Buongiorno, Grazie, Cappuccino! NYC Is The New Rome
I remember when we were kids and you took us to Rome. I think I was 12? I remember how we had special clothes. We did our research. We studied our history. We booked our tickets.
Rome was an incredible sight for my young eyes to behold. It was non-sensical and romantic. It was colorful and chaotic and dirty and ancient. Everyone smoked and it was crowded everywhere. We threw coins over our shoulders in Bernini’s Trevi Fountain and we saw the rain water flood the sloped floor of the Pantheon as it leaked in through the oculus; a masterpiece of the Roman engineering before the invention of glass. We saw the evolution of human history through it’s architecture as it evolved in complexity and agility.
You and Dad were a good mix of travel styles. Growing up we witnessed the drastically different approaches to travel of our jet setting Grandparents. We learned to equally appreciate the rigor of a tour, and the pleasure of a retreat. Despite their differences, both styles involved hard work, and in Rome we saw how well they complimented each other.
I remember wandering through the old Forum, trying to make sense of the red brick foundations and marble archways, that were crawling with orphan cats. I remember seeing the monumental and etherial vaulted ceilings of the St Peter’s Cathedral and posing with the Gladiators in front of the Colosseum. Our days were a mix of Ancient Roman and Renaissance, sunshiny walking tours and overwhelming hours in museums.
Every evening, we sat on the rooftop bar of our classic hotel, and watched the sunset over the remnant bronze rooftop statues of Old Rome as we sipped coca colas made with real sugar and nibbled on peanuts. Then we would have a late and leisurely meal where waiters would serve us sparkling water from a green glass that sat chilling in ice beside the table, as if it were champagne.
It makes sense that all roads should lead back to a city offering such satisfaction.
We would finish the meal with a scoop of gelato, and you and Dad would have a cappuccino. You and Dad drank so many cappuccinos in Rome that it’s no wonder the only words I know in Italian are: “Buongiorno, grazie, cappuccino!”
Seeing how the ancient mythological city of Romulus and Remus became the Roman Empire, and how the temple architecture became the foundation for the great cathedrals of a later age, which were also starting to decay made me excited to go to New York. New York is The New World’s Empire City.
I was excited for the city, and I was excited for Blogher, but really I was excited to see my Mom. I felt like I had passed the ritual tests of my adolescence and gained a taste for coffee so that I could finally enjoy incredible conversations with my Mother over cappuccinos.
Our trip to New York was perfect, and so was each and every cappuccino. The first was the finale to our first dinner at Sardis, before seeing Evita on Broadway.
The next was over lunch the next day at Bistro Milano where we dined on delicious salads. Chicken Cesar for you and beet and arugula for me.
Thank you for indulging my bruncher and taking me for a Sunday brunch to remember. The beautiful design of Brasserie in Midtown was a gorgeous setting to eat French food, like croque madams and French toast.
And cappuccinos, obviously.
Someday I think I’ll be very nostalgic for this trip. I will look back and remember how truly special and wonderful it was. It will be a chapter in a book of travels that we’ve taken together that I will revisit and romanticize.
Thank you, Mom. I love you.