Today, I was at Maria’s early. We went for breakfast there because I’m convinced she’s got the best breakfast in town. So, I’m over there every chance I get. For meals other than breakfast, Maria has homemade pastas with her own special sauces. Special oriental dishes are prepared fresh daily and fresh cooked salmon is on the menu always.
But, Maria’s has more to offer than authentic Italian food and fabulous breakfasts. I saw several people seated at tables both inside the restaurant and outside on the patio under the shade of trees and umbrellas. The unspoken rule is this: When I see a small group of people at a table away from everyone else, I just pretend they aren’t there.
After all, we all need a quiet, private place to visit, work out a deal, network, try to get a vote in a local project…or whatever. Woodstock is a small town and if we don’t go to Maria’s then the only other option is someplace in Kingston like Florentina.
So, when I saw a group of three women at a table with stacks of papers sporting attached colorful tabs, I just went to the other side of the patio.
But, this was morning. Afternoons are the same at Maria’s…only different. In the afternoons, I see local residents sitting at tables just being themselves without attracting attention. Woodstock has a lot of stardust of one kind or another. And, sometimes people enjoy just not being noticed.
After all, if a person wants attention, the place to go is Bread Alone to order a coffee, and look for connection.
The bar at Landau grill offers another place for conversation and connection.
A third place is Catskill Mountain Pizza. People gather there and visit with one another over a slice of pizza, sub sandwich, salad.
A place which can be a kind of mix in the summertime is the Wednesday afternoon Farm Market festival. Locals and tourists alike wander among the stalls, focus on the food at hand and wear invisible blinders. Last Wednesday, I saw more than a few musicians, actors, artists, writers, activists simply being themselves. No one was disturbing them. I’m convinced that some of them have learned to be “invisible” to others when they want to be alone for a little while.
Everyone blended together. Some shopped alone while others enjoyed hugs, gossip. Both groups looked forward to the promise of a perfect meal made up of gorgeous food purchased here.
One person having a rough time being invisible, though, is Rick the Mushroom Hunter. He can be tracked down at every Farm Market Festival. The mushrooms he sells must be discovered in the forest. This requires a special person.
Rick is just that person. He doesn’t have a booth because he carries his prizes in a small cardboard box.
Throughout the summer, Rick may offer
hens of the woods.
These prized jewels are gifts from the wild. They have a different aroma, color, texture, energy from their domesticated cousins.
A meal including one of Rick’s discoveries is transformed into a mystical, magical creation. The dining experience becomes spiritual so the soul is fed as well as the body.
How long has it been since you prepared a dish with one of these wild, wonderful gifts of nature?
That’s tooo long!
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