I know I've gotten a lot older since the last time I was living in New York. You know how I know? Let me tell you: everyone around me is twenty ("why are we at THIS bar?"), they're totally too loud ("can't we go to a more civilized bar?"), they're wearing all the stupid neon stuff I did when I was twelve (the tattoo on her leg totes clashed with the green on her skirt, can we go to the next bar?") and there are bike lanes everywhere ("please don't hit me when I walk right out in front of you without looking when I'm leaving the bar"). When did this happen? When did I actually pay good money for CROCS and am I in the early stages of dementia since when I bought this footwear abomination I was stupid enough to get a pedicure first? My feet are already totally ruined from trying the crocs on and from walking about 100 miles in flip flops over the last few days while I gathered up my new gear (a gorgeous santoku knife, among other things) for my stage. I'm kind of a moron. As Arash commented on one of my Facebook status updates, "what kind of person gets a pedicure before the do slave labor in a kitchen?" Me, that's who. And I don't even get to enjoy it for ten minutes before I screw it up.
But today is special because today is day one of my stage at an amazing restaurant in the West Village. The Magical Kim Merlin invited me to breakfast as a sendoff into this adventure this morning, and, true to her awesome form, we wound up at Balthazar, which in my 32 years of coming to and living in New York, I had never been to. It was decadent, to say the very least. I loved both the eggs en cocotte (the ten minutes of bake time is totally worth it) and the eggs benedict and I'm now the proud owner of a gigantic basket of pastries that I carried eighteen blocks home in the rain, clutched desperately to my chest so they wouldn't get soggy.
There was even a few rolls of thunder as I was trudging up 1st Avenue, and instead of feeling angry about getting caught in the deluge, I was thrilled. It's been months and months of sunshine back in LA and this was the perfect cleansing. I wished my parched bamboo back home could have had such a treat.