Monday, November 17, 2008

An A-mazing Friday Night

Friday night, I had the unexpected pleasure of catching up with my good friend, actor A Martinez. A was in town for his second recurring stint on ABC’s “One Life to Live.”

A Martinez as villainous Ray Montez in a scene from ABC-TV's "One Life to Live"

As I mentioned in August, A and I became friends when we met at the Daytime Emmy Awards back in 1988, during his heyday as the heroic lead character on another soap opera, NBC’s “Santa Barbara.” Over the course of the last two decades, we’ve shared many memorable meals together and Friday was no exception.

A and I had dinner at Coppola’s on the Upper West Side. A cozy, moderately-priced bistro, Coppola’s has been serving up brick oven pizza and homestyle Italian fare for nearly 20 years.

Coppola's West: A cozy slice of Italian charm on NYC's Upper West Side

While I savored roasted tilapia over paglia e fieno pasta complemented by a glass of Chardonnay, A enjoyed chicken Milanese and we shared a sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert.

Our conversation covered everything from this year’s historic presidential election and Obama’s brilliant use of the Internet in engaging Americans of all ages, to coping with the departure of a beloved co-worker. I told A about my PR colleague and dear friend, Morty, whose upcoming exit will leave an enormous void in my workday. A empathized, having gone through the same experience when his “Santa Barbara” leading lady of seven years left the show several months before he did.

After we hugged each other goodbye, I was surprised to check the time and discover that four and a half hours had gone by. That’s the wonderful thing about good friends -- you can always pick up right where you left off.

Be sure to catch A when he turns up on OLTL again as villainous Ray Montez. His scenes are slated to air at the end of December.

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