Years ago there used to be a nice and swanky cigar lounge in Grammercy Park section of Manhattan called ‘Aubette’. I used to enjoy going to this bar and having a scotch, the atmosphere in this bar was very mellow and interesting. They had a giant stone slab above the main bar, and the following description on the stone,
“Why not, like a banqueter fed full of life, withdraw with contentment and rest in peace, you fool?” – De Rerum Natura
I was very intrigued by this stone, and asked around what ‘De Rerum Natura’ was. This was the great book on our physical universe written by a great Roman poet and scholar, Lucretius sometime in 1st century AD. Its funny to say this now, but this bar stone that had this description is what got me very interested in Greek and Roman classics, and I began devouring them voraciously, everything from Livy to Plato to Gibbon.
Besides the stone, this bar also had a beautiful green oil painting in the cigar smoking section. The painting showed a Sonoran gray wolf, sitting on a desert plain, looking out towards the horizon, smoking a large joint and thinking about life. There was something entrancing about that painting that even now I cannot forget. So this Lupus cannabisus is a cartoonish homage to that painting.