While dining at upscale Bouchon restaurant in the Venetian, TB noticed a woman she thought she recognized seated behind me enjoying dinner with a white guy with dreadlocks. She leaned toward me and asked if the woman over my right shoulder looked familiar. I turned my head casually and saw a face I had grown accustomed to seeing on a weekly basis around this time of year during the last four-odd years. It was indeed Sonja Sohn. I would later learn, through my incomparable Wikipedia referencing skills, the gentleman with her was her husband, Australian musician Adam Plack.
Fans of the hit HBO series, The Wire, know her as the inimitable Shakima “Kima” Greggs. In fact, that is who TB and I remembered her as until we consulted with Sister Char via a quick telephone call—TB actually knew her first name but couldn’t recall her surname. Char replied with her government name instantly: She has been a Sonja Sohn fan since her role as Lauren Bell in Slam. Regrettably, I had forgotten all about Slam but I remember vividly TB and I having our first introduction to Ms. Sohn and The Wire during a marathon DVD-watching session while on our honeymoon in 2004. We literally sat in the bed for hours, under mosquito netting on Benguerra Island, Mozambique, captivated by the characters and storyline unfolding in front of our eyes on the laptop screen.
Benguerra Island is in the Indian ocean off the coast of Mozambique and Marlin Lodge, where we stayed, was powered by generator. As a result, the little bit of electricity available was used for cooking, AC and basic lighting. There wasn’t much to do (“no TVs, no telephones, no snacks, no stores, very little ice and minimal refrigeration”) once the sun went down except relax and hang out together. It was perfect.
Ms. Sohn and her husband were just finishing their meal as we prepared to leave. TB and I ambled up to their table, determined not to miss an opportunity to express our appreciation of her work which has provided us hours of entertainment since Mozambique. Both were very warm and down-to-earth and she seemed genuinely appreciative to receive TB’s kind words. I remained in the background nodding and smiling. Ms. Sohn caught both TB and me by surprise when she asked our names and reached out to shake our hands. She asked if we enjoyed our dinner and told us to be sure we watch tomorrow night. We bid them a good evening and were off.
The timing of our meeting could not have been more appropriate. The Wire comes to an end with the final episode airing tomorrow night. If you aren’t already a fan, go grab the DVDs from Netflix or Blockbuster. It really is a quality show composed of quality people like Ms. Sohn.
(Bouchon is excellent. I’ve dined there twice now. The food is exquisite, the service impeccable, the vibe divine. Try the monkfish and French green lentils entree if it is on the dinner specials menu. Have their signature pomme frites as an appetizer. Make a reservation.)