• Steven Hopkinson

Eating on a NYC sidewalk in January



We've been back in the big city for eight weeks now and we just did the most NYC activity you can do these days: eating & drinking outside in the freezing cold for hours! I'll forgive you if you think, no big deal, but we weren't inside one of those monstrous enclosed outdoor edifices in the streets, which the staff assured us were much warmer, because honestly what's the difference between eating inside a restaurant (which is banned in NYC) and eating outside on the street inside an enclosed shared space? We did the socially responsible thing and ate on the sidewalk.



We had Captain Andrea's birthday to celebrate, so we ended up in Grammercy, just below 20th Street on Park Avenue, first at Isabella's Osteria, then at the always reliable 24 hour staple L'Express in an isolated corner table on the sidewalk. We had a great time! Both restaurants had heat lamps, but Isabella's had the real propane fueled fire burning ones and they sandwiched our table between two of them, which made the small electric one hanging over the table at L'Express feel almost useless. Service at both spots was very good, the food was exceptional; the chicken sandwich at Isabella's was huge and delicious, crispy and juicy, while the steak frites at L'Express was great, perfectly cooked, as usual.



It's a bit weird eating on the street in NYC, especially in the blustery, frigid wintertime. It's NYC, there are still crazy people, street people who'll scream at you for no discernable reason as they stumble by, broke folk begging for change, cars literally shaking the block with the reverb from the extreme bass in their custom detailed interiors, businesspeople flowing by on the sidewalk, dressed on trend looking put together, earbud wearing joggers weaving through in shorts, dogs of all kinds parading past led on short leashes by their owners. In many ways, life at least seems to be getting back to normal.



It felt like a normal thing to do, eating out with friends, albeit in a frigid, occasionally uncomfortable environment. Of course, eating out like that also highlights how odd it is to still be stuck in the pandemic lifestyle, secluded all the time with almost everything shut down. At least we’re rolling the vaccines out and hopefully we’ll get to a point soon where we’re actually distributing them quickly enough to keep up with demand. And maybe soon we'll be able to get back to doing normal things again like eating indoors, maybe even going out to see live music shows and going to Broadway Musicals and out to museums and movies again?



What about you? What normal things are you psyched to do again soon? We can't wait to be able to go back to Roatan and do some sailing in the tropical Western Caribbean Bay Islands of Honduras. We're also psyched to go SCUBA diving again, to see some of our island friends again, and to visit some of our favorite places again.




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