When the birthday girl paused in her dancing to place her tiara on the head of the slender southeast Asian-looking man sitting next to us with his boyfriend, Lynn leaned over to me and said, "Someone from New York would never understand how normal this is here." We're in Georgia. We start 'em out with tiaras.
We were at Eclipse di Luna in Atlanta, a trendy tapas restaurant, tucked way back in a cul-de-sac in Buckhead. The place was jammed. We were sitting side-by-side at a low table, facing the bandstand, where the Latin jazz groove was keeping more than birthday girl moving to the rhythms. We took our time, Lynn ordering one dish whenever we'd finished the last -- a little cheese plate, some ribs braised in balsamic vinegar, roasted asparagus with shaved machengo, lamb meatballs, spicy potatos, a dish of ginger ice cream at the end. From time to time Lynn would look at her cocktail glass in wonder, "This is best mojito I've ever had!"
We'd driven over from Atlanta that morning, so that Lynn could bring her red Jag to the dealer that she'd bought it from for its 10,000 mile service. We'd decided to take advantage of that need to do an Atlanta weekend, which we've been talking about ever since I moved to Birmingham nine years ago. We arrived around 1:00, and went straight to Son's place for lunch -- a classic southern meat-n-three that John T. Edge claims might have the best fried chicken in Atlanta. John T. is the finest food writer of his generation, and his judgment is impeccable. Son's grandson, toddling around the place (they said he'd been walking just two weeks), took a shine to me, and started to wail when I left. Lynn was highly amused.
The sleet started up as we left Eclipse di Luna, and when I looked out the window this morning the streets and sidewalks and lawns were lightly covered with snow! The forecast claims there'll be more freezing rain through most of the day. Suits us just fine. We took care of the car yesterday afternoon and have no responsibilities today at all. We have a lovely room in the Grand Hyatt, with a great view towards downtown. We bought a couple of interesting whiskys at Tower liquor on our way into town. There's a little french brasserie down the street that's run by the same folks who do Le Bernadin in New York. It'll do nicely for lunch.