Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life and love at Cafe Serendipitous

Isn't there a famous coffee shop in NYC called Serendipity? Immortalized, too,  in a John Cusack movie--Cusack I always remember for his performances; can't quite recall his leading ladies though. Maybe somewhere in my subconscious I pretend I'm she. Har har de har there. 

The cafe was also where Andy Warhol ate his meals and he paid for them with doodles, maybe on the paper napkins. I tried that at one 10A Alabama art fair in Cubao a few years ago when I was the weight I still am but famished--swapping a gouache painting for a cold chocolate drink (it was summer) and cookies. Jethro Rafael of Van Gogh Is Bipolar fame, who then had the run of the chow corner in the Alabama house, told me I was shortchanged, but I didn't mind. That a small work could feed me for an afternoon and that I didn't have to wait long for my hunger pangs to be quieted down--I found that, well, instant gratification.

I live in Cafe Serendipitous when I'm in Baguio. In between writing deadlines, I scroll through the images in my Google+ account. I found this yesterday:
I saved it immediately because it reminded me of the time when my girls did a lot of pretend play as children while I did my share of housework in my full-time hausfrau years. I now have a grandchild, Butones, who inherited my children's old Winnie the Pooh.A bit worn out but its beat-up look makes it more alive like The Velveteen Rabbit.

From, I found out that that this painting was a collaboration of married couple Michael and Inessa Garmash, "born in Ukraine and Russia, respectively," and who "both exhibited artistic talents from a young age. As a boy, Michael entered and won many youth art competitions, and ultimately studied fine art in college. Inessa studied art, dance, and gymnastics during her youth, and in her late teens she attended the same fine art school as Michael. The two had success as painters prior to working together, each with an interest in Romantic Impressionism.

"The Garmashes artistic collaboration began by accident. Michael Garmash was very fond of painting their two-year-old daughter, and composed a portrait of her for a competition. During his absence, the young girl found Michael’s painting and decided to make her own additions. Inessa saw her daughter’s work and did not want her husband to be upset, so she fixed the painting using her own training. She packed up the work and submitted it for the competition, where it was heavily praised as Michael’s best work. Mr. Garmash was both surprised and pleased to see the 'new' painting, and the couple has painted together ever since."

Well, yesterday evening, as we waited for Grumpa/Tats to return home from work, I turned on the TV to the Fox Family Channel and happened upon a Disney movie. And what do you know? It was The Pooh and his friends looking for the monster they called "Besoon" who they thought had kidnapped their friend Christopher Robin.  

Much later near the end, it turned out that Christopher Robin had left his forest friends a note that said he was off to school and he'd be back soon. Har de har har again there, but the humor was lost on Butones who just liked to hum The Pooh bear's song when he made an appearance. When the credits rolled up, she turned to me and said matter-of-factly, "Wala na!"

So here's to my Valentine, the old soul in a young body, Butones. I took these shots while she was busy and not too far from the computer station where I work in the morning. I asked her to also keep busy with crayons and paper, and she did, even climbing onto the bed and continuing her work. 

When her Mamay, my daughter Kimi, saw the shots, she laughed so much because Butones seemed to copy my own position on the bed when I'm handwriting something, complete with feet rubbing against each other.

Photos by Booboo
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