Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The People You Meet

You know I believe hanging out in bookstores or cafes increases your odds of meeting interesting people.

Today I met my friend Kristen for coffee at Panera Bread. Turns out an artist whose work I've long admired paints watercolors of the Red Sox and the Patriots in the back room over a cup of coffee.

Kristen goes to Panera a lot more than I do (I prefer the locally-owned Huntington Street Cafe) to write and do research, so she's acquainted with the guy. She introduced me.

Even though I never knew the man's name, I'd been a fan of his work since my days at a small ad agency in Manhattan. At the time, he illustrated for another agency the famously elegant full-page Lord & Taylor ads that used to run in the New York Times.

Kristen told him I liked his work, and he put together a mock ad for me. Then he signed it. I discovered that his first name is Bob, but I can't quite make out the rest of it (yeah, I know. I'm a real genius). I should probably ask Kristen. If she doesn't know, she'll find out for me. In the meantime, I'm going to have the painting framed.

After he left, a guy in his early 30s came in to meet a friend for breakfast. We couldn't help but overhear their discussion. He said he's ready to meet the right woman and get married.