The rooftops of NYC in the summer have a special sparkle. Maybe it’s the humidity bloating my brain, but climb a few flights above pavement and the stars work their magic with more strength. Last week I found myself hovering above 9th street with a framed view of the Empire State Building while an old friend serenaded us with a concert in the sky. I had not seen Shenandoah since we were seniors in high school, but thanks to a serendipitous F’Book message I found myself invited to this evening of music, price of entry: one bottle rosé.
Her sounds inspired our revelry, our delirious socializing, artists and students. A quintessentially New York evening; that John Cameron Mitchell perched himself in the audience was only natural. Find Shenandoah here, watch her videos here. Get drunk on her noise.
By the end of the night I found myself hugging a college classmate whom I also hadn’t seen in ages, the concentrated power of a rooftop to reacquaint friends on a late summer evening cannot be denied. While we sipped Lillet and caught up on the last 6 years, he used words like “partner” and “engaged.” At times I wasn’t sure if we were talking about his new business venture or his romantic success. At times I’m not sure there’s a difference.
I’ve always approached romance with a swollen cinematic eye, but this recent confusion of vocabularies has me thinking twice. There is so much overlap in the words we use to describe both contract-based and love-based relationships that I must be able to approach matters of the heart with a different point of view.
My recent endeavour to have a socially curated dating profile, while bold, has proven to be more of a flash in the pan than anything interesting. I invited my community to rewrite my bio, send messages to prospective dates and answer notes sent to me. A few friends took the baton and filled in charming answers to the OkCupid stock questions, many more supplied crude jokes and changed my age/orientation/religion/smoking preferences.
But again, the hope that this would turn into a glorious dating life was just another romantic-comedy daydream. Perhaps I’d be better off treating romance like a business, interviewing prospective partners for a long term collaboration, heartfelt or otherwise.
As we close out the summer and crisp up into fall, I leave you with this recipe for a roasted tomatillo salsa. Markets are flush with peppers and tomatoes, tomatillos and onions right now. Make use of the bounty and stock up this bright sauce for a dark day in the winter to come.
Thoughts on the confluence of language over romance and business? Do you find one mindset serves you better than another? I’ll try to spend my September finding rooftops and conducting interviews, the days are getting shorter.
- 2 pounds Tomatillos
- 2 Serrano Chilis
- 2 Jalapenos
- 2 Banana or Anaheim Chilies
- 2 Yellow Onions
- 1 head of Garlic
- 3-4 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Juice of one Lime
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the husk from your tomatillos and give them a quick rinse under warm water. They can be a bit sticky, don’t panic. When you’re done with the tomatillos, peel the garlic cloves and slice the onion into quarters or eighths.
- Toss all the tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic into a roasting tray and drizzle some olive oil on top. A little salt and pepper won’t hurt here either, but you can also wait until the sauce is made to add seasonings.
- Roast the veggies at 350 until they’re slightly burnished, a bit withered and tender as a dream.
- Dump the newly roasted peppers and tomatillos etc. into a food processor with the lime juice, salt and pepper and give her a spin.
- Buzz the sauce until it’s to your liking, this can be smooth or chunky.
- Serve with chips as salsa and you’ll be the reigning champ of snacktime. Or, pick up a few chicken legs, sear them on the skin, flip them over and cook them slowly in the sauce for dinner. You can’t lose.
Makes 3 pints. Freeze some.