Friday, October 03, 2008

Burnt Brandy and Birthdays Deferred

I'm stuffed. Practically needed a gurney to get me to the car. My great friend Joe has been trying to get me to commit to going someplace for my birthday (for over five months), and by then it was Royce's birthday, so Joe took the lead and, last week before the symphony, made arrangements for us all to have dinner at the Oceannaire in downtown Indy, designed after the decor of 1930s ocean liners such as the Champlain and the Normandie.
Oysters on the half shell. Bouillabaisse. Crab legs. Plymouth gin martinis. Toasted rolls and white wine on ice. Creme Brulee and, yes, Baked Alaska, complete with at-table blue-flame toasting of the meringue. It all no doubt cost a fortune. The conversation was lovely and the company even better. Joe's a great guy and a wonderful influence, though I admit it is his fault to some extent that I now have 75 CDs to review. Were it not for his unwittingly almost locking me on the fire escape of our apartment building on July 4 1996, I'd not have spent all that money on Classical CDs, concert performances, and not have made rather embarrassing attempts to interview visiting pianists for some imaginary periodical. Fiscal jeopardy aside, it's my firm belief that there needs to be more Joes in this world. Cherish them when you find them.

Photo:First Class Smoking Room of S.S. Normandie. Pic from

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