1. We do not live around the corner from the city.
2. Clearly, this would be a real date - do we still do that after 23 years of marriage?
3. As semi-empty-nesters, it is our obligation to learn to be spontaneous.
"Give me 5 minutes. Let's go to dinner," I answer.
Jacket, camera, extra charged battery, wallet, cell phone, "Ready!"
We are dressed very casually and have no destination in mind. Who does this? Not us. I begin typing things in the browser on my cell phone and realize, "I've never been to Little Italy. Can we just go there?"
Ah, tourists. And, why not? We are tourists. I want to take pictures. We are not dressed to blend in with the natives, just call a spade a spade and be done with it. Down the highway, over a bridge, into the innerworkings of the city and poof, we find our destination AND street parking. No hydrant? No restrictions? Is this a trick? A high five for our luck and we are off.
We want to walk around and see the sights, the neighborhood, everything. It is already beginning to get a little too dark for me to shoot, but I don't care. Tourist photos it is! And then we stumble upon it, a kitchen store (to you, maybe not very exciting, for me a must see)!
We exit the store and bid the security guard in his suit a good night.
We walk along and see the world famous Lombardi's. And the line that wraps around the building. Tourists?
Street side entertainment for those who wait. I am sure he loves having his picture taken, feeling like a goldfish, stared at and photographed for the amusement of others.
And so we head to the restaurant we had passed earlier. The sidewalk specials had caught my eye and I knew they would have something we would each enjoy. Hubby is frightfully predictable and traditional and typically orders chicken marsala.
Escarole & Bean in Brodo (broth)
And then we enter it, the real Little Italy. Cameras flash. Cigarette and cigar smoke fills your nose. Crowds. Vendors. Souvenier t-shirts and post cards. Does this mean we had eaten where the natives may eat?