22 September 2008

Another birthday

Is it possible a whole year has passed since I was having my post-birthday breakfast at Hotel Bel Sito and daydreaming about the months stretching before me? I had barely begun my Venice adventure. What a heavenly day that was!

My finances did not permit a birthday stay at the hotel this year. These past two mornings I woke up in my own bed instead, and had my second coffee at Zanin, as I always do. Had some twinges of regret but no real complaints here. In a particular way, it was even sweeter to be in the place that has really become my home – far more than I had ever imagined it would.

Having a Sunday birthday this year required minor adjustments to my usual dining traditions. My friend Erica treated me to a lovely lunch at al Prosecco again, but we had to make it a day early. (You can see what we had above.) Enoteca San Marco is closed on Sunday too, so instead I had my supper at Bancogiro. Same charming proprietors, same quality and innovation from the kitchen, same principessa treatment for me, and a Grand Canal view to boot.

And in between these feasts were two long, leisurely passeggiate around town, a visit to the mercatino at Campo San Maurizio, prosecco and laughter with my new gal pal “M,” who also treated me to a new Alberto Toso Fei book, a pink birthday cake made just for me (with my initial “C” formed in Smarties!) by my friend “S” and chit-chat at Book Club, not to mention calls, cards, and presents from family and friends near and far.

The very best gift I received? The fellows at Bancogiro have agreed to show my work – eight boxes collaged with scavenged Venetian poster scraps – in the restaurant next month. (Can a “white show” be far behind?)

At midnight I meant to stand at the foot of the Campanile to hear the Marangona toll, but instead, and even better, I found myself chatting with “M” – my longest standing friendship in Venice and the man who singlehandedly started me on this journey five years ago. A perfect finish to a perfect day. And another year gone by…

But not just another year. Maybe the most important year of my life.

Yes, I’m quite certain it was.