Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Birthday Unfolds

Yesterday wasn't my birthday. Again. But it was my friend Miriam's (the photo is of her pottery studio). We decided to celebrate it with brunch at Gabriel's, a new-ish place on Montefiore Street. Gabriel's reminds me of Serendipity in New York. They serve meals at tables in several small main rooms, and also in a weird combination cocktail-lounge and sunporch in the front, but they sell stuff too, in a shop behind the upper dining garden. Yes, they have a two-tiered dining garden. The stuff is home furnishings like sheets, towels, vases, urns, dishes, and chochkes, mostly imported from Italy and France, and a few unusual wearable items for indulgent grandmothers to get their grandchildren - like matching mother-daughter velour terry robes.

Danny was supposed to join us, but an hour went by and we decided to call him. No answer. Half an hour later he called, confessed to oversleeping, and as we were ordering dessert, he showed up for his morning tea. We talked about this and that, and decided to walk over to Miriam's to see her latest quilt, in its almost-completed state. It was 3PM, on a warm. sunny day. We went via Yavneh Street and came upon a vision: Lucas, a new trattoria at the new Lev Tel Aviv building complex. The sun was glittering on very attractive patio tables, and we unanimously agreed to have a drink in the sun. The place had a luxury-cruise feel to it, so we order luxury-cruise drinks: apricot margarita (Miriam), strawberry daiquiri (Danny), and classic mimosa (me). By this time Danny was ready for a meal, and we toasted him through it. Lucas has been open for just three weeks, and when Danny finished his (perfectly pepared) fish, we were presented with a plate of complimentary petits fours that were truly melt-in-your-mouth.

We walked up Yohanan HaSandlar Street, observing newly-renovated buildings right and left. By the time we got to Miriam's, it was almost 5PM. Her quilt is a masterpiece. She based her design on a painting by Rosenquist Rauschenberg that she likes (I'll try to add a link to it tomorrow [DONE!]). We talked about movies, and went up to Dizengoff Center to get tickets for the 7PM showing of "Brokeback Mountain".

I can see why Heath Ledger is being compared to Marlon Brando...he just was the taciturn cowboy, tormented by locked-up tender feelings; his acting made them palpable. I recently read, for the first time, Larry McMurtry's 1971 masterpiece Lonesome Dove, and the McMurtry knack for writing dry cowboy dialog has not waned. The cowboys have unlimited physical horizons, and limited capacities for verbal expression, mostly wry. In "Brokeback Mountain," just like in "Remains of the Day," nothing much happens except longing and partings, but it wasn't boring.

Miriam enjoyed her birthday, not the least because it just unfolded on its own. It was a potter's birthday.

9 comments:

Fred said...

It sounds like a great day. Your description of the brunch, and then your stroll along Yavneh Street sounds very inviting.

John said...

What a great day! Loved Brokeback Mtn - we'll talk about it soon!

John said...

...And Happy Birthday Miriam!

Tamar said...

Oh what a glorious day. Oooh, I can't wait to be in Tel Aviv in July. Making a note of the places you describe.

Tova Shulamit said...

Savta, sounds like you had a great time in Tel Aviv. The food and drinks sounds fantastic. I went to see Brokeback Mountain on Saturday. I cried yep I did. But I also lusted after that hot Jew Jake Gyllenhal.. LOL.. Anyhow, great movie all in all and hope life is fantastic. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Hope you join Jewish Fridays..
T

Udge said...

(Heaves a heavy sigh) Yes, all right, I suppose the time has finally come: I shall have to read Lonesome Dove :-) I've been putting it off since about 1972, but if you say it's good, then I have no choice.

Glad you had a happy not-your-birthday.

Savtadotty said...

Fred - It really was a great day. I wish everyone could have a day like that, at least once a week.

John - We must talk about the movie. I relayed your birthday wishes to Miriam.

Tamar - I keep my fingers crossed that the good places stay in business. Lately tourism and the local economy seem to be improving (tfu, tfu, tfu). If I'm here when you visit, let's meet for coffee! Ooops, in July that'll have to be barad (iced coffee slush).

Tova Yehudis - Welcome! I got so interested in the characters that I forgot who the actors were IRL. I didn't cry, but felt great sadness for them.

Udge - Yup. I really do recommend Lonesome Dove even though it takes a hefty slice of time to read. Trouble is, somewhere along the way you get hooked and want it to go on forever.

Tamar said...

I would love to meet you for coffee even in July! Am not crazy about barad although on a really hot day it isn't at all bad.

Savtadotty said...

Tamar - Have you forgotten? In July, all we have are really hot days!