1. Tuesday night I was sitting out on our terrace drinking a glass of wine. Drew was at his father’s place, Jackson was asleep. Simone and Miles were sitting outside with me. After a really hot afternoon, it was the perfect summer evening — warm, maybe 74 degrees, with a light breeze. Someone was grilling something in the yard next door. Someone was playing Bob Marley from some window a few buildings down. I could barely hear it, but I could hear it. There was a dog barking half a block away, a few birds were still chirping, there was a plane flying overhead on its way to somewhere or maybe on its way back. And in the moment, everything was fine and I wished it could be summer all the time.
2. There are four musicians I can listen to any time whose music instantly cheers me up: Lucinda Williams; Nina Simone; Paul Simon; and Willie Nelson. There are other musicians whose music cheers me up, but I have to be in the right mood. With these four, it doesn’t matter when or where, really (though it does sometimes matter what song). I’ve seen all of them perform, all of them multiple times, save for Nina who died shortly after the first time I got to see her live. Their music doesn’t just cheer me up, it transports me — to childhood road trips and summer nights in college, to falling in love and nursing broken hearts. I like that I don’t have to wait for my favorite season to experience my favorite season even if it’s just for a few minutes; I like that I don’t have to get on a plane to travel very far.
3. I have a favorite dive bar in New York that has live bluegrass every weekend and feels like the kind of place where I may have spent the last 15 years of my life even though I’ve only been there three or four times. It’s kind of hard to get to — a mile from the nearest subway and right on the edge of Brooklyn, so close to the water that it’s hard to believe it’s even in the city. It’s open at odd times, too, as if the owner, who’s got to be around 80 now, only lets people in when he’s in the mood for visitors. Once, my friends and I showed up on a Sunday afternoon and it was closed, but we managed to convince him to let us in for a drink. We’d come so far, we told him. We spent the day helping ourselves to the beer behind the bar and listening to his stories of the time he lived in India, before he inherited the bar from his father who had inherited the bar from his father before him. There are some places that feel like home the moment you first walk in and some people who feel like home the minute you meet them. And lucky me: Saturday night I get to go to one of those places with some of those people. It’s really been too long.