There is something delicately wild in the NC night air… Have you ever noticed?
It drips heavily suspended in a spring dew, heady with honeysuckle – hanging in the air like an aching melody – and ever so slightly, wild… natural like the pine trees… like untamed earth.
It was one of those singular nights tonight. Not because everyone was going somewhere, but because it is all here. It’s all here and we’ve got it to enjoy.
Spending the day out among my fellow Triangle residents is always enjoyable. It was fun to volunteer with LiveWorkPlay for a bit and Artsplosure was all one would expect it to be… Vibrant with color, bursting with energy, and every kind of art and craft conceivable.
There were handblown glass vases of every color imaginable, honduran rosewood bowls, handmade jewelry, and paintings! I had the chance to chat with L. Hong Mao from Ohio briefly. His works were so inspiring. There was so much light! The technique – well I may have a ways to go – but it was 2 parts Impressionistic, 1 part Van Gogh and at least 1 dose Seurat. It was truly remarkable. It was the kind of work one finds only rarely. There are not too many artists of his calibre walking around, surely.
Then there are the people themselves. Honestly, I never get tired of interacting with folks. It is always a pleasure to go to festivals and see the sheer diversity of us all. It is strikingly beautiful. Maybe we spend too much time worrying about differences and what we don’t have, and not enough time appreciating just how gorgeous life is, as it is. People of every type, shape, color, mixture, and background all interested in the same thing… Now there is a miracle for you – if you’re looking for one.
To cap it all off – I was hunting for a place in Durham to spend the rest of the evening. I finally settled on Beyu Caffe. Wow.
When I got there, James “Saxmo” and the quartet were playing a set and the jazz was in full motion. When I say motion folks, I mean back-arching, gut-straining, blow-your-heart-out saxophone music… and yes I could feel it. Rhthym is something you feel, not just hear. The whole joint thumped. Toes tapped, heads bobbed and dancing started. I’m not sure that the dancing was all in tune. At one point I wasn’t sure if the dancers had not had enough to drink or just had too much. I got worried that they’d throw off the set, but never fear.
That big bass, (Jason Foureman), was pounding, the drums (Larry “Q” Draughn) were on point, and the guitar (Baron Tymas), was thrumming away. Every now and then, the “Saxmo” would take a break and the kid gloves (one trombone, and another that played both sax and horn), would come in and pinch-hit a bit. You have to stand back and appreciate the team spirit of a good jazz ensemble.
It was laid back – I settled into an easy chair that was comfy and rolled, but didn’t swallow me. To my surprise, my customer service specialist – Ian – knew sign language, God bless him. I ordered a Joe Dirty – Absolut Vodka Dirty Martini. We settled into a routine and the food kept coming. Folks… the food!
The Chef is from LA and I don’t mean California. I mean Louisiana… I ordered the Beyu House Crepes with chicken. Baby, it was the real deal. The Mornay sauce was lip-smaking, scrape-your-plate good. The nutmeg was there, but not screaming at you. It was just enough to pique the flavor of the sauce as a whole… the way it should be. I’m not a big fan of salt, but frankly, it was good. The cheese was just right. The texture was perfect. I was in Crepe heaven.
Then came dessert. I always save room for dessert if at all possible. I ordered the chef special bread pudding. I need to apologize to my Daddy for what I’m about to say, may he rest in peace. “Daddy, I’m sorry!” The bread pudding was the best I’ve ever had. It had a New Orleans Rum Creme Anglaise sauce that was not short on vanilla, and was dusted lightly with confectionary (or caster) sugar. It had golden raisins and chopped peaches. It had just enough moisture to melt-in-your mouth, not on your fork. It hadn’t seen any dryness or tightness during its entire lifespan…which was very, very short. So much so, that I actually felt a lump rising in my throat as I came to the last bite. I couldn’t believe it had ended… just like that! No see you later or anything! I am not exaggerating. I almost teared up. If Ian hadn’t come over to check in, I would have been out of my seat to tell the Head Bread Pudding Maker myself just how good it was. I’d actually turned around and started looking for him. Thankfully, Ian conveyed my appreciation properly, saving me the trouble of making an utter donkey of myself.
Today was indeed a special day!
Le’ Chaim! Bon Sante! Cheers! Say it however you want – just say it – live it – like you mean it!