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.