The World Lupus Day adventures continued... after we returned to the hotel for some rest and a quick Social Media update. Checking our Facebook status and Twitter stream, Tiffany and I were on our way to lunch. To me, World Lupus Day is a celebration of every Lupus Warrior (another name for Lupus patients), even the Lupus Warriors who are no longer here on Earth. It was meaningful to me and Tiffany that we honor the memories of the Angels in Heaven, who suffered with Lupus. Whether Flannery O'Connor, the writer; Joanne Germanotta, the aunt of Lady Gaga; or my friends from my first Lupus Support Group Heidi Rusche, Bonnie Romoff or Lillian a Facebook Friend that I will never meet because Lupus took her too soon.
Celebrating World Lupus Day in New York City was fun. I love the taxi and Central Park in the background of these pictures of me and Tiffany holding the "It's World Lupus Day!" sign.
Here we are on 68th Street and Central Park West. As we walked west, toward Columbus Avenue and our destination. I had a moment where I realized that I was walking down the street and I was not alone. Yes, Tiffany was with me, but I suddenly felt the spirits and angels of other Lupus Warriors, who have traveled the Lupus journey. I saw small purple flowers. There were two butterflies that circled a tree as we approached the red awning that reads "Joanne Trattoria" I knew something special was about to happen and indeed it did.
The red awning beckoned us to our "World Lupus Day" lunch at Joanne Trattoria. Arik, the host said "Hello" and upon checking our Urban Spoon reservation said "Lupus Awareness is fun. Lupus is not." What a welcome! That's when I saw the picture of Joanne. I took a moment to pray for her and all those who have suffered from Lupus. Then I asked if I could take this picture...
Time to celebrate with Prosecco, an orchid and a Lady Gaga Mua Mua doll purchased from Gaga's Workshop at Barney's. The ambiance was warm, lovely and elegant. Perfect for any occasion yet especially special for me as Tiffany and I realized how blessed we are to be here to fight the battle against Lupus.
Here's to the ones who are gone. Here's to the ones still fighting the Lupus battle. Here's to good health and thriving with Lupus. Here's to us!
We were chatting with Stephen, so Arik the host and Chef Frank had to bring out our lunch. That's impeccable service!
The scallops were sumptuous. (I now know why foodies photograph every bite.)
My soft shell crab sandwich was deliciously perfect. I could not believe how the crab melted in my mouth in such a way that it was as if the sandwich knew it was "World Lupus Day" and said "Amanda wants a party let's give her a party!"
The classic from Chef Art Smith is known for is his Macaroni and Cheese. Sometimes, a chef's dish is overrated, but not this time. The Macaroni and Cheese oozed with cheesy goodness and made me feel so good, the true definition of "comfort food!"
Tiffany ordered the salmon, and it was divine. The heirloom potatoes were purple, in honor of "World Lupus Day" no doubt. It was sublime. Of course, we shared. When the food is as good as it is at Joanne's sharing is caring. The celebration continued after the lunch dishes had been cleared Chef Frank surprised us with another Chef Art Smith classic, bread pudding. Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph it because I ate it first! Trust me, totally delectable and delicous!
We had to pull ourselves away from the table, our "World Lupus Day" lunch had come to an end. Have you ever had high expectations and then those expectations were exceeded? That is what our lunch at Joanne's was. We thought it would be special, little did we know it would be amazing.
Here is a picture of three Lupus Warriors... Joanne Germanotta, Amanda Greene and Tiffany Peterson. Proof that "Lupus Awareness is fun. Lupus is not."
We are grateful to the Germanotta family and the staff (who made us feel like family) at Joanne's. Especially Stephen who coined the phrase "Welcome to Joanne's where moments happen." I had more than a few moments, from joyous smiles to teary eyes, during lunch. Living with Lupus is like that, you never know what you are going to get. How can I ever thank you for creating such a beautiful and memorable lunch for us on May 10, 2012!
With love and dreams of next time,
P.S. The next time is going to be on June 23rd at 11:30am for Saturday Brunch celebrating the 140 Conference and the "Lupus Ladies of Twitter" Check out the Facebook page to join the event! Remember "Joanne's where moments happen."