When it rains, it pours.
My partner and I have searched high and low for over two long months for an apartment that we can genuinely see ourselves living in for the next two years: affordable, clean, spacious, cleverly located, and equipped. And it’s just been a blur of place after place after place after…steadily blurring place, lackluster (to put it nicely) and simple (to put it reallyyyy nicely). Meanwhile, the overall health of my vehicle declined as my brakes screeched and ground to every stoplight in the greater Erie and Niagara areas. As its health declined, my sanity and well-being began to spiral out of control as the sure thing that this move to Buffalo once was supposed to be crumpled in front of me. And, as always in the worst times of my life, art and eloquence remain crushed by the weight of reality, heavy and inescapable as it is.
And then, in one sudden weekend, everything changed. The car from hell stopped in the middle of fourth-of-July-weekend traffic, and there it was: a brand new Toyota waiting for me to just take the jump and lease it for three uncertain years. A big leap, for sure, and still an uncomfortable one, but no longer do I feel completely unsafe and anxious for the 90 plus minutes worth of commute I make daily. No longer do I cringe at every stoplight I barely pull through legally as my car barely accelerates and just scrapes, scrapes, scrapes like a prisoner dragging its fingernails on the floor in reluctance down the highway (yes, I’m actually comparing that Buick to the stereotypical innocent girl character who gets dragged around in many horror films). Now, I just drive in style (and monetary depletion, but what does my bank account need with the extra money every month anyway?)
What other good has befallen me since attaining this shiny bullet of a car? Well, it didn’t get us the gem of an apartment that we found on Monday in the heart of Buffalo city, but it was something to talk about for sure – our landlord to be works at the same car dealership! That’s the kind of irony you can’t write into a nonfiction story; it’s just not believable as a real life scenario. Since its fortunate falling into my hands, my new ride has also brought me to two very special places: White Village restaurant with my parents (yay!) and Jasmine Thai restaurant with my partner (pictured right).
My parents, my partner, and I had all endured a long and stressful day trying to get my car out of the middle of the intersection of a major multi-laned road and the thruway and signing stacks of papers for my new car while attempting to get my brother to his art camp on time…and we were all tired. I was suffering an extemporaneous headache and a sunburn, we were all sticky from the heat and humidity of the day, and the freezing cold air pumping out of the hotel air conditioner tempted us all to order Chinese food right to the hotel room. However, we took the advice of the desk clerk and traveled a few miles down the road to White Village. The interior was dark and sleek, the hostess was incredibly helpful and pleasant, and our waiter was a pro; our many courses came out so promptly after the last of us put our forks down that it seemed robotic but is really the mark of a server that is both skilled and caring. In the last few years, my mother has developed a propensity for nice drinks and multiple appetizers at meals, and we ordered an entire bottle of Pro-mis-Q-ous wine, Thai spring rolls, and spinach & artichoke dip to begin our foray. The wine was dry, but even this semi-sweet lover found the glass enjoyable, particularly following each completed swallow. The spring rolls were crunchy, snappy, perfectly fried and well-paired with the spicy sauce. I love it when food just tastes fresh. The dip was the creamiest and most artichokiest artichoke dip that I have ever tasted in my life – and I feel I should sincerely apologize to my Advanced Nonfiction class for the sorry excuse for dip I brought in at the end of the semester. Such crap really pales in comparison to the richness of White Village’s dip, which was a very special special indeed! The lemon vinaigrette my mom and I chose for our salads was almost certainly homemade, and then the entree…I ordered scallops with sweet pea risotto. Though the risotto was slightly overcooked for a risotto, it was absolutely delicious. The starchiness was perfected with the addition of a tangy cheese (parmesan, I would think) and the snappy sweat peas. And the scallops, oh, the scallops – never have I had such a mellow, flavorful scallop with the texture of a pad of softened butter…yum. When you put all of this together with the beurre blanc, it was probably the lightest of rich meals to ever sit in my stomach and warm my soul-mouth/heart-mouth