Randomly checking movie listings this week, I got a particularly sad surprise. After 33 years, Providence's Cable Car Cinema is closing, a victim of skyrocketing rents.
The Cable Car opened right around the time I arrived in Providence as a student. It was a great place for friends and even better for cheap dates. (Couches! All-you-can-eat-popcorn!) It showed the movies the multiplexes didn't: arthouse fare, foreign films, old-really old, like Lion in Winter old- movies, that sort of thing. I saw my first subtitled movie there, my first Spike Lee movie there, expanded my nascent view of the world there.
More recently, as newly empty-nesters, we've hit the Cable Car for interesting alternatives to another night of Netflix binge watching. Providence isn't a long drive, and the restaurants are excellent. So the Cable Car feels like an old friend, and I'm unbelievably saddened at this loss.
Old friends, whether human or in the form of good books, old dogs, or even a movie theatre, are comfortable. You know them. They know you. No history needs to be explained. Conversations flow easily, without a lot of backtracking to translate the confusing bits. They don't call for fancy dress. You know what to expect. New friends can certainly be wonderful, and they bring the excitement of novelty. But sometimes, I'm not in the mood for exciting. Sometimes, I want a very comfortable, very excellent, very dependable old friend.
I attended a trade tasting this week, put on by an old friend from my days as a wine supplier. The draw was some tasty-and inexpensive-domestic bubbly, but when I got there, all my attention fell on the Ott.
Domaines Ott, producer of 3 amazing Provencal rosés, was one of the first, if not the very first, wines I tasted that made me really think. This is so different... It's not sweet, it's dry. It's crisp. It tastes like a combination of ripe, sun-warmed berries, and bracing sea spray. It tastes like a place. One glimpse of that iconic curvy bottle, and I wanted that taste-how could I have forgotten about this old friend? Needless to say, I bought some.
Old friends....This week, I'll make time to get to Providence and watch one last movie at the Cable Car. They're showing RBG this week; it's supposed to be excellent. I'll also be drinking some Domaines Ott rosé.