Monday, April 26, 2010
Somehow, I could not wake up before nine in New York. Running at Central Park eluded me for the second straight day in a row.
I showered, got a cup of coffee at Cosi and headed up Park Avenue towards the Brooklyn Bridge. My intention was to walk across it, or on it, and release some of Brian's ashes. I try to do take him, with me, everywhere I travel. I like the idea of water and felt that that bridge would be the ideal spot. That or the Empire State building. Still, the bridge beckoned.
I walked up Broadway and saw Strand's bookshop. My foodie/wine friend, Huston, had mentioned how fantastic that book store was. I wanted to check it out after I made it to the bridge.
I kept heading up Broadway and saw many stores, coffee shops, restaurants. Each area was so lively.
Finally, at the bridge, I started my walk across it. There were people selling bottled water, key chains, t-shirts. Plus, all of the tourists that, like me, were searching for the ideal spot to take a photo.
The Brooklyn Bridge is over water, of course, but the pedestrian walkway is in the center of the road. The water is near the walkway, but it isn't like walking over the Golden Gate Bridge. I thought about releasing the ashes at Central Park or elsewhere, but for whatever reason, it seemed right to continue with my original plan. I encountered a square walkway which served as a more in depth look out point. I felt peaceful and so I released the ashes. I had a girl take my photo and I took a few moments to myself to feel peace in my heart.
Afterwards, I walked back to Manhattan and was determined to go to the World Trade Center site. I walked past the turn off and saw that I was at the Staten Island Ferry. I entered the building and saw the Statue of Liberty, in the distance. It was a brilliant site, but I was uninterested in the ferry to Staten Island. Hunger pains dictated my next course of action.
I did find the WTC site. Eerie, and melancholy. The energy around it forced me to hurry and not linger in the area. It felt sad. so sad.
I walked past several vendors and almost stopped for felafel or a hot dog. However, I knew that I was near Colicchio & Sons. I wanted to go there.
I walked past Strand's. Opportunity missed. Food was needed.
I turned at Union Square and headed into the Chelsea. The streets were longer and a little more residential. People were present, but it wasn't as chaotic as walking up Park or Broadway.
I walked across 7th Avenue and noticed an internet cafe. I knew that I would definitely make a stop there. I wanted to check my e-mail and reconnect with technology. The Roosevelt wanted 37 cents a minute which seemed spendy. I wanted to see how the cafe would compare.
I walked into Colicchio & Sons and headed towards the bar. It was late and the restarant didn't have many diners. I looked over the menu and a few items stood out. Octopus and Potato appetizer. Pork sandwich. Mortadella, gouda, and ramp pizza.
I knew that I would dine with Muni, later, and didn't know how heavy I wanted to eat at lunch. The octopus was out since I had the exact same arrangement at Motorino. The pork sandwich, well, I have had some bad experiences with pork and so although, I was interested, it wasn't enough to tempt me into ordering it.
I asked the bartender his opinion. He said, the octopus or the pork are both fantastic! I continued to decide, but ordered a kolsch to drink.
They had a wonderful beer selection--draft and bottled. I commented on that and Brent, the bartender, said--yes, we hear that often.
I chose the pizza. I like ramps. I like mortadella and gouda. What could go wrong with that combination?
In NYC and Chicago--I have noticed--solo diners are asked if they are interested in reading the paper while in the bar. I like that. There is something to be said about noticing the details of service.
I read about the food network and chatted up Brent. Picking at the pizza, I ordered a rose' to accompany the pizza. It sounded good.
Midway through lunch, I look up and notice Bobby Flay sitting at the bar. I almost fall over. I mean, honestly, I had hoped that Colicchio would be in his restaurant. I would have been the annoying fan, to him, but of course, he is filming Top Chef Washington and in and out of Colicchio & Sons. Flay, not a big fan of his.
He ordered the exact same pizza, I had, and kept to himself and his dining partner. I had no intention of approaching him. I knew that he wanted to enjoy his lunch and I am not enamored with him. He appears pompous on tv and smug, in person. I did text Tiffany and Casey to let him know that misfortune or celebrity sitings. They both laughed and Casey responded with--I know how much you love Bobby.
In all fairness, I did dine at Masa Grill in Vegas and it was great. I enjoyed the cocktails and brunch. I just wasn't interested in approaching him.
He left and left a nice tip for Brent. I concluded my time with a glass of shiraz. Again, nostalgia ruled. I had a glass from the Barossa and continued to think over dinner options with Brent, a few servers and the other solo diner at the bar. Beacon was suggested along with some restaurant in the Mandarin Hotel. The view, supposedly, was stunning.
Finally, I decided to leave and enjoy the sunshine. Truly, I could have stayed at the restaurant since I was enjoying myself, too much. Had I, I definitely wouldh't have made it to dinner.