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I drink tea in the morning. It's part of the ritual I create to make me feel that all is right with the world. Earl Grey is a great companion.

My friend Alan and I spent the afternoon together. He's in town, hopping from coast to coast, getting his New York fix. Alan's like a favorite teapot, right before the whistle. And like the aforementioned beverage resulting from the tea-making device, a conversation generated by Alan has always just the right amount of warmth, caffeination, and zesty wit. Just like Earl Grey.

Speaking of which - the last time I saw Alan there was none of that color in his hair, it was black as Costa Rican coffee. But Alan is timeless, not easy to pin down. We were classmates in graduate school, and he weathered this narrow island before making the jump to the West Coast half a year ago to take advantage of an opportunity using his concept drawing skills. During our afternoon together, we dissected the Gordion Knot that is our corner of the New York Art World. Or, at least we had an enjoyable time trying.

We had lunch at Bubby's. Alan made sure to order NYCentric eats (eyeing the Matzoh Ball soup and, ... Gasp! you're out of lox?!?) So, settling on a piece of shared apple pie, we poured two Sixpoints down and caught up. Then we parked on a bench where I started to paint his portrait. The wind was a little chill, the sun a bit warmer (shining right in Alan's eyes - sorry, buddy!) and we enjoyed spending the afternoon in constant conversation. Though my quick painting isn't an exact presentation of what Alan looks like - a portrait isn't all about the resemblance, it's about the like-ness. And I like Alan.

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