Sat, Sep 1: Two Years in Amber

– The Taste of Autumn continues. I wore a new sweater to work. Nobody complimented me on it until I asked them to.

Ilili Box for lunch again, this time joined by coworkers. We dined al fresco in the thin shadow of the Flatiron Building. I got Brussels sprouts with grapes and walnuts. They really pack in the sprouts.

We compared our various ocular degenerations. One girl has a -12 prescription, which makes her legally blind. I feel blind with my -5 scrip. I think the scale should only go to 10.

– After work, I walked down to The Handy Liquor Bar in Soho, where I met Sarah for a drink. The bar is really lovely, unmarked from the street, tucked underneath another restaurant. There are big glass skylights in the ceiling that let in the light and big wooden booths below them, midcentury modern barstools that are all just a little bit broken. Sarah’s kept sliding down. I ordered a grapefruit cocktail that tasted like juice. She asked for the same blood-red drink that another customer had coming out. We never found out what was in it.

– Around 7:30, we walked a few blocks to meet more friends at Balthazar, an enormous brasserie and bakery that looks like Woody Allen’s fever dream of Paris in the 20’s. Everything inside the restaurant gets caught in this incredible golden light that never dulls, and for the small price of a hundred and twenty bucks you get to spend a few hours happily trapped in amber. It’s a special place, maybe my favorite in New York, so it was a clear choice ofr where I wanted to celebrate two years in the city.

I’m unusually proud of the milestone. I don’t even remember how I spent my one-year anniversary, but two years feels somehow important. Maybe because I think of myself as established here now. I have great friends, new and old, an apartment worth keeping, a job I like, and extra curriculars with momentum behind them.

We ordered a dozen oysters, a round of cocktails, a crab risotto, a bottle of red and white wine. I got linguini with little shrimpies. I sort of forced everyone to get a glass of calvados for dessert. We made a lot of toasts—almost everybody at the table had some good news to share.

– After dinner we cabbed to an apartment in Stuy Town where Danny made drinks and we played a rhythm-based drinking game that I can’t remember the name of, even though part of the game involves saying its name. I took the train home around 1:00am, feeling drunk and happy.



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