One could easily qualify the success of their New Year’s Eve based on obvious things: an evening at a swanky hotel, a list of visited restaurants from here to tomorrow, a soiree that’d have the most socially-elite green with envy and a fireworks show that’d rival that of any global city. On the surface, that sounds like one fantastic New Year’s Eve celebration, right? Indeed – the choices I made for this night on the town were perfect. But what really made it exceptional were the connections. Not the schmoozy/business type connections, but those with real meaning.
Of course the best part of the night was spending time with my hubby, Mike. I appreciate how happy he is just following me around as we trot from restaurant to restaurant and place to place. He noticed it too:
The warm welcome from sushi chef Hayeong as we sidled up to his sushi bar at the W Hotel’s Trace Restaurant. Hayeong immediately remembered me from his sushi-making class, and had a real interest in knowing how (and if) I was able to use my skills at home.
The friendly banter with Chef Kevin at Blueacre Seafood as we poked a little fun back and forth about my comments earlier in the month about his old sous chef Anthony (at Steelhead Diner) and how I’d thrown down the gauntlet by saying that Anthony’s Potatoes Minneapolis would give Kevin’s a run for the money.
The warm hug I received when we bumped into Travis Rosenthal and the pride he had in showing off his new rum bar Rumba. He absolutely beamed when sharing the details that’ll make his foray into rum successful.
The secret smile of satisfaction I hold for Herschell Taghap and his ability to ‘make it happen’ when I came whining to him a day before New Year’s about how I couldn’t get a reservation at Cuoco until after 9:30pm – and his ability to magically find me a spot at six o’clock!.
The the friendly welcome and ear-to-ear grin of my cohort-in-menu-searching, Ryan, as he flung the door open for us as we arrived for gala at Chihuly Garden and Glass.
But my favorite part of the night? Meeting my friend Evonne downtown and having her join us for beignets and drinks at RN 74. Evonne is one of those special people who you know from the minute you meet them that you’ll always be friends. She’s one of those folks that “gets me” (and I think I “get her”, too). Her brain seems to go the same place mine does – whether it’s snapping ridiculous photos in hotel room entryways or standing in awe of a view on the San Juan Islands. She’s one of the good guys and she knows the power of a connection.
This year I plan to nurture these connections more. To develop them and appreciate the positive things that I bring to them (and them to me). These connections are what can make (or break) a day. Big connections or small. An afternoon walk with a friend, or a kind smile for a stranger. I’ll connect.