Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve at Peel Fresco

At the year's end people sing their blues. I've had my share of solitary New Year's Eves. I barely looked up when the clock struck midnight. The moment of change doesn't grip me the way it does most other people. I have no retrospective of the year past, no resolution for the new year except what I always live for: to live every single moment of my life with promise, awareness and conviction; to live vicariously.

Every moment is anticipation. Like my heartbeats. In the unfolding I steal space. Or space is vast and I wait. Patience is a virtue I have yet to learn.

I want to know what's to come.

Last night I met Akiko, Claire and Christine for drinks and countdown at Peel Fresco, one of our favorite hang-outs in town. The evening was filled with conversations, nicotine and wind. We sat outside where the crowd coalesced. Our sentiments were quiet as they're loud in our mind. For the four of us, a woman's life takes art, solitude, precious company that we make room for and a lot of insistence.

I should like to tell you more about my friends but I'm feeling secretive today, so let's start with a teaser.

Akiko is the girlfriend of my close friend EC. In the last year Akiko and I have become closer through girls' talks and tango. On the dance floor Akiko is a popular girl, though she has this fantasy that she's clumsy. She's one of the few truly kind people I know: always considerate, giving and open-minded.

Last summer, partly thanks to my nagging, Akiko went swimming in the public pool between rowdy children and rough old men. I have this mental image of her, porcelain skin and jet black hair, springing out of the water, grasping for air and the promise of safety.

Claire is a painter, designer, curator and budding art consultant. We've known each other for two years though we only got to hang out more in recent months. She lives with her beloved DD, a white-furred cat who sits on the visitor's lap and purrs, or growls to show her colors when she's disturbed.

Claire has fire, too. At our late-night drinks Claire makes the sharpest comments about people's stupidity, and she'd glare at strangers who cause a nuisance around her on the streets. Her artwork, though, shows a lot of tranquility: art is balance and it brings out what's invisible in our souls.

Christine is a PR person for Holga and a new friend I recently made. I first met her at Claire's birthday dinner in September. She sat beside me for a moment and I felt a glittering presence. There she was, a honey-colored skin lady busting with charm. Admittedly, I was a little overwhelmed!

Christine's buzzwords are positive energy, and she hops around the world with great enthusiasm. In our brief friendship so far, I've noticed that Christine takes the time to ask questions and to listen--to get to know the people who've crossed her path. It's a rare trait nowadays, if you think about it.

Here's Rob Baker, owner of Joyce is Not Here and Peel Fresco Music Lounge along with his wife Joyce. Rob is Canadian--the flag in the first picture is a Canadian flag. It's become soiled in the last few years and they wouldn't remove it, the way they wouldn't take away the awkward bits and pieces of decoration in their cafe and bar.

And that's why Joyce's and Peel Fresco are so much fun. Regulars like us would hang out and engage in all kinds of random acts: pick up the guitar and play a tune, dance tango, grab the ass of one of the cute gay waiters. They run poetry readings, movie nights and talks, though I don't often go to those.

My vanity note of the night: many people have commented on the lipsticks I'm wearing in this picture, including those who stopped me and kissed me on the streets. Fuchsia Star is a cute name for a shade. May it continue to draw a lot of attention and kisses my way.


  1. Happy New Year! Wishing your 2010 a great one!


  2. Wish you a better year, Nicole. Must catch up! (I still haven't visited your Taro!)


  3. In most cases, you give up on giving up, then you give up for real or head to your doom.

  4. Nicole thank you for your comments on Joseph Beuys.