossoms, tender pinks dominated the street trees.  Yes!  It was a beautiful visit, spent mostly on the Upper West Side.  That trip was gratifying.  Yet, on my more recent journey to Manhattan in May, I spent time in intimate discussion, closeness with two of my favorite people in the world.

The Mysterious Madame L., a beauty with a superior mind, and Mr. Constantine Finehouse, concert pianist.  In town to participate in a clinical trail at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Hospital. Seeing my little Columbia University fellows, my comrades on extensive romps all over Manhattan, now grown up and immersed in their respective professions, one in the Law and the other in Music, is heartwarming.  I came back to The West Coast ready to cope with the reality of my cancer complications, medications, and DRAMA.  I returned ready to take action to stop the cancer progression which would soon threatened my life.

On The Go!

On The Go!

The trip to New York City was altogether healing and I managed to cram a good amount of art viewing, with a visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and into the embrace of my dearest friends. Madame L, graciously, invested days into lounging in my grateful company at one-hotel-or-another on Lexington Ave.  Champagne in no short supply… We had a great time, as usual.  Reading, agreeing, and finding beautiful details to savor.  We ate and walked, talked and listened.  We reveled in the BLISS that is pure friendship, understanding. Yet, I was tired.  Fatigued.  Anxious and ill, very ill. She made everything better by being with me.  We barely noticed that I vomited, after every lavish meal.  Together, my inability to move, became lounging rather than aching.  Thank goodness, Madame L was there, keeping me company, sharing secrets, and showing me how flowers grow between cracks in city streets, the poetry of small gestures, and the beauty of sacred pennies (rusted with time and invested with meaning), AH!  I love you, Madame L.

 

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However, It was the Male Muse’s, Constantine Finehouse, who made my day with Cuban Lunch from a quick, bright, restaurant across the street from Memorial Sloan Kettering, Hospital.  He had the right idea bringing his car and making sure I had food that speaks to my heart before retiring back into the hotel room’s spacious king sized bed.  We slept.  Exhausted.

In the evening, the gallant Finehouse, concert pianist out of Boston, very cool dude, went out and returned with chicken soup and the nastiest but most welcome “New York,” Cheesecake.  What a thoughtful human!  What a friend!  He drove all the way down from Boston to take care of me on a vulnerable day of medical treatment.  (I had no idea at the time that soon, I’d consider myself sprightly in comparison to my current shape.)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_Finehouse

Best Friends

Best Friends

The city, ever vibrant and packed with much to do was a backdrop to the intense days of conversation and camaraderie.  One’s school chums, those met while picking up polish at Columbia University may be the very best remedy for whatever deficiencies in brisk, ardent, and inspiring connection which have  afflicted my sensitive soul, lately.  Mutual understanding is so precious a gift, exchanging it makes us rich.  My New Yorker and Bostonian buddies, The Mysterious Madame L & the favored Mr. Constantine Finehouse, revered concert pianist, and long-term Talkinggrid supporter, made copious amounts of time to connect and cocoon with a very willing me.  Ah!

Good times were had, dinner at Amelie on 8th street in the West Village, where that atmosphere was very French, followed by desert at one of my favorite places, since my teenage years, the utterly charming Cafe Reggio in the West Village!

 

At the Forager with lovely young woman, a new friend... more news later.

At the Forager with lovely young woman, a new friend… more news later.

Saturday Brunch at The Forager, recommended by Blossom V, artist based in New York.  There I met up with a young writer, a woman of talent and enormous appeal.  We ate and then Madame L. returned to fetch me, and we returned to the gentle sweetness that is our very comfortable and sincere friendship.

I took time on Sunday morning to PoP into The Bliss Spa on Lexington, so close to my hotel for some Spa Time at The Bliss Spa, where I enjoyed the eucalyptus scrub, with viccii shower, and lemon sage mini-massage.  Patricia, a former Cruise-Ship Entertainer, had a light touch and a warm heart, making me feel much better, for a moment.  (Running out for a quick scrub is a must if you want to remain feeling, open and receptive to the beauty that is living, especially, on a whirlwind weekend spiked with medical drama, trip to New York City.

The Shield she wields looks like it has a big crack down the middle.

The Shield she wields looks like it has a big crack down the middle.

 

Astoundingly, Madame L.  and I managed to hit The Pompeii Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of my absolute favorite places on Earth, before tripping into, “China: Through the Looking Glass,”  a smashing, throbbing homage to the cult of cut, fabric, and history in the superb Fashion Exhibit that will knocked my porcelain socks OFF! In a few steps,we crashed  into another world, each room was inspired and dark, lights focused on the embroidery, so tight as to bogle the mind, far away from the mundane, and into the temple of commerce where The Image of Fashion Design as a route is loudly tooted as a glorious path to personal salvation.

On Saturday Evening, I poured myself into a fine new knit dress and rolled west to Broadway, on my little black mule sling-backs, balancing, because I had tickets to see, Wolf Hall Part Two, “Bringing Up The Bodies,” the play is by author Hillary Mantel, a gem. The acting was stand out and the lead, an English stage actor, Ben Miles, carried the character of Thomas Moore rise to the height of power in the possibly unfair beheading of our eternal  beloved bad good girl, the controversial, Anne Boylen.IMG_4610

The Mysterious Madame L.

The Mysterious Madame L.

When I wasn’t out buzzing around, I was resting in my hotel room.  I’m sorry to say that I missed a meeting with a great artist and best on-line buddy.  We had dinner party plans and I was supposed to be her date for the evening. She is one of my favorite people and it was a disappointment not to find the strength to make it to our planed meeting.   I failed to find the strength to make it, instead having a bit of quality time hugging the toilet bowl… but, that happens when you are in advanced cancer treatment.