Nostalgia for an Indian Summer

I was talking recently to Carmen, one of my closest friends, and I began wondering what it might be like living full time once again in the Burgh.  Judging from my visit last year in October, it would, no doubt, be great fun.

Right off the bat after she picked me up at the airport, we headed to Shadyside for a late supper and nightcap.  It was a Friday night, so the bars were heavily populated by young patrons, the majority of which came from nearby universities like Pitt and Carnegie Mellon.  At one bar, every square inch was virtually occupied that wherever I turned I could easily have found myself on someone’s lap.  Actually, the closest thing to anything of the like was being personally treated to an impromptu Vegas-style dance of the Seven Veils from a girl who obviously was too plastered to know any better.

Raunchy entertainment aside, Carmen and I finally ended the night in the quiet of Pangea, a fusion cuisine restaurant off Walnut Street with a decent wine bar, where she bumped into an old high school friend she hadn’t seen since, well, high school.  During the course of my stay, we went to places “dahntahn” and “uptahn,” starting at Paris 66 for French bistro food, to Bossa Nova, where we crashed an Indian family’s hen party, sewing up the night at the Brillobox for Yuengling beer, DJ music and dancing in Lawrenceville.

The Brillobox in Lawrenceville

It also turned out to be a wondrous Indian summer, with the temperatures in the 80s against the backdrop of falling gold, burnish brown, orange and Rainier cherry-color leaves –I couldn’t have asked for a better, dare I say magical, time to visit.  It goes without saying  Steeler games on Sundays are occasions for parties, and Carmen followed suit, throwing ribs on the barbie in her backyard.

This fall, Carmen and I were planning a trip to New York City so we could celebrate turning 40, but I told her I most likely I won’t be able to make it back to the East Coast, although I am still keeping the door slightly open.  I’m a little bummed, of course, but talking with her and Channa, the woman who does my hair and nails, has eased the disappointment.  No one should underestimate the power of a good haircut, plain old-fashion pampering and the support and affection of an old friendship.

©photos by Rachelle Ayuyang

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About Rachelle Ayuyang
I am a writer feeding my soul by doing something I love, mining some of the deepest parts of me to dig up gems and sometimes diamonds in that rough.

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