Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuesday morning/afternoon in the city

Monday was largely successful--flight departed on time; arrived at LGA and found the right bus to jump on; met a girl to help get me on the appropriate subway; found a spot/beer for lunch; napped; walked to Daniel and had an amazing meal.
Yes, Monday, in New York, was successful.
I had hoped to wake up early, Tuesday, and run at Central Park. Unfortunately, I was recovering from the 1/2 marathon on Sunday and my body needed rest. I woke up at 9. In reality, had I been in Denver, 7 o'clock is the ideal time to wake. Coffee, light run, great beginning to a new day.
But, I wasn't in Denver and 9 am seemed to be late to be getting up in the city. I had a leisurely morning and then walked up to the park. Wow, what an experience! People everywhere. I entered on the south side of the park and found a bench to sit on to people watch while listening to a makeshift band of 3 play jazz music. Not bad either. There was a small crowd gathered to enjoy the performance.
I had lunch plans at Bar Boulud--compliments of my friend, Mark. Lunch had been set up for 1 pm and so I had more time to wander the city. I walked on the west side of the park and encountered several more tourists, foreigners and locals.
As it neared 1 pm, I walked towards Trump Tower since Bar Boulud was on Broadway between 60th-64th St. I saw cameras set up and knew that I was about to see some sort of filming. I continue up the block and see Jeff Goldblum and an episode of Law & Order being filmed. I still don't know the female lead's name, but I recognized Jeff Goldblum. Tall, handsome-still, and commanding.
It was funny to watch the crew touch up hair and make-up. The cast seemed used to this and didn't really alter from their performance. Cops corraled us off of the street and kept us in order, around the show. I watched for a bit and then headed on my way. There was more food to discover.
In Bar Baloud, I sat at a table. I prefer dining at the bar, but it wasn't that accessible. I was seated in a row of tables set up for 2. The space was limited. As the restaurant filled up, I watched customers try to haggle for a booth. These two ladies tried the tactic of--last time we were here, we were seated at a booth, without a reservation--yada, yada, yada...or, I really want a booth...why can't we sit there?
No, I don't want to be seated here. Fine, take me back to the front...
I noticed a community table in the back, when Daniel arrived. I think that would have been preferable to me to engage the other diners. However, I had already settled into my space.
An older couple sat to my left, and an Asian couple sat to my right. I had ordered a Duvel, belgian beer, and the croque madame sandwich. Mark had suggested it. I knew it was rich and would be overwhelming, but I wanted a gourmet sandwich. A croque madame is a ham and cheese sandwich with bechamel sauce, topped with an over easy egg. Delicious, yes, rich, of course, and I ate as much as I could of it. Truly, the sandwich was too much for me. I ordered a rose', midway through the meal.
The Asian couple chose the exact same sandwich, each of them, had the croque madame. They ate the entire plate, essentially, as I watched in awe. Seriously, the sandwich was filling. The woman drank water as her companion drank a fruit inspired soda drink. He had an appetizer, as she watched him eat. I was surprised that they finished the croque madame.
The older couple seemed standoffish and not happy to be dining together if that makes sense. They appeared obligatory diners until after the meal. I always think it is odd when one person orders a drink while the other drinks water, undecided, until after the server has completely walked away. I watched this happen with them. The man chose a beer and the woman, sat patiently until after they had ordered their respective meals. Eventually, she requested the drink menu, again, to decide on a beverage.
The man finished his sandwich and the woman picked at her meal. She placed her silverware across the plate and the server tried to take the plate away and she became indignant--I am not finished!
It seemed ridiculous since she hadn't touched the plate in a while and her silveware indicated that she wanted her plate taken.
I do enjoy watching other people's dining experiences.
They stood out, to me, because they did begin a conversation with me prior to their departure. They asked me if it was my first time in the city and recommended a few places to check out. They said, Jean George, which was in the Trump Tower or an oyster bar in Grand Central Station. Apparently, there are 30 different types of oysters to choose from. Intrigued, it almost became an option for me. Next trip, for sure. They suggested seeing a matinee or a show of sort. I wish I had made time to go to the theatre, but I had not. I was too focused on the food.
Before I left Bar Boulud, I thanked Daniel, again, for the lovely experience at his restaurant. He appeared gracious and kind.
They brought me a simple dessert and I had coffee. The dessert was perfect--light, and the coffee, I enjoyed.

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