So what better way to get to know them than to invite them over for dinner? And, since I love to cook and entertain, voila, a meal it was!
One of the first neighbors I met was Christophe. I literally bumped into Christophe in the parking garage - I was carrying bags of things, and we tumbled into one another getting in and out of the elevator. "Bonjour," he said. "Hi, I'm Nancy. I just moved in, I love it here, can I see your loft?" I said in record speed.
He laughed, the Christophe laugh - part chuckle and smile all at once - and said, "Why not?"
Well, it was to die for. Brick and wood and killer views. "Oh, this is the most beautiful place," I cooed. He was smitten by my enthusiasm, and we became fast friends. Later, he introduced me to his partner William, an artist. I had come knocking on Christophe's door when I realized I didn't have a wine glass for my wine or a knife to cut my chicken. William graciously gave me two glasses and a sharp knife.
As part of my thank you for helping me survive, a dinner invitation was born. They were delighted, even if they did have to bring their own plates, wine glasses, silverware, and wine. I provided the food.
When I cook, I like to talk to my guests. Like, who doesn't? I like to drink, too. And, I make a lot of toasts. I'm big on toasts. Salut! L'chiam! To everyone! Let's party! Whatever.
So, when I was on toast number six, I poured oil into the spaghetti sauce. What I realized later - was that it was chili oil and not olive oil. Oops. But, I will get to that part.
After we had happily cut the brie cheese, devoured the garlic bread, ate the smoked oysters, I brought my platter of spaghetti out as if I were carrying diamonds. I was so proud. My famous spaghetti was now going to be served.
However...when William took one bite, this is what I saw. His face turned beat red, his hand started reaching out for water that wasn't there, and smoke started coming out of his ears (okay, so that is an exaggeration, but...). To my horror, I remembered, what I had done. I had put in enough chili oil for a cow.
Christophe on the other hand was hysterical. Laughing as if there was no tomorrow. "William, are you okay?" I asked. Since he couldn't talk, he started gesturing, and blowing, and waving his hand in front of his mouth. I couldn't help it. I started to laugh too. Snorting actually.
When he finally could talk, he said, he liked the fact that I was "colorful."
Later I learned that William does not like any green food, except for peas, won't eat anything unless the temperature is just right, was raised on fast foods, and has a tendency to be highly dramatic.
Did I pick the perfect person to almost kill or what? Love you, William. Nancy.
The beautiful painting is by William Fenholt. Christophe Poinot, took the Tales of Downtown banner shot. William designed it.