Monday, January 28, 2008

Dogged Optimism

While out in the nabe the other day, I came across an interesting site - a trio of dog walkers wrangling their charges. The dogs were in groups - big dogs, medium dogs, and small and geriatric dogs. Each dog walker was responsible for a passal of at least 6 or 7 dogs. The dogs were all quite well-behaved - no infighting and no unscheduled stops. It was quite a spectacle watching three such large groups of canines galloping down 3rd avenue! I got tsk-tsk-ed by an old couple when I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to take a photo. Bad form. But the dogs brought a smile to my face. It's just not the kind of thing you see in downtown Houston.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What A Drag

After the West Side Beauty's Birthday dinner, we did a little monkeying around of her own at The Randolph at Broome We went down to the basement, where the "cool people in the know" go. Guess what we found? A basement reminiscent of "That 70s Show." And - SMOKING! I guess it's some sort of modern-day speakeasy for smokers. But there was no ventilation, and drippy pipes. Gross!

On the positive side, we did get to meet Fast Fingers Yang's Dallas-based girl-no-space-friend. Cute as a hiccup!

Monkey Shines

Attended the official celebration of the West Side Beauty's birthday Saturday night. We started the evening with an ill-fated dinner at Monkey Bar. Intrigued as we were by the coat-check guy's boast of a $3 million renovation in the dining room, we were still hard-pressed to get service at the almost empty bar. But it was a night of celebration! We let it slide when we finally received our wine, traditional martinis and lychee martinis. The West Side Beauty (with two friends in tow - one real and one imaginary), the Little Nolita Lady, and another newcomer to our girlie foursome - Ms K 2 U - all toasted with The Boy and I.

Later, we were shown into the cavernous - and empty - dining room. Sometimes when a restaurant isn't busy, you are lucky enough to get that extra bit of care and attention that makes an evening memorable. This was not one of those nights. While the food was good, it was promoted as "family style." The only way that food could have been conceived as family style is if you defined family as a couple of thumbless vegetarians. Seriously, I could have shoveled through the majority of the plates myself and only been mildly full. As it was, we ordered 3 appetizers and 4 entrees for 6 people, that left me dreaming wistfully about the delicate bouquet of a sidewalk cart hotdog.

We waited about 25 minutes for our appetizers, and about the same time for our entrees. (This was what made us begin to wonder if there honestly were monkeys in the back slinging hash for this joint.) Honestly, the service was so lacking and the food so small I just wanted to leave. So when the dessert menu came, we decided to skip it. (Note: even though there were only 2 or 3 other tables in the restaurant, they didn't have enough dessert menus for the six of us at our table. I was denied a menu of my own because it was "dirty". Hmmm.

So we decided just to pay the check.

Silly silly people.

The Boy and Ms K 2 U pored over the check and figured out the per person total. Six credit cards were offered, and the waiter and our credit cards disappeared behind the red curtain. We waited. We waited. We cracked jokes and waited some more. FINALLY the waiter reappeared.

He handed out each of the credit card receipts to be signed, and disappeared again. So we all went about signing our reciepts with the 2 pens. We had finished up and were gathering our belongings to leave when the waiter comes back and says, "Thanks and have a lovely evening. OH BY THE WAY, there is $97 that still remains unpaid on your bill." Wha?

Apparently we had inadvertently missed the bar tab on the bill. The imbecile (was he a monkey in a man suit? Perhaps.) didn't have the wherewithall to inform us of our error before he ran all of our credit cards or prior to all of us signing the receipts.

We were so pissed, whoever had cash just threw it in the pile, just so we could get out of there!

Monkey bar, indeed! The whole place is a zoo.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Youthful Indiscretions

Celebrated the West Side Beauty's triple decade last night at Ulysses in the Financial District. Then it was off to Brass Monkey in Chelsea. My assessment of the night? Another clear indicator that people over 37 shouldn't be allowed to drink to excess in public.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Only in New York

So I saw this guy when I was walking to work last week - dressed in white from head to toe, with even a white leather backpack and a white umbrella.