Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Road Warrior is Back

It's been awhile since I've posted, and much has happened over the past week. I just returned from a three-day trip to New York City for business. I kept seeing signs, "I Heart New York" and heard cabbies saying, "Oh, you're going to love the city," but you know what?

I've never felt a fondness for Gotham. It seems every time I'm there, it's cold, pissing down rain and a homeless person always seems to be cursing at the top of his or her lungs while lurching toward you down cracked and crowded sidewalks. The city seems composed of a mass of pock-marked concrete, pigeon droppings, perpetually-honking kamikaze cabbies, and 5-foot high mounds of sweaty and putrefying yellow plastic trash bags.

On the positive side, I ate well: I had an artistic and fine tapas dinner at Bolo, chef Bobby Flay's restaurant in the Flatiron District. The next night I was at Alta, another inventive tapas boite in the East Village, which was favorably reviewed recently by Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema. Then last night, I ate at Sushi Yasuda, a spare and soothing place on East 43rd. I had the most fresh, restorative and elegant sushi I've ever eaten.

I sat at the suhi counter, next to a middle-aged pharmaceutical executive from La Jolla who insisted I try a bite of his fatty tuna and scallion roll. It was delicious. Then I felt obliged to talk electoral politics with him. He's one of those undecided voters you hear so much about. He voted a straight Republican ticket for the past 12 years, but is now a bit disgusted with Bush.

Also, and more importantly, I met up with a friend from college who I haven't seen in 12 (!) years. He's doing really well, and still looks like a pup. He's a successful painter and photographer; he went to the Pratt Institute after undergraduate, and has stayed in New York ever since. It's one of my resolutions to re-connect with old friends.


  1. New York is probably much worse than Chicago -- and Chicago doesn't do it for me either. Yuck!!

    Your dining sounded heavenly. Oh how I would have loved to join you!

  2. I'm glad you met one of your old friends. I've never tried sushi, that place you described sounds great. I have always wanted to visit New York. One day I want to visit all the big cities, New York, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, etc. So NYC doesn't do it for you, eh? That's cool. I'm sure Las Vegas doesn't do it for everyone too. I've heard people complain about Vegas, but to each his own, right? :-)