Date: Sunday, May 6, 2007
The Victims: Many, who shall appear sporadicaly through this story.
The Damage: Please don’t make me answer that.
The Song In My Head: Anything But Love, The Squirrel Nut Zippers
Monica has organized brunch and I would love to think is in my honour. Well, let’s just say that my arrival in town has given many people an excuse to get together at the Antique Garage in Soho to catch up. It has been another one of those gorgeous mornings and in one of those "the world is too small" perfectly unplanned moments, I am walking down Spring Street, minding my own business, when I run into Arthur (Priviet!), who is in town from Moscow for two whole days and is also coming to brunch. (Later upon my return to London in an even smaller world story, I have dinner at Salt Yard with Dan, who tells me that Arthur introduced him to his girlfriend of three years.)
Let me also admit that I’m feeling a little fragile this morning and I don’t have any Tylenol. I do not normally drink mixed drinks. But speaking honestly, I was too lazy the night before to fight my way up to the bar to order anything for myself ($10 beer anyone?), so I drank what I thought were very weak screwdrivers. Hmmm. Not so weak.
But the Antique Garage is the perfect oasis. And there is a three piece jazz band playing. And they are really very good. I could happily sit here all day. We nearly do. I feel absurdly romantic and more relaxed than I’ve been in ages.
Antique Garage is Turkish. We enjoy a couple of mixed meze platters and then quite a few of us enjoy some "dinner" salads, and I am very happy because it’s hard to get a good dinner salad in the U.K. And this one is particularly nice…it’s seared tuna with nicely marinated olives. Washed down with a perfect little mimosa. I could live here, particularly if the jazz trio would play the soundtrack to my life.
41 Mercer St
New York, NY 10013
If the morning has one of those lazy lyrical qualities to it, the afternoon is exactly the opposite. My brother and cousins come into the city for dinner, and I laugh so hard I nearly bust a gut. (My cousins are from Flatbush (Brooklyn) and you might remember that I (and my brother) grew up in the Rockaways and Long Island, and as my younger cousin Kim announces to me and anyone who will listen during our dinner, when you’re from Brooklyn, you have to be quick.) We are at a restaurant called Hell’s Kitchen on 9th, the bathrooms are co-ed, and my brother admits to using Crest Whitestrips. (Seriously, his teeth look fantastic.)
679 Ninth Ave.
New York, NY 10036
The kismet part about going to Hell’s Kitchen is that I had asked at brunch for a dinner recommendation and Hell’s Kitchen was Monica’s first suggestion, but she couldn’t remember where it was. On my way out of the hotel, I asked the concierge for a recommendation–thinking that I could also check on the address and details for Hell’s Kitchen if it made sense. But then the concierge’s recommendation WAS Hell’s Kitchen. So it was decided. Too funny.
So we enjoyed chips and guac and quesadillas and pork chops and sweet potato puree and it was all very very good. And our server was one of the best I’ve ever had. Friendly, funny, knowledgeable. Didn’t faff about. The sangria was nice–they put strawberries in it. And the company was priceless.