22 Jul 2013
The very first thing I was smitten with when we moved to Pasadena was that you can eat dinner outside without a coat on. I couldn’t love the Bay area any more than I do, but dining al fresco there usually felt vaguely similar to being inside a refrigerator. A very beautiful refrigerator, but a refrigerator nonetheless. For the first few months after we moved here, I am sure we were obvious Bay area transplants because we never went anywhere without a hoodie. Eventually we learned that most summer days lead to warm nights, which makes me happy because it reminds me of Memphis. All this is to say, summer nights are pretty blissful here, and the Athenaeum makes them even more lovely. On Thursday and Friday nights they serve a casual dinner outside on the lawn. It’s called the Rath al Fresco (short for the beloved Rathskellar, where dinner is served in the winters), and it’s so awesome that I actually made hitting it up a monthly goal for July. We were out of groceries by Thursday, so it wasn’t hard to convince Eric that this was the thing to do on Friday night.
One of my favorite things about the Rath al Fresco is that they hang three pretty lanterns from this stately tree. Can you see them on the right side? We sat almost underneath them this time, and I loved it. I feel like I have had a series of epiphanies this year (an epiphaseries?) about seizing all the treasures of the place where I live, about making it my home, about taking every opportunity to explore and celebrate the things that make the place I live so distinctive. It has been so much fun adding each little sparkling bead to the chain of reasons why it’s pretty great here. This is most definitely one of them. One that catches the light and echoes it back to you.