After leaving the bySMITH Collection photo shoot before it even happened, I hustled about twenty blocks north and three avenues east for the engagement lunch of one of my closest friends, Vanessa Angeles to her girlfriend and now fiance, Christina Colon. The event was held at La Petite Maison, the famed import from Nice, France housed in the lower level of the old Rockefeller Townhouse on West 54th Street.

I was initially nervous for the lunch because Vanessa asked me to give the toast for the event. I have a feeling this is partly because I’ve kept her up for hours asking for critiques on many of my posts here. Luckily the friendly staff and event planner, Ted Martinez  put me at ease with h’orderves and instructions before the festivities actually began.

As people slowly made their way in, I eventually made my way out and found my dear friend, operatic soprano, Suzanne Vinnik walking towards the restaurant. We quickly caught up after nearly 9 months of not seeing each other before being joined by pianist, Sakura Myers.

I had originally written a long, gushy toast about how I unknowingly met Vanessa years ago at Carnegie Hall when a bunch of us now close friends went to see Measha Brueggergosman sing, but after sharing my words with the diva and the critic, I shortened it to a much simpler toast so everyone could sip their Moet faster.

What I will say now, is that just when I think I’ve figured the people in my life out, they completely surprise and amaze me. That isn’t to say I had pegged Vanessa to be the perpetually single girl on Wall Street, but I didn’t foresee the recent and wonderful path she’s taken coming, at least not for quite some time.

So after a full lunch of fabulous French cuisine and catching up with some of the people I’m most thankful for in a juxtaposed “Old Meets New World” setting, I looked over to Suzanne inquisitively after hearing my name.

“Jacob- do you have your passport?”