Monday, July 26, 2010

Why I Am Alive

Recently, my friend Carrie and I went to hear Anthony Bourdain speak at the Aronoff Center downtown.

Before the event, we enjoyed a meal at Via Vite overlooking Fountain Square.

We sat on the patio and enjoyed a nice view of the square.

I had a gin martini with basil and cucumber. My drink was served in an old-fashioned glass over ice. In the heat, the ice melted quickly, resulting in a watered-down cocktail. I really enjoyed the flavors of my drink, so I was a little disappointed that it ended up so diluted by the end. (Maybe I just didn't drink it quickly enough?)

My friend and I shared a salad with warm Boucheron goat cheese, raspberry truffle vinaigrette, and pistachios. She had had the salad before and told me how amazing it was, and she was right. It was amazing. I had never tried truffle, but now I see what all the (culinary) fuss is about! The truffle was deep and earthy, balancing well with the sweet-tart raspberry in the dressing, the peppery-bitter greens, tangy cheese, and pistachios.

To complete my dinner, I had the gazpacho, a special seasonal dish served with crab salad. Mmmm!

Anthony Bourdain was wonderful. I no longer find it easy to live in the moment, and as a result, my memory isn't what it used to be. Images and details don't burn themselves into my brain the way they once did. I've already forgotten most of the snark (except the Sandra Lee bit), but two things he said made a lasting impression.

I wish I could give you an exact quote. I'll do my best:

"How can we live in this world, with all that is has to offer, and not want to experience everything?"

I don't know, Tony. I've asked myself the same question. But to hear someone else voice it so plainly and eloquently? Right then, we were the only two in the room, and Anthony Bourdain had a direct line into my soul. My throat closed in, and my heart bloomed wide open, and for a second, I knew unquestionably why I am alive.

And that I must go, and live, now. Every moment, because life is happening all around me, and there is so much of it, and so little time.

The second lasting impression: I must go to Vietnam. I am adding it to my life list.

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