After our adventures in the Bronx and Flushing, we were really looking forward to getting together with my cousin Lenny and his family for dinner. Remember, this all happened the same day, and boy, were we hungry!
Driving to Lenny’s also let me take Steven on the fabled Long Island Expressway, where I still remembered specific bumps and pavement mismatches from over 40 years ago. When you ride a motorcycle, you learn every last one!
Lenny is one of my favorite people. He’s 5 years older than me, and I always looked up to him as a kid (also because he’s much taller). But Lenny was always cool and had neat stuff like an O-gauge Lionel train set, electronic stuff of all kinds, and an electric guitar. This inspired me as a kid to get into playing electric guitar, building electronic stuff, and who knows, maybe that’s also why I liked subway trains so much too! So he’s had a real influence on my life.
It’s been way too long.
When we got there, it wasn’t hard to spot Lenny’s car because he has his Amateur Radio callsign on his license plate. We went in the front door, and that was a mistake because apparently they keep that one closed, so it’s only used by the occasional salesman and out-of-town cousin 🙂
Steven has grown up hearing me talk about Lenny and Linda (who I’ve “only” known since around the time we landed on the moon) and their son Scott for ages, so it was really great for everyone to meet in person. And then it was time to
release the Kraken let their new puppy Melanie out of her crate and have her go crazy all over us, but luckily she’s still small and didn’t knock us over. She’s a real sweetie though.
We had gotten there even earlier than expected, but we were all hungry, so we all (except Melanie) got in the car and drove to a really great Italian restaurant on Bell Boulevard called Jimmy’s Trattoria. This is the kind of classy place where Jimmy himself welcomes you in and it doesn’t seem like an act. The food was amazing and we had a great time talking and drinking and eating and just being together.
It’s been way too long.
Then we went back to the house and talked a whole lot more about everything from dog training to teaching ESL and psychology and all kinds of stuff. Eventually, we had to go, but not before taking a group picture.
Family is important. It’s been way too long.