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Grumpy Young Man

S and I are in NYC for the weekend. Here's a quick rundown of what we've done. (My longer post on the past weekend - where I had a near-medical emergency - is still being drafted, but it will be good.)

Met her friends at Columbus Circle, intending to enjoy a seasonably cool evening Saturday. We got burritos and a giant thing of guacamole at a nearby hole in the wall. But it started raining very lightly, what we in the Northwest would say is "not rain," so we panicked and set up shop in the Borders' cafe, not actually buying anything there. I was worried Borders Gestapo would round us up and kick us out, but everybody left us alone. Then we headed to the Hudson Library Bar, which is exactly what it sounds like - a bar inside an old library in the Hudson Hotel. Giant bookcases, leather couches, "hip" music, pool table - it was quite the ambience. And we paid up the wazoo for it - $15 per drink. A pretty fine manhattan though.

Technically this weekend was for scouting a "Gossip Girl" shoot, but sadly we didn't find any signs posted warning of filming. So we settled for taking pics of some of the better known scenes, like the school, the Met steps where they (naturally) gossip, the wedding garden and such. Having had a late breakfast of wontons and duck, courtesy of S's food-stuffing mother, we held out until lunch where we met a friend of S's at a sushi joint. We had the most nervous waiter I've ever seen - too timid to confidently grab our dishes from the table, too intrusive to simply leave us to eat until we we done. Turning Japanese, I really hope not! (Sorry, my humor has been off all weekend)

Dinner with another friend followed at an Italian place in the East Village. Strong wine, good pizza, wonderful dessert - and 20 minutes waiting for the check, with the waitress laughing it up with friends who came in to eat instead of glancing over at our petulant faces. Finally the manager came up, sensing his waitress was dawdling, and gave us the check - only to tell me "we only take American Express." At this point I was about to blow, and if my Federal Trade Commission pal had been around, I would have filed a complaint right then and there. The notice of the restriction is on the bottom of the last page of the menu in cursive - not exactly clear and conspicuous notice. Fortunately S has an Amex so she paid, while I glanced at the menu again and the manager gave me a wary look, like we might come to blows. I rebuked S for leaving a generous tip, and withheld affection for 30 minutes.

German beer followed a few blocks away with the friends of S's friend, who work together at a startup building a sort of semantic online dictionary. I suggested names throughout the night for their as-yet-unnamed product, so perhaps one day you'll see my name on an "About" page. Surprisingly good - I had the Spaten Optimator, a sweet dopplebock, and others stuck to wheats. They gave us notice right away that we'd have to move inside at 11 p.m., and the menu clearly said where we would see it "cash only." Good prices too - an all-around gem that Startup Chief said was largely overlooked in the up-and-coming neighborhood.

Now we're at Cafe Grumpy in Brooklyn, which not only reflects my general disposition but also my love of products that make me feel better than others. I'm enjoying a Kenyan cup of coffee made with the Clover, an $11,000 machine that sort of makes inverted French press coffee that is amazing. Sadly the company was recently bought by Starbucks, which has already ruined it by putting in low-quality beans and using rubber spatulas instead of wire whisks, according to Wired. But the berry flavors really come out in this cup. S is giving me "let's get out of here" looks and resting her head. so that's where this ends.

Catch you on the (dorky finger gesture) flip side.

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