Monday, August 28, 2006

New New York

Did you catch David Sedaris on This American Life? He described sitting in a restaurant and assuming no one would come to wait on him. Ira Glass thought this was absurd -- they're in business! Of course they will come wait on you! I am firmly in Sedaris's camp, though with slightly different complexes: I assume I am being snubbed, pointedly, for being too unhip or curly-haired or poor.

This how I felt at the new New York Deli last night. Even though I wore a cute vintage top, I knew I was too un-trendy to have a good experience. We went because Phil wanted to go. I knew from the first hints in Style that the friendly low-key deli would become a Hip Spot, and the weekly's recent gushing about the new current of nightlife it carries confirmed it. Still, P wanted to go, and maybe my horizons needed expanding.

P's version of the outing is just a click away, and of course the first commenter on P's blog about the evening sounds like exactly the sort of self-proclaimed "scenester" I don't want to share space with. My NYD was the sort of place where old gents living on their own here in the city could have an early dinner alone -- and feel comfortable doing it. Those are the fellows I want as fellow diners when I grab a bite before a show at the Byrd or have Sunday breakfast with some girl friends.

And the waitress knew all of this about me, I know it. This is why she paid so little attention to us that she felt surprised when we said, Um, could we get some silverware? She all but said, Oh are you still here? Or, No, I am sorry, your top covers too much of you and you are not wearing a short flippy skirt, and therefore are not entitled to this nice cloth napkin and zany mismatched diner silverware.

About the time I admitted to P that the wrap was tasty, and he made me taste his bitter dish, the other (competent and friendly) waitress noted I needed water and offered to top off my glass. No thanks, we're just trying to get our check.

I went in expecting it to be like this (though with fewer babies and toddlers), but P expected to be treated civilly and to have a tasty meal, so he was getting increasingly angry. Thankfully, Bev's is just across the street and so the outing was saved.


cnb said...

But at least in Richmond there are still some nice places that you can retreat to after an experience like that and get some good food - isn't Mexico always open?

"Superstars" on Patterson was always the place where I felt that it was painful and troubling to the staff to take my order. Um, people, this is a deli/pizza place. What was their flippin' problem?? The worst was if the owner waited on you. Just because he graduated from one of the Saints, and went to Richmond, he thought he owned the town.... Idiot!

I find that restaurants here in El Capital have some sort of cosmic vibe that I'm just not privy to. Despite my low-cut hipster sweater, kick-ass sandals, and partially shaved legs, I still can't seem to get the check or any extra napkins, or a re-fill on ANY drink (water, tea, whatever).

Wassup with dat?!

Lisa said...

Yes, the staff at The Mexico are always very nice, and it's a favorite place to go when we're driving. Perly's, too.

I can't believe you've been snubbed by waitstaff so often -- you dress way more fashionably than I do!!