Thursday, June 22, 2006

On the town

Your aging Enchilada went on a night out on the town the likes of which she hadn't seen in quite a while, since she has been leading a relatively monastic existence in the service of this blog (not).

The evening started at the NY Public Library, with a sold-out talk by Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain and Bill Buford, all of them charmingly shilling their new books about cooking. It was a lot of fun, because they all are smart and sassy and articulate. Bourdain was a great moderator, and very funny. I love the way Buford writes about food in the New Yorker. He is delightful. And Molto Mario is intense and immense. A crowd of psyched New York foodies, by the way, is something to behold.

All those mentions of lard and duck fat made me hungry. We tried having dinner at Virgil's BBQ. I thought that at 8:30 pm it would be relatively free of tourists (who I assumed would be sitting their asses down at the overpriced Broadway show of their choice). I was mistaken. It was a mob in there, so we ended up at Ollie's, a marvel of slow but inexorable decline and a temple of Chinese greasy goop. However, a high point of the evening was that Wallace Shawn was waiting for a table at Virgil's (who knew?), looking very dapper in a black sweater and I told him that I love his play "Aunt Dan and Lemon". He beamed me a huge smile of surprise and relief that I wasn't bothering him about The Princess Bride.

So after unspeakably greasy and salty beef with broccoli and shrimp fried rice, we went down to Passersby, on W15st. The patrons at that early hour in the evening looked like a convention of golfers and CPAs from across the river, so we bolted and, to our surprise, voluntarily and with no one pointing a gun at our heads, walked south towards the much dreaded Meatpacking District, which was packed with the meat of many a ditz and a slut and B&Tunnelers and skeezy guys.
I remembered a friend told me about a place with a lovely patio, and sure enough we found it on Little W12, an oasis of calm and slightly better taste where we paid 16 buckaroos for a shot of Patron Gold (OUCH). It is armed robbery, but it is a testament to good tequila that it seemed worth the price. My companion observed that I was paying about two bucks a sip.
Then we met with lovely people from out of town who are here for the BDA conference (I don't know what that stands for exactly, but they are all motion graphics designers and animators).
We crossed the street to try (without begging. I wait behind no velvet rope for more than 5 minutes) to get into Buddha Bar, where a small gaggle of supplicants was attempting to arouse the compassion of two humongous bouncers. One of my friends, a natural charmer, spoke to the bouncer, said we were from MTV, technically not totally a lie, and too long a story to explain here. Bouncer asked for a business card. Card was produced, showing not MTV but a very cool animation studio. Upon which the bouncer said, and I quote: "Give me a hug". Turns out that the two human armored vehicles who guard the Buddha Bar love animation, so they were super sweet to us thereafter.
Buddha Bar is a striking looking place, populated by a lot of Ashlee Simpson and Paris lookalikes and the fat ugly rich obnoxious guys who buy them drinks. The second shot of the night must have cost twice as much there. I tried it chilled, but I hate when they serve you tequila in a tumbler. Hate it. Tequila is served in a shot glass called a caballito. I learned that chilled tequila is good for when you need endurance. The music at Buddha Bar was eurotrashy but borderline decent.
For some reason we went back to Passersby where we ran into a bunch of lovely friends. By then the golfers had decamped for other pastures. The music was a good mix of funk and punk. We proceeded to close the place down near 4 am. Today I woke up with a horrid cigarrette hangover (but not the other kind) and a black mood due to lack of sleep.
But I loved every minute of it, mainly because I kept threatening to go home all night long.

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