You'll notice the pink on this website - about 11 days later than it should be, but better late than never. I've also got a button over on the right that you can click on to help provide free mammograms for women that need them. Please click! (I absolutely copied this from another site because sometimes I haven't thought ahead about things.) (Rambling on...sorry.)
Anyway - in memory of my late sister-in-law, Diane, who successfully fought breast cancer many years ago but lost the battle to bone cancer earlier this year, and in support of my cousin's girlfriend, Roseleen, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and so far, so good...for these two women in particular I have changed the barefoot color scheme to pink.
This past Saturday night, Bill and I went out. Just the two of us. Like grownups! On a date! Dinner AND a movie!
We'd made plans to see Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix at the Feinstein Imax Theatre in Providence. It was a 7:40 show, and our babysitter was due around 4:00, so we had around three whole hours!!! to have dinner and hang out.
Giddy with our freedom, we set off. I brought my camera along for the ride because gradually it is grafting itself to my hand and eventually I will never ever go anywhere without it. (Because the times I do leave without it, I kick myself later because I've missed SOMETHING interesting to photograph.)
We parked in the mall parking lot on one of the theatre levels and then walked to Union Station Brewery for dinner. Bill had their Lobster Bisque, which he shared with me, and oh MY was it fabulous. We were a bit skeptical, because there were no chunks of lobster meat in it, like you see much of the time, but the flavor - it was perfect. Creamy and rich and LOBSTERY and a whisper of cognac (I'm guessing) floating in the background. I would have swooned, but then Bill would have finished up all the bisque himself, and that would never do.
Food-wise, he had a huge salad of Thai chicken and noodles over an assortment of fresh greens. I didn't try it but it looked very good. He said the chicken was a little bit dry, but the dressing compensated for it. I had their Pizza Number 4. The crust was thin and crisp and texture-wise more like a pie or biscuit than a yeast dough. The menu said their crusts make use of the spent grains from the brewing process, and I could see specks of brown which were probably bits of those grains. The bottom of the crust was also crunchy with cornmeal. I would have been happy with the crust all by itself. On top of the crust were the following: shredded smoked chicken, caramelized onions, some garlicky oil, gorgonzola, and scallions. I may be forgetting something, but those were the highlights for me. Caramelized onions. Yum.
I should have taken pictures of the food, but oh well, I didn't. I did, however, take a shot of the beer menu on the wall near our table:
Union Station Brewery makes their own beer, of course, and the choices are always changing - mainly with the seasons, but more often than 4 times a year.
Bill started with their Oktoberfest and I ordered their sampler so I could try a bit of all five. His beer was actually nearly flat, and the waitress said they were having a problem with the tap system. She brought him another with a bigger head on it, which was better, but in Bill's opinion they should have told him up front. Ah well. Anyway, moving on - apart from the carbonation issue with the Oktoberfest, everything else was quite satisfying. The Northern Light was pale and nutty and, well, light. The Providence Pale was slightly hoppy - as it should be - but not overpoweringly so. Not everyone can deal with the bitterness. I'm not a huge fan of overly hopped beers, but I find mild to moderate hoppiness a perfect accompaniment to something rich and savory - like that bisque. The IPA - India Pale Ale - had a stronger hoppy flavor (again, as it should) and Bill really liked that. (Of course he had to sample all my samples. Annoying beer brewer that he is.) The Oktoberfest was nicely spiced and yummy. And the Espresso Stout...well. I love Stouts and Porters, and I particularly love them with some sort of coffee element added. I had Red Hook's Double Black Stout years ago in Seattle and was - pardon the pun - hooked. Anyway, this Espresso Stout did not disappoint - it was creamy and smooth and dark and roasty and rich. The perfect end to the meal.
Stuffed to the gills, we paid the bill and headed back outside. Saturday night was warm, summery and alive. People everywhere, lots of outdoor seating at all the nearby restaurants, a beautiful night.
We headed toward the water...
Saturday night's Waterfire was sponsored by the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. I'd heard something about it on the radio a few days prior, but forgot all about it until we saw the banner. We heard Anthony Gemma welcoming everyone and talking about his mother, in whose memory the foundation was created. Piano music followed, and more and more people gathered.
We walked, and I took pictures...
Our State House. With the second-largest unsupported dome in the world. Gorgeous, isn't it?
We started heading over to the Providence Place mall, wending our way toward the Imax Theatre for our 7:40 Harry Potter date.
Also, Bill needed to find a bathroom. We headed to Borders and had lattes and hung out a bit longer...until...Harry Time.
As we walked toward the doors, we could see that the sky was now dark, and there seemed to be a parade of fire marching past the mall. Earlier, as we'd crossed the street, I had seen a ton of people assembled on the front steps of the State House. Ah - here they are. We hurried outside.
It was a moving and powerful sight...
Every one of them affected somehow by breast cancer. They marched down the street, and we could feel the heat of the flames as they went by.
The march continued on down toward the water, and part of me wanted to follow them. My eyes felt prickly. My heart went out to them. I felt so many things in just those few minutes - sad, helpless, hopeful, awed....
We watched the distant flames a bit longer, but we had a movie to see. And so we turned away. Slowly.