Distracted From My Mission   4 comments

I was on a mission, an advance party charged with finding a restaurant. I had several criteria. Since we would be attending a 7 PM music event on the West Side of Manhattan immediately afterwards, it had to be in the vicinity of West 72nd Street, and since it was early September, which is technically late summer, we preferred it have outdoor cafe seating.

Normally I’d let my  fingers do the walking and make reservations on Open Table, but since my train got in at 4-ish, and we planned to eat at 5:30, which is early by New York standards, I knew I’d have no trouble finding a place. I decided to walk over from Grand Central and take a look in person

Well, it didn’t take long for me to become totally distracted I had progressed but one block  when all it took was one well-displayed sign in a store window.

DSCN2029I knew what a variance was, having sought the help of my friendly town building department in pinpointing the location of my septic system years ago. I was told a variance had been issued for it. That was all they know

“what’s that mean?” I asked.

“It’s an exception to the rule.”

Curious to see what was going on after hours, I turned the corner and proceeded to the next sign.

DSCN2028Ooooooh, gross

DSCN2032Of course I had to make my way around the entire building

DSCN2030Is the whole thing rat-infested?

I finally tore myself away and proceeded onward when total panic struck. My heart rate actually increased. Had I crossed the border into a parallel world? Into another dimension? I stepped back. Here I was on the corner of 50th Street and Fifth Avenue, but where was St Patrick’s Cathedral? Had aliens absconded with it? I mean where could a cathedral that took up a square block disappear to?  I took a few deep breaths to calm myself, and stepped back to logically assess the situation. There had to be a logical explanation. And there it was.

DSCN2035I was on the corner of 50th Street

DSCN2036but not Fifth Avenue

So distracted had I been by the rat poison sign, that in my desire to explore, I’d turned north a block early onto Madison Avenue without even realizing.

But time was a-wasting, and I was on a mission. I gradually wound my way north and west when ……..what was this? It was a typical Halal food cart but I’d never seen so many people lined up at a pushcart. DSCN2037

I decided to research the matter scientifically and do some comparisons.

DSCN2042right next door

DSCN2044across the street

DSCN2043on the next block

Even an ice cream truck just as people were getting out of work on a hot evening proved to be no competition.

DSCN2045But maybe that’s because it wasn’t Mr Softee.

(If you’re not a New Yorker, you don’t know that after years of luring successive generations of children out of their homes for soft serve ice cream cones with its annoying music, Mr Softee raised such ire that a newer prissier New York City issued noise restrictions targeting the trucks during the reign of King Giuliani)

But oh my goodness, time was a-wasting.

Well I managed to find a few restaurants then proceeded on to meet my friends on our agreed-upon corner. They suggested a restaurant they’d passed on the way over from the Museum of Natural History, where they’d spent the afternoon. And what are the odds? Of all the restaurants on the West Side, it was the one at the top of my list!

End of story.

Well, not quite. A few weeks later I found an article about the opening of Urban Space Vanderbilt, a new upscale midtown food court…..

UrbanSpace-Vanderbilt-630x420

index

right down the street from the rat building.

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4 responses to “Distracted From My Mission

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  1. I charge you to see the movie “Ratatouille” about a very cute rat who lives in Paris and is a great chef!

  2. I find it easily be become distracted, these days! Ha! I did not know about the ‘noise restrictions’ targeted at ice cream trucks. What a shame 😦 What’s an ice cream truck without it’s annoying music???

  3. That comment should have read, I find it easy to become distracted these days! Forgive me, it’s been a long week….

  4. I love New York, and envy you living there! I’ve subscribed in hopes that you write more articles like this!

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