ONCE A New York Story
Sometime last year, when the weather and I were agreeably warm, Alan and I went for brunch at the agreeably warm little crepe place around the corner from the (agreeably warm) cell. As is typical in these sardine can café’s, one can feel disagreeably close to one’s neighbors while dining. This brunch found us sitting next to a disagreeably cold couple…disagreeable to one another. I gave them a cursory glance and smile, noticing something distinctive and familiar about them. Too close to them to whisper to my husband, I quickly sought my blackberry and googled “Once” finding a poster of the little movie that made it big, even winning an Oscar for the theme song.
Ya, uh huh, it was them. That couple.
Meantime, the first party of the second part (Glen Hansard) excused himself while the second party of the second part (Markéta Irglová) sat teary eyed and quietly sad. All the while, the first party of the first part (me) was desperately trying to inconspicuously convey this news to the second party of the first part (Alan). I held up my blackberry to show him the poster and signaled with my eyes look at the couple next to us, mouthing “Once” to no avail.
Soon, as the imposing scruffy-bearded read-head was returning to his table, I compared his unmistakable resemblance to his tiny blackberry poster image.
Ya, uh huh, it was him, that guy.
He sat down a hair’s breadth away from me. I tilted towards him, politely shoving my blackberry in his striking face and asked, “Is this you?”
“Uh, ya, that would be us.” His Irish accent was spot on.
I then blurted out my schpiel about the cell, our intimate little performance space, and invited them to perform sometime. Then, politely, I asked him what brought them to New York City.
HE: “Oh, we’re performing here this week.”
ME: “Really. How wonderful! Where?”
HE (a superbly modest Irish brogue): “Radio City Music Hall.”