Monday, June 14, 2010

Bryant Park is nice

I put my feet up in Bryant Park. After work today I had two hours to kill before meeting an old friend from high school, D.D., whom I hadn't seen in 10 years, at a restaurant called Essex for dinner. (Delicious, by the way; I had swordfish with mussels and shrimp.) With this time, I decided to enjoy the weather in Bryant Park, where there was some pleasant and unobtrusive live music that created a delightfully relaxing atmosphere.

Some complain that the taxes in New York are high, but I imagine that they should be, considering the subway system, all the parks and the elaborate array of public goods and services required to keep the city up and running. Two cliches apply: You get what you pay for, and nothing comes for free.

Meanwhile, at work: This week I'll be starting a pretty big data-heavy project that I interpret as being entrusted to me because of some combination of interest and expertise I may have conveyed during my first two weeks. I intend to exceed expectations because I am an overachiever, which is to say I need other people's approval to feel any sense of value because my father has never told me he loves me. Same thing.

I also am getting to know the dry-cleaner next door. This morning I picked up a jacket and three pairs of pants, and dropped off some dress shirts and another couple pairs of pants. When I handed him a credit card to pay, he said he only takes cash but that I shouldn't worry about it -- I can just pay for my first order when I pick up the second. Smart business man! He has endeared himself to me and knows I'll be coming back. Unless, you know, there ends up being some nasty stains on those pants.

Some New Yorkers make it seem as though it requires savvy to navigate the subways, a notion I sort of scoffed at because there's an app for that. But those New Yorkers are right because there are certain times of day when some trains only go one direction. Case in point: After dinner on the Lower East Side tonight, I wanted to take the F train to the 4-5-6 uptown, then to my beloved 7 train. When I mentioned this mundane plan to my dinner companion, he mentioned that the 4-5-6 only goes downtown at this time of night and so I would have to take the F train farther and catch the 7 elsewhere. And he was right. Who would know something like that? But now I do.

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