Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Miss Manhattan Hangs Out...with Jocelyn Seidle

Even though Jocelyn Seidle has agreed to be my Miss Manhattan Hangs Out subject, I have a feeling I know what she’s going to say when I aim my lens at her while she’s walking on the street.

“Elyssa, you know I don’t do candid snaps!” In fact, I do know this, but Jocelyn, my friend of 18 years, knows how the project works as well, and she mercifully relents just this one time.

Arriving at her apartment in Miami, we sip coffee with sugar and almond milk and laugh while spilling the tea. Silver spoons clink against mugs large and small and laughter echoes throughout her apartment. Nearby, her dog Baxter, the derpiest pup who ever pupped, sits and stares at us, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth.

The Jocelyn I know is a stylish, hilarious lady who shows up for her friends, gives excellent advice, sends me memes via Instagram that make me laugh so hard I spit out my coffee, and, as we once decided, is “half frat boy, half Chanel handbag.” She is also a Vice President at an automotive company, the fourth of four sisters, and an aunt to her sisters’ children (“the nuggets,” as she calls them).

After coffee, we walk to Perricone’s, a nearby Italian restaurant, for brunch. “You don’t have to eat healthy this time, do you?” Jocelyn asks me. “Because the brie is amazing.” No, I’m on vacation, I say, and we order it.

Before it arrives, we nibble crusty bread with juicy bruschetta and Jocelyn sips rose. If I have an empty stomach, I have recently, embarrassingly, been getting drunk off a few sips of a glass of wine, so I decline. Jocelyn purses her lips and shakes her head as if to say, “typical Elyssa.” But she is right, so I can’t protest.

The brie arrives and in its puff pastry and warm apricot glaze, surrounded by fresh fruit, it is a vision. Jocelyn slices it open and it jiggles but doesn’t ooze. Sweet and flaky and fruity, it’s everything she said it would be and we eat half of it. We follow it up with salads.

We talk about boys, which is a weird thing to say now that we are both 30. But saying we talk about men seems like we take ourselves too seriously, which we definitely don’t and never have. She makes me laugh so hard I worry about annoying the tables next to us. But she has always done that, and I have probably always annoyed them.

Finishing up brunch, we trot back to her apartment. She brings her dark sunglasses onto her face and they catch the traffic moving behind me. Her hair flicks in the breeze on this slightly overcast day. She opens her door and is greeted by Baxter, his claws skittering and clicking across the floor.

“Hello, Mamaaa!” she imagines the dog saying in a very goofy, slightly British accent. “Oh yes, I missed you so much!”

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