The weather was perfect for me to sit at an outdoor cafe table in front of Lincoln Center and sketch while Kathleen and her parents enjoyed the symphony …. or so I thought.

64th and Columbus Avenue, ink drawing

The timing had been perfect.  We planned to meet at the chowder house after the concert.  Not sure of the restaurant’s location I asked a man pushing a hand truck stacked with cases of wine.  His response was “Follow me.  That’s where I’m taking this wine.”

64th and Columbus Avenue, ink drawing

A small island of cafe tables was located adjacent to the restaurant and in front of Lincoln Center.  The buildings didn’t block the sun from warming my body as I sat and sketched, thinking of Kathleen and her parents enjoying the music together ….. or so I thought.

Waiting in Line for Ice Cream, ink sketch

Kathleen sat alone in the concert hall at the insistence of her mother after her father slipped and fell on the steps in front of Lincoln Center.  Kathleen’s parents were three blocks away at the hospital while the music played and I happily sketched.

The event threatened to spoil the remainder of our plans.  Fortunately, after a several hour delay, some stitches and a few pain killers, the four of us walked slowly back to the Chowder House and had a lovely luncheon.  Kathleen and I then headed north toward 110 street after sending her parents back to their hotel, waving goodbye as their taxi drove off.

And so our adventure began.  We laughed, we talked, we ate, we drank espresso, we drank wine.

The Cathedral Peacock

We explored the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and found the peacock in the Biblical Garden.

Following the evening light in NYC

We followed the patterns of the sun upon the buildings. We shopped.

Trying on lounge wear

We didn’t get to the Picasso Guitars exhibit.  We didn’t get to the Harlem Gospel Singing.  We didn’t get to a late night jazz club.  We didn’t visit the Museum of Natural History or even step foot in a gallery.  We laughed and talked and stayed up late, enjoying the weather and the little shops within a three block radius of the cozy little Pied a Terre on loan to us for our weekend together.  Mostly, we enjoyed the company of one another.  My last little sketch was done in the guest book of the Pied a Terre along with a note of thanks.  The ink sketch was of the black leather couch, the black and white toss pillows, puzzle block coffee table and the large black and white photograph of a street scene with a red bicycle.  I forgot to snap a photo of the drawing.

The drawings were all done with a fountain pen.  I began with my Pelikan, fine point fountain pen.  It ran out of ink halfway through the first drawing.  I switched to my Waterman Phileas fountain pen.

Tomorrow morning I catch a train into New York City.

Kathleen in New York City, 1969

In 1952 Kathleen lived three houses up and across the street.

Dad pointing out where the house would be built

My parents moved the family to New Jersey from Indiana in 1952.  I am wearing the blue snowsuit.  I had not yet met Kathleen.

Helping my parents build the house, 1953

By the time the seasons had changed and I was wearing red overalls, Kathleen and I had become friends.

Kathleen, June 1969

We had our ups and downs, as all relationships do.  Through it all our bond grew stronger in spite of the distance between us as we went our separate ways after graduating from high school in 1969.  Three days ago Kathleen turned 60.  The next three days will be spend together, laughing, talking, walking, drinking wine, eating chocolate, having adventures in New York City and celebrating life, love and friendship.