We had a nice dinner with Tasos (another U of C mathematician who has sold out to Wall Street), at Pongri, a Thai restaurant across the street from Alex's apartment. Excellent food, though I'm surprised by how difficult it is to find restaurants with shumai (crab dumplings, an appetizer). All the Thai restaurants in Hyde Park had them, and I got mildly addicted (so you tell me -- why does Hyde Park have five Thai restaurants and only one Indian (which is half Cajun, of all things!)?), but I can't seem to find it outside Hyde Park. Weird. I have been assured that somewhere in the Bay Area are restaurants that serve shumai, but until I see them...just call me doubting Thomas.
Today was mellow and slow. Lingering breakfast at a diner, with lots of relationship conversation. Alex is one of those people that I go to when I'm really confused; he's good at helping to sort out my thoughts. Karina's good at it too; I'm looking forward to seeing her in January (there's only so much you can do in e-mail). Then we went to see Boogie Nights. I was curious about this movie (focused on the porn industry of the 70's and 80's), after the mouthorgan and Susie Bright columns. It was more of a downer than I expected, actually, though it did have its funny and charming moments. Afterwards, as instructed, I went out and sampled New York pizza. Eh. Not bad, but Chicago pizza clearly rules. And despite what you may think, I have not found Chicago pizza in any of the supposedly Chicago-style pizza places outside Illinois.
We have a couple of hours left before I get on the train for Connecticut. I'm savoring this time; it's so sad that the old fellowship is scattered over the globe this way. Even when we're not talking, it's so nice just being in the same room with Alex. He's on the phone with Roshani right now, and we did see Tasos last night; I can almost pretend that we're all here, the way we used to be. Jordan's off at some job in downtown Chicago; he's lost touch with most of us. Alex and Tasos and Greg in New York, me in California, Kevin and Bryan in Chicago but both graduating with their Ph.D.'s this spring, Roshani in Chicago, but probably off to med school next year -- all scattering. Well, there's a chance that Kevin and I will be in New York next fall. It'd be nice to be near Alex and Tasos for a couple of years, and Naomi and Manny are here...I suppose if I make enough friends, there will be a few in every city. :-) Not quite the same, of course, but for someone with such rambling feet, perhaps the best I can hope for...
Sorry, nostalgia attack. :-) Perhaps I'm simply trying not to think about being in Connecticut this evening; it'll be wonderful seeing my family, but stressful too. I'm nervous. Hopefully we can keep from fighting too much this trip. I haven't seen them in over a year, and I miss them.