NYC Day 3

Marty left for a couple of days in Washington DC on his own at this point so it was just us and John for a few days.

Early this morning I found out my grandfather is in hospital, critically ill so I didn’t feel like busting a gut trying to get us our the door and on the subway to visit the Brooklyn Tabernacle as planned. Instead Burfit and I wandered around downtown, saw some of the Rockefeller Centre and visited St Patrick’s Cathedral. We each lit a candle for Pa and spent some time in prayer.*

If you find yourself in Manhattan and you’re hungry and feeling out of sorts, one solution is to go to the first Indian restaurant you see, regardless of the fact that it’s deserted and it’s 15 mins prior to closing time (in our defence, we didn’t know what their hours were – just that they were open).

This was one of the most bizarre dining experiences I’ve had. Ever.

It was a huge room with mirrored walls so we felt very conspicuous. The waiters outnumbered us by about 5:1 and would pace slowly up and down like Gestapo in a WWII prison camp. Maybe they were just monitoring the water situation but it was quite suffocating and we didn’t feel comfortable talking too loudly (especially since what we wanted to talk about was our current situation). Our assigned waiter was extremely attentive and intense. It seemed as though every decision we made about what to order was a terrible disappointment to him because we didn’t take any of his suggestions. Even the suggestions he made about ordering naan… twice. We felt pressured to keep him happy with us so we tried to pronounce our choices as carefully as possible. Burfit did quite well but when he turned to me I lost my nerve and ordered Lamb Prasada instead of Pasanda. He stared at me for the longest time until I resorted to pointing at my selection on the menu. What an ample dunce I am. He made me pronounce it correctly before he wrote my order down and left us alone for all of 2 minutes.

He brought our papadums with some sort of green relish (which was very tasty) but then decided we needed mango relish as well. I smiled and assured him this green one was just fine but he kept on smiling back and telling me he thought I needed the mango one as well. I told him no thank you, this one is delicious and he eventually backed down. But moments later he was back. Not with mango relish but with a glass, half full of water, which contained carrot, celery and zucchini sticks. He told us, “You’ll like to eat it – all of it”. So we smiled nervously and started chomping away, wondering what would happen to us if we disobeyed.

When our meals arrived I shouldn’t have been too surprised that we weren’t permitted to serve ourselves. He carefully arranged the rice on our plates then set about dishing out our curry. How does he know what proportion of rice to curry I want? But I didn’t want any trouble so I kept my mouth shut and smiled awkwardly some more.

Odd atmosphere and strange intense waiter aside, the food was spectacular. Burfit even went so far as to say that his Chicken Tikka Masala was better – better – than the revered Chicken Tikka Masala we order from Sitar back home. The nerve. My lamb was pretty damn good too. Burfit decided to order some more rice (which pleased The Attentive One) and of course he insisted on dishing it out. He looked at me hopefully and when I politely declined, he looked a bit put out and said, “Okay, just one spoon?”
“It’s good to soak up the sauce” he said firmly, and I had to agree. It was really good.

After we’d finished we were relieved that we could honestly tell The Attentive One that our meals were just lovely and we were so full we couldn’t possibly consider dessert. Although I’m sure your desserts are divine — please don’t hurt us.

While we waited for John to meet us we spent a bit of time in Toys R Us near Times Square before heading over to Midtown Comics; Burfit’s new favourite place after the board games store we visited yesterday. I wouldn’t have minded it so much if they’d had chairs for people like me.

We had quick look in at Macy’s and my perfect handbag failed to find me.

(I should point out, before leaving for New York, Burfit and I agreed on our spending money limit. And I decided during this trip I was destined to find my perfect handbag. Or rather, it would find me. I wouldn’t really need to look too hard for it – it would just present itself to me, bathed in a soft light. So far, nothing).

After so much walking around the three of us decided a chocolate milkshake would be just the thing and somehow managed to find a place which sold the most expensive chocolate milkshakes I’ve ever seen. USD $7 for about 350-400ml. Whoa Nelly.

Having regained consciousness after looking at the bill, we caught the subway over the Greenwich Village. John discovered that Phillip Glass was doing a Sunday concert series at City Winery and managed to get us all tickets to see him play with Wendy Sutter (Cello). I can’t really tell you that much about the gig because I was mesmerised. I still can’t believe we saw Phillip Glass live. No saving up for months, no counting down the days, no time to brag to friends and family! Just book the tickets the morning of and turn up at 8:00pm. Wheeeeee!!!

Things I learned today
I may need to put a bit more effort into searching for the handbag of my dreams.
Eating roasted cauliflower in lemon and olive oil while listening to Phillip Glass play is sublime.

Photos from today
(click to enlarge)

Pipes in St Patrick’s Cathedral

How many flags in this photo?

Times Square

Madame Tussaud, your giant gold hand is creepy

Advertising assaults my senses

Toys Rwaar Us


Dude, you are so… ….. … what’s the word?

Chillin’ wit Cookie

Elmo has a growth

He speaks! (And as it turns out, he’s quite funny)

Piano and Cello are friends

Phillip Glass on piano

*Despite being given a 25% chance of pulling through surgery, Pa pulled through!
He’s still in ICU and he’s going up and down. Thanks everyone for your support and prayers.


3 responses to “NYC Day 3

  1. I don’t mind a bit of waiter weirdness but if it starts stressing you out then it’s not so cool.

    “No saving up for months, no counting down the days, no time to brag to friends and family! Just book the tickets the morning of and turn up at 8:00pm.” Love it! I could get used to that…

  2. We’re both very concerned about your grandfather and hope that, whatever is happening, he’s as comfortable and peaceful as humanly possible.

    Phillip Glass – what serendipity.
    That’s why I love big cities.

  3. Pa has been transferred to Selangor Private Hospital just down the road from Nambour Hospital – still in ICU and still v high blood pressure. I haven’t heard anything different for a few days now.

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