Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Wayback Machine

Still on the building directory!

A couple of weeks ago Euge and I had our first legitimate date night since before the boys were born. We had a real sitter (who we paid real money) and we had reservations or a special dinner. It was weeks in the planning.

What a difference from the days when we could just decide, at the last minute, to grab dinner at some amazing restaurant mere blocks from our apartment.

Anyways, the evening sort of turned into this funny trip in the wayback machine.

First, we were meeting in Union Square - I had kept the location of our dinner a secret from Eugene because I thought it would make the whole thing more fun. I mean, who doesn’t love a good surprise?

Lo and behold, I get out of the train station and discover that a photo shoot is underway! And who is the photographer? Howard Schatz! The very person I worked on so many books with, pre-baby. I haven’t seen Howard or his wife and manager, Beverly, much since the boys were born - except for the two shoots we did with them when the boys were newborns - so it was fun to run into them.

They offered to take our portrait, as part of their shoot, but we didn’t really have time to stick around. I was afraid we would miss our reservations for dinner, and they had a line up of people already waiting that looked pretty considerable.

So we took off and headed towards the restaurant, right through our old neighborhood.

A little update on the old ‘hood:

Airmarket is gone. TRAVESTY! 

Cafe Deville is closed - it’s about time.

The old apartment building has been renovated and looks like a Howard Johnsons now, replete with striped carpeting in the hallways and light mocha colored walls. They’ve torn down the interior security door - which I thought was a strange choice - but they actually have a working intercom system now! 

As you can see from the photo above, they kept the old directory and I am still on it. Weird.

The new not-really-improved entry

We used said system to call Charra who still lives in 4A. She’s been having some health issues, so we hadn’t seen her since we moved, but she seems to have found some answers to her mysterious problems and was happy to see us. Her apartment is a mirror of our old apartment and it was pretty funny to sit there and imagine how things would have been if we'd stayed there.

Oh my god. Can you imagine twins in a fourth floor studio walk-up? Nope, neither can I.

Finally, we headed off to our dinner - a special roast sucking pig tasting menu at Hearth.

It was great to be back there - though we didn't get the seats overlooking the kitchen, which we have really enjoyed in the past. The three course dinner was rustic perfection - there were even some pickled vegetables - my favorite! By the end, we were groaning about how full we were and yet, somehow, we managed to choke down those last bites of berry cobbler.

Sweet torture.

The cab ride home was blissfully quick. There is something about speeding up the FDR on a warm summer night, with the lights twinkling out of the skyline that is just perfectly New York.

When we got there, the boys were sleeping, the sitter was sitting on the couch reading. Everything was as it should be at home.

Having an evening out, with a special destination planned, and getting to revisit a small part of our lives pre-baby was really a nice way to spend our first real date. but getting home and seeing those delicious boys slumbering in their cribs was pretty wonderful too.

1 comment:

Alejandra said...

This is awesome. When I was in high school (about 10 years ago), my parents, brother, and I went to the West Village one afternoon to wander around and have dinner. My dad lived in the village back in the 70s when he was young and single, so for old-time's sake, we walked past his old apartment on Sullivan St. We checked out the building and were totally shocked to see that his name was still listed on the old callbox. This is a good 20 years after he'd moved out. Pretty crazy. It's since been removed, but was so cool to see it there.