I never know where inspiration will come from. A couple of weeks ago Larry asked me to read a short story by Jo Ann Beard titled Undertaker, Please Drive Slow. Jo Ann is a super talented writer and Larry was lucky to study under her at Sarah Lawrence College. The story is based on a true story of a woman who has terminal cancer and seeks out Dr. Jack Kevorkian to aid in her suicide once she feels the time is right. The story is poignant, well written, and I could not put it down once I started it.
There was one passage that spoke to me enough to inspire me to make a photograph of my vision of that scene. Here is the excerpt and the photo.
“The trees on her street vibrate in the afternoon sunlight, the dying leaves so brilliant that she somehow feels she’s never seen any of this before–fall, and the way the landscape can levitate with color, or even her simple cup of green tea in the afternoons, with milk and honey in a thick white mug. Warm. Her hand curled around it, or the newspaper folded beside it, or a halved orange on a blue plate sitting next to it. It’s all lovely beyond words, really.”
Where is the crossroads of art in New Rochelle, NY? It’s at Alvin & Friends Restaurant. You’ll find it all there–music (jazz in particular), painting, culinary, and mixology. And you’ll also find the art of hospitality. When you walk in the front door of Alvin & Friends Restaurant in New Rochelle, NY you are greeted as though you just came home. Alvin or Gwen Clayton will throw up their arms and welcome you as though you are about to dine in their home. They did the same with mixologist, chef, author, and teacher, Arlen Gargagliano, when they invited her to guest bartend for ladies night on the evening of November 12, 2015. Arlen arrived with her own concoctions in tow with which she would mix flavorful drinks for the crowd. She mixed with rave reviews from the crowd. The cocktails she made can be found in her book, Calypso Coolers.
There is always something special going on at Alvin & Friends and this night was certainly no exception. It was an evening filled with great libations by the talented Arlen Gargagliano with Alvin and Gwen providing super hospitality and Chef Raymond Jackson cooking up some soulful treats that mesh traditional southern American food with the Caribbean.
The summer is quickly drawing to a close, but New Rochelle, New York had one last street party on September 13th. Main Street was blocked off. Businesses from all over Westchester County set up tents to sell their wares. Restaurants set up makeshift kitchens, and food trucks rolled onto Main Street, to provide culinary delights for the partyers. Then people filled Main Street and the party was on. There was entertainment for folks of all ages. The rain even cooperated a bit and didn’t start until the festivities were almost over. Thanks to all of the sponsors, vendors, restaurants, and entertainers for making the 2015 New Rochelle Street Fair a huge success. It was a terrific day.