A friend of mine hit town prior to Kaia's arrival here on Thursday; he's HQ'd in Singapore most of the time, but since he works for an international organization that frequently has him traveling all over, it's hard to keep track of where he's at at any given time. For the past few months, he'd been in India, and he wound up hitting NYC after a pair of flights totaling 16 hours with a brief stop-over at Heathrow.
For the most part, his schedule is relatively up in the air, so he doesn't necessarily know when he'll be in town, but we discussed him coming through NYC on his way to Maryland for some errands he needed to address, and it just happened that he got here yesterday afternoon and was on his way back out this morning around 5AM.
Seeing my apartment for the first time since his last visit, which was about five months ago, he immediately saw Kaia's influence -- the place, as I indicated with my last post -- is relatively inhabitable. At least it was before he got here -- now, after a 12-hour stay, it looks like a hotel room that's been run through by a pack of crystal-meth bingers. Okay, mebbe not that bad -- but it doesn't have that velvety sheen of a new car under the dealership lights. That's not exactly a bad thing, of course -- I need to do some laundry and some more prep before Kaia gets here anyway, so a little extra work isn't a big deal.
Last night, incidentally, we opted to go "healthy" rather than doing steak or pizza as is our want, and while we've usually hit a variety of the local sushi places, since we've both been consuming plenty thereof as of late, we decided to do Mexican, so we hit -- on Kaia's suggestion -- Dos Caminos on Park Avenue South.
We arrived around 8; I'd already been a few times with Kaia, but he was very impressed and surprised that, even at 8, the place was packed solid like a club at full swing on a Saturday night. Still, with a reservation, we snagged our table and were consuming table-side guacamole and warm, freshly-made chips within twenty minutes. We followed up the guac and salsa and chips with a tuna ceviche, which was really incredible. It had a sushi-quality freshness to it but it had the kick -- albeit a light, non-overpowering essence -- of citrus and balsamic vinegar. He had a big-eye Tuna steak for dinner (seared perfectly) and I got crab-crusted grilled shrimp. We had some margaritas (none of that frozen crap you find at Friday's, Houlihans, Bennigan's or Shenanigans) that, coupled with an overall lack of sleep for us each, wound up -- for me, at least -- making my head spin. After dinner -- no dessert because neither of us could eat anything else -- we took a quick walk around the block to check out an apartment I'm considering renting.
The building itself is small -- only five or six units -- and since it's got a terrace and is a one-bedroom, it's probably something I shouldn't pass up. However, the other side of that coin is that the layout isn't perfect, which means I might wind up tossing some of my furniture in order to comfortably live in the place. That doesn't worry me much -- it's likely I'll chuck a bunch of my current furniture once Kaia and I finally get our own place anyway -- so it's just a question of whether I'll be able to store all the crap I've got in tow and what I'll do with the rest of the stuff I wanna keep but can't.
Meanwhile, once we saw the neighborhood and the place, we split and returned back to my place, which was around 10. Both of us were spent so we basically wound up crashing, him on my living room couch and me in my bed, about 10:30. The alarm, however, woke us, as directed, at 4:15 and he was out the door and on his way to Penn Station at 5.
Kaia's due to get here around 5ish on Thursday (tomorrow) and he might wind up coming back from Maryland for a day or so if he has the time, so despite not having seen Kaia for awhile and wanting some private time, it will be good that the two of them will be able to meet. I explained to Kaia that he and I have known one another for 18 years, making him one of my oldest and dearest friends. Considering he's going through a lot of shit right now is tough, but I figure if I can help out by being a good friend it's a no-brainer.
Even if, post-visit, the apartment looks like a hotel room that's been run through by a pack of crystal-meth bingers...