Drinks With Trent

Trent, who works downstairs at Artisan (and whointroduced me and Ben to“The Cadillac of Bolognas”), invited us out fordrinks after work. It’s a nice bar a short ways south of the Mart on Wells, called Tizi Melloul.

Great interior, and definitely a fancy place. Trent seems to know a lot of the folks who work here (the owner,the servers, the cooks in back). We sat at the bar briefly and, once a spot opened up on the couches againstthe walls, we moved. Very cozy spaces (floor cushions and pillows), and most definitely an upscale joint.

A few drinks into the night, we order up some steamed mussels.

And apparently, you can order hookahs now at bars. Woohoo!

I think the way it works is this: there’s some sort of ember thing that’s lit (the white guy on top there). Whenyou pull on the mouthpiece, it draws the heat down and that’s what lights the tobacco. The smoke goesdown the body of the thing, is cooled by water, and then comes out the mouthpiece.

Trent ordered up some Jasmine tobacco for us, and it was pretty damn fantastic. Incredibly smooth and light, lingeringin the mouth for a long while after. It was a very pleasant taste, and quite different from cigarettes.

I think I ended up inhaling a lot, so technically I’ve strayed from my 2+ year no-smoking thing. But whatever, thiswas a total blast. And to be honest, it didn’t “feel” like smoking in the traditional sense. With cigarettes, youcan feel that deep tickle in the lungs on inhaling, and this was more about the flavor of the smoke. A lot closerto cigars than cigarettes.

Do I think I’m going to start smoking again? No. But has it made me miss smoking? Absolutely. But there are few daysthat pass where I don’t think, wistfully, about smoking and how much I used to love it.

Trent, stepping up.

Next thing you know, we’re all goofing for the camera and taking a crapload of pictures. I think part of it wasthe fact that we were all having a lot of fun. Another big part of it was smoking a hookah (particularly in public). Imay have smoked one in college (I don’t rightly recall offhand, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility), butthis is my first as far as I know.

The whole process felt really decadent, incredibly indulgent. Part of it’s the bubbling of the water, part of it’sthe drinks we had, part of it’s the light taste of jasmine on the tongue.

We were all goofing for the camera like 16-year olds, who’ve discovered smoking for the first time. Total fuckingblast.

Justin, always creating art

We ordered up some more food: feta crisps with an apricot vinagrette, oven-roasted hummus and tuna tartar. Mmmmmmm.

We decide to hop a cab, and head over to Justin’sneighborhood. We were going to meet up with Howard and Craig, and then make our way to Clubfoot (where Justin’strying to land a DJ gig). He dropped off a few mixes in late August, and wanted to go back to see what theowners thought.

One of the suggestions that came up at Alex and Linda’swedding was for his DJ name to be DJ Salinger. Which has to be the BEST_DJ_NAME_EVAR.

Back at Justin’s for some water, and a quick rest.

Went in back and shot a few games of pool with this cool couple, Brian and Jen(above). I tried asking if I couldtake both their pictures’, but Brian didn’t want to be photographed. Jen agreed, after I kept insisting that I hadnothing but benign intentions.

They were both pretty great at pool, and I was a bit intimidated when I saw how consistently they were shooting. Brian, forone really blew me away. He sized up the table really well, had some great leaves, and jumped the cue ball (successfullyknocking in a few to boot) seemingly without blinking.

Stu ended up joining us for a few drinks and a couple of gamesof pool. I took this picture of him (with a flash), but didn’t give him any warning. I think I blinded him right as he was about toshoot, and made him miss. Doh.

I’m not sure what it is with my pool shooting. Some days, it’s terrible. Other days, I’m on fire. Tonight was oneof those good streaks, and I was holding my own pretty well.

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