Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Great Big Heapings of Humble Pie for Everyone!

Photo illustration by the NY Times

I guess the picture says it all.

Or at least that's what Frank Bruni thinks is happening now in the NY restaurant world, which is nice to customers all of a sudden.
I remember trying to make a reservation at Nobu many years ago. You had to call about a month and a half in advance, but no sooner than that. You were asked to hold on for hours and then you'd talk to a reservationist that seemed to have been trained by the SS. You were told a set or rules you had to comply with, like actually giving out your credit card number and calling yourself to confirm, or you were verboten. I almost expected them to tell me to shine my boots and clean my rifle before arriving. It was a horrifying process (though the treatment once at the restaurant was fine.)
I hope indeed that times have changed. Meanwhile, I never went back to Nobu.
I hope that all those restaurants who have snotty welcome staff, reservationists from hell and rude service (and absurdly high prices) and who treat customers as if they could afford to lose them, I hope they gag on their own food.
Restaurants are courting customers, but who wants to spend the money? Everything is there for the taking and we just don't want it, or we can't afford it or it doesn't feel right. Hence, we're eating quesadillas at home. Not that prices at the supermarket are not insane. The Morton Williams down the street from me is armed robbery. I think it's cheaper to dine at Per Se.

You know what? There is always Chinatown, where you eat like a king for babkes.

Stores are giving stuff away, and still one doesn't have the gumption to buy. Last week I ran into three Mexicans in NY. What possessed them to come to NY in the middle of freezing winter? The shopping. They were so having a ball with the shopping, they didn't mind the cold, which is unusual for Mexicans.
I just bought a pair of Helmut Lang pants at Bloomingdale's for $126 reduced from like $400. I could not resist. I'm sure I'm never going to wear them, but I feel like Liz Lemon in 30 Rock, who bought a wedding dress just because it was on sale.

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