It’s amazing how many friends I have made at our neighborhood watering hole. After living across the street from it for many years and never once walking inside, I finally started visiting it with my husband over the past couple of years, and it is full of surprises. I have met some of the most interesting people there, from all over the world, most living or working within a few blocks from us. People I had never spoken to before…
I was wary at first, though my husband was loving it. Nobody really called out to me in any special way. However, slowly but surely, I started meeting some incredible people, one after the other. Young people. Older people. Actors. Students. Artists. Bankers. You name it. They all find their way to Pao sooner or later.
Everybody is friendly at Pao. If you sit down at the bar to order a drink or something to eat, your neighbor will introduce him or herself to you, and welcome you with a big smile. Talk is easy and quite open. People share their recent stories: break-ups, divorces, apartment woes, financial crises… and good stuff too. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not just a place for complainers by a long shot.
On nice evenings we all sit outside, enjoying the breeze and the deep blue of the sky. We watch the crazy people walk by: homeless men wearing incredible jewelry, people in strange costumes (or are they costumes?), young people heading to Sway in their short shorts and 6 inch stilettos.
This week I returned from abroad and met a very special lady. She’s in New York via Miami, and L.A., and then Miami again. She’s running a great furniture store right down the street from Pao. She’s beautiful but doesn’t know it. She’s talented but questioning it. She’s sexy but doubtful of her value or attractiveness right now. She looks like Phoebe Cates. She has a great mind and a beautiful smile. She needed a friend and she has found one. Come to Pao and maybe you’ll be as lucky as me to meet her.
Namaste my new girlfriend. New York welcomes you with open arms. We are lucky that you found your way here. Breathe deeply — inhales and exhales. Excuse yourself. Accept yourself. Every little thing is gonna be all right (sorry, Bob Marley, I stole one of your best lines).