My father rather wistfully got me a wicker picnic basket, complete with its own cloth napkins and salt and pepper shakers two years ago. This would have been an ideal gift if I lived in the same country as him, and didn't have to then lug it home on a plane with me, amongst my other English gifts and purchases. I couldn't carry it that journey (because of all my Topshop shopping) and my friend Karen graciously brought it over the next time she had a job in New York.
So at the opportunity of having a picnic in the park to listen to Manu Chao live, I insisted we bring the picnic basket with us, you know, for Karen. Michael grumbled the whole way there (it was heavy with all the food, china plates, rosé in a thermos) that it was absolutely unnecessary. I insisted he was just upset that he didn't have the E Type Jaguar to put it in. It would have sweetened the deal a little, but the F Train had to suffice for now.
Manu Chao tends to conjure the image of backpackers milling around English bars in Thailand, and thus a slight wincing feeling in me. But that's ok when you're sitting in the park with a picnic in Thailand-like weather. I'm not sure I would have felt the same standing in line for hours on a day when the heat nears the 100° mark. Quite honestly, it just felt like we were listening to the Clandestino CD with a canned crowd in the background, but no matter. Perhaps it would have been different if we were in the canned crowd. We were too busy tucking into grilled flank steak sandwiches with homemade aioli, arugula and ciabatta and some orzo salad and some lovely dark and stormies that Jen made. We finished it off with some delicious nectarine cakes , Manu Chao bouncing around in the background.