Sunday, April 5, 2009

Night out

We rarely go out to fancy dinners in NYC--for two reasons, really. Neither of us is a real "foodie." I mean, we recognize good food from bad, of course, but our palates are not extremely sophisticated. (How many Americans' are?) And second, it is very expensive to eat at anyplace more than a diner, basically!

But last night we made an exception and accepted an invitation by Mary's colleague and friend, Pierre, to go to dinner with him and a few other people: a friend of his from California, Christine; his cousin Vincent, in town on a business trip; and two of Vincent's friends (whom Pierre had not met): Paul and Stephanie.

It turned out to be a very nice evening. We really enjoyed meeting some new people, and you couldn't have asked for a nicer group to hang out with for a few hours. Vincent and Paul both work in finance; Stephanie (Paul's fiancee) works in a relatively new field, which is marketing for law firms.

We ate at Craftbar, near Union Square, which is owned by the bald judge on Top Chef (Tom something-or-other). The food was good, but pricey--it is New York, after all. The wine was a bit more notable than the food, in Mary's opinion. Afterwards we went to the West Village to a very nice bar called Ditch Plains (the name seems to refer to a surfing spot off Long Island). Mary actually flew solo for this part of the evening; Jeff had gone home already to rest up for a long bike ride Sunday.

Anyway, the previous night, Pierre and Christine had spent some time in the bar sitting right next to Kiefer Sutherland. Alas, no celebrities appeared while we were there Saturday night. But we did enjoy some crackling conversation.

Mary would like to take a moment here to dispel a myth, one which--if all the transit cuts go through--may prove to be true soon! But for right now, it is a myth that it is completely unsafe to ride the subway late at night, at least to where we live (yes, even to the Bronx!). At 2:30 am, the subway was filled with people. When Mary got off the subway, as usual there were police cars nearby because the stop at 242nd is right near the train yard.

We do wonder, with all the budget cuts to the MTA and the police force, how the city will change in the next couple of years. What always amazes us, too, is how little Bush was willing to do for New York City after 9/11. The whole way the money for increased security was doled out ... remember that? And with the recession and all the ensuing problems, it seems like this city is in for a drastic change.

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