Last night was the first Friday night I've had off, aside from my vacation, since January 1st. I know, great social life, hunh?!?
I wound up on the lower east side at this really homey, eclectic (odd combination, right) Italian place. My friend and I met around 9 and the place was packed. The bar is on the left side of the restaurant and some really narrow tables on the right...the only way to make it to the back was to squeeze through this approximately 18 inch wide opening...thank god I skipped lunch, haha. We made out way to the back, put in our name, were told the wait was 35 minutes. Hey, not bad for a Friday night. We grabbed drinks and sat outside on the patio to wait. 45 minutes later, they called us, literally. This place takes your cell phone number!
We squeezed back through the 18 inch passage way and were taken through this small doorway to another part of the restaurant. Equally crowded, as the open kitchen took up more than 1/2 of the space. looking around, I was ratter bewildered as to where we would be seated, can we say full house? But because this city never ceases to amaze me, out host sat us at the bar/counter looking into the kitchen. Talk about a first class seat! The sights and smells were more than enough to offset that fact that were sharing this amazing view with 2 other people resulting in each of us with about 8 inches of personal space. Food was great, service was great, all in all a good way to spend a Friday night.
Only draw back to the night was our location. It's a haul from the UES to the LES...a 35 minute bus ride or a 20 minute subway ride plus a walk. I took the bus down, and figured I'd take the subway home. I get onto the packed 6 train and hold on for dear life...all the while thinking, AMEN that I have some purell in my purse. After 42nd Street the train cleared out. As I'm sitting there I look straight, to be met by an angry stare from a crazed woman dressed all in white; I look to the left to be glared back at by a thuggish guy all decked out in lots of gold bling; I look to the right and suddenly feel uncomfortable as this Mexican is looking me up and down. That's when I decided that I'd just look down at people's feet. After about 2 minutes of sizing up every one's shoes, I was already bored. And that's when I looked up and started reading all the advertisements: "Phoenix University", "Viagra: The Little Blue Pill", "Learn English in Comforts of your home" (wait, why is that sign written in Enlgihs???), "Depression and Anxiety Study", etc, etc. That's when it hit me. They don't put up all these ads to get a point across, they do it to help people like me feel less awkward. Sweet!
My night was topped off when I walked up to my building behind this guy and girl. They sort of paused outside the door, like they were hesitating. Thinking maybe they lost their keys in a drunken stupor, or that they were looking for a certain apartment to buzz, I asked, "Do you need to be let in?". Then with a straight face the guy looks right at me and says, "Nope, We're just waiting for you tro pass so we can make out for a while." I chuckled and thought, "you're a good man pal, a good man."
And with that, I entered the building tucked my little self into bed, all the while thinking...this is why I love New York.