When we first moved to New York 11 years ago, it was into a lovely, and affordable, duplex in Fort Greene.
One evening after we had lived there for a few months, we found a bottle of wine by the door with a note that said, “Sorry for the noise. Enjoy the wine! Your new neighbors from upstairs.”
We didn’t realize someone had moved in, but we loved the gesture and decided we had to share the bottle.
We went upstairs, knocked on the door and met a lovely young couple. She was studying for a master’s degree in psychology and he was an illustrator for magazines. They accepted our invitation to join us downstairs.
I only had peanuts to offer as a snack, and I placed a large bowl on the coffee table in front of them. I noticed they didn’t touch it the whole evening.
About a year later they moved to another part of Brooklyn, to a larger place where they could start and raise a family. We lost track of them after that.
Then, one day at the Strand I recognized the illustrators name on several graphic novels. Delighted, I bought a couple of them and went back home. They turned out to be autobiographical, and in one of them described severe allergic reactions peanuts.
I don’t offer them to guests anymore.