Tag Archives: uni

Barley Swine

Do you care for any vodka with that?

Orange juice — I had asked the flight attendant for some orange juice. But despite the convincing case Kendrick Lamar made in my earbuds, I felt inclined not to drank. I was at cruising altitude, trekking 1,800 miles in order to feed myself.  And now I was thinking, about expectations and about managing them.

I saw the booze as a specious salve for the jittery nerves engendered by a delayed, overbooked flight. But for my neighbor — embittered towards American Airlines and pawing the arm rest like a caged tiger — alcohol was exactly the tranquilizer he needed. In fact, it was precisely what he expected. “Finally, some service around here,” he grumbled with a half-convincing smile. (For several more minutes, he continued to paw.) Continue reading

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Roberta’s

I’m not cool enough to lead the life I do.

I step into a coffee shop and in no time they pop the question: “So, do you live around here?” No, I don’t. I actually took the train for forty-five minutes (two transfers!) to get here because I love your single-origin espresso. Not cool.

After I down my macchiato in shame, I go to work for a restaurant group that exudes unmistakable machismo and a devil-may-care attitude toward customers and non-customers alike. Meanwhile I keep an Excel spreadsheet of my earnings there. A friggin’ spreadsheet! So not cool.

I’m also embarrassed that there is not a single outfit in my wardrobe that lets me blend in at Roberta’s, currently my favorite restaurant in New York. My girlfriend, meanwhile, can only wear her one plaid shirt so many times. I think they are beginning to catch on. Continue reading

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