Wednesday, July 29, 2015

14th - Prelude

Things don't always happen as planned (HA! surprise! NOT).  Though I usually book our anniversary trips to actually coincide with our anniversary date – in fact, I often go to great lengths to see that the very day we're somewhere truly remarkable or special –, this can't always be the case. There was this one time were I had just begun work in Beijing and we had to celebrate our anniversary after it had happened, with a hurried (though very fun) trip to Shanghai. A couple other times we were a bit tight finance-wise and kept celebrations to our place of residence (that happened once in Beirut, once in Toronto).   

This time, work didn't permit travel during our anniversary, so I'm appealing to my made-up rule of treating our anniversaries like some religious feasts or like the Chinese Spring festival: as movable event, not falling on the same date each year. So, this year our anniversary just so happens to fall on a later date than usual, and that's when we'll be travelling. Have I made myself clear? ;-)

But being who I am, I couldn't help having tiny celebrations the night before and the day our anniversary would have fallen were it not for its hereby officially-declared movable nature. So one night we went to our favourite local mezcalería for some beer and mezcals and some toasts to this long adventure together. Followed by the only thing around at that late hour remotely resembling a cake – a donut! Sad? I guess, for some outsiders. For me? Unconventionally fun! 

The non-day of our anniversary (gotta find a way to call the date it should have fallen on but didn't because this year it falls on a different date... hmmm) I convinced the habibi to make a special shake for me for breakfast. I love this man's shakes, honestly, and with an added shot of espresso they're just what you need to start the day in the best of moods!

And when I came back for lunch? He had made my favourite: gnocchi in a tomato and mushroom sauce! Delish! Accompanied by a fantastic Ontario wine our buds from Canada brought on their last visit. And followed by a simple dessert: red berry sherbet with whole almonds and coconut milk! 

For me, these two counted as two separate and perfect mini-celebrations. Yeah, when it comes to that, I can be very simple. Like, very.

Since I was in too good a mood, I decided to get 14 donuts (all different kinds) to share at work. Sort of like sharing the happiness. No, I'm not donut obsessed, but the neighbourhood I work in is not known for having that many fancy options. So donuts work well - colourful, varied, and who can say no to one? I had to keep one for myself, though, as the habibi last minute decided we could use one for a later toast at home. So I guess I only shared 13? Anyhow, who's counting?

Lastly, a small ritual. The donut (a weird one nobody chose at work, with blue and silver pearls and which I myself though was very appropriate for the occasion). Champagne (our friends in Beirut always opened a bottle of champagne at special occasions, and this became our way both of celebrating and of commemorating our life in Lebanon). And glasses made with a special Chinese technique (a special memory from our life in China). And after drinking up most of the champagne and eating the donut, we then had some good, adult fun (yep, I'm still keeping a slightly prudish attitude towards writing about my own sex life, despite not having any problems writing about fetish parties, circuit parties, porn festivals, in-your-face trans* performances, etc. etc.).

I was happy. It was simple. And it served as a nice prelude to what will be the real anniversary celebration. Which is why I'm leaving all the writing about what it actually means to celebrate 14 years together. Its ups and downs. The adventures, both good and bad. Right now, it's all about food, toasts, and feeling good. And getting excited about what's ahead.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

beautiful spaces at La Ciudadela's Centro de la Imagen

All I'm gonna say is that you need to visit the Centro de la Imagen, at La Ciudadela, one of old Mexico City's jewels. The spaces are simply beautiful. Hell, I'd do Butoh myself there if I lingered too long!

Friday, July 17, 2015

because you can never finish exploring

Because no matter how many times we go back to the centre of the city, there's always another street to explore, another colonial palace, another Conquista church, another Art Déco remnant (like on Mesones St.)...

another island of peace and quiet and green and art (like the Hospital de Jesús)... 

another hidden corner of amazing cuisine (like one of the best Lebanese kitchens, Al Andalus).

Mexico City's historic centre is unbelievably rich in treasures of all sorts, you just need to remember to walk slow, focus beyond the hustle and bustle, and look carefully.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

more vegan at Sesame!

Last weekend we decided to give this place in the Roma Norte neighbourhood a try. We had passed by a number of times, but I'll admit I was a bit prejudiced against it, as I'm usually not too crazy about pan-anything restaurants, believing (wrongly? probably?) that no place can prepare dishes from a wide variety of places successfully. Still, for some reason (hunger?) we gave Sesame a shot.


How about a cocktail made of mezcal, amber beer and... darn, I think I've forgotten. But anyhow, this drink (Lady Boy was it called?) was particularly good. And I'm no cocktail man, by the way. 

steamed buns!

When I was a student in China (ages, ages ago), steamed buns were a regular part of my diet. Cheap, filling, why not? Then, in Toronto, a couple of times I enjoyed Vietnamese inspired sandwiches made with steamed buns. So steamed buns have a place in my heart. And what was this one filled with? Curried tofu! And how did this interesting combination play? Om nom nom.

greens are good

No, it's not simple a bunch of kale. And yes, I know, we're all tired of kale appearing in every single thing, but this bowl with kale, cashews, shiitake and tofu? Too good, and even filling!

coconut and flowers for dessert, eh?

Coconut milk. Rice. Mango. A little flower. Need I say more?

And all of this, of course, vegan! Not that the place has tons of vegan options. And it's rather on the pricey side. But very well worth it, by all means. I'll be back.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners!

Last Sunday we couldn't have chosen a better film, given the previous week's Pride festivities. "Pride", a well-made movie about a small group of gays and lesbians in London that decide to support another group that – not unlike them – was at the mercy of bullying from the authorities: the miners on strike in 1984, under Margaret Thatcher's rule.

This is a nice reminder of how our history is full of smaller stories that have been made invisible for not conforming to the narrative or taste of the (probably patriarchal, heterosexual) majority. Looking forward to seeing more like this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Arias on the street

A couple of weeks ago – in fact, the same Saturday the Pride March took place – we were walking back home. Exhausted. Exhilarated from the day's experience. And more than ready to just go home and rest. But just a few blocks from home awaited us one last surprise. In one of the most emblematic buildings of the historic centre – the House of Tiles (Casa de los Azulejos). Well, on one of its balconies facing pedestrianized Madero Street, to be more precise. A woman with a gorgeous voice singing arias, for all of us, for free, in a cool night under the stars on this very old street.

You don't have this everyday.