1) Collapsing in my room for a NAP, I gave myself plenty of time to wash up and dress before a 7:45 dinner reservation. The question then was what to wear for "bombogenesis chic," dinner someplace nice in the aftermath of a significant snowstorm.
1a) Of course the terms of the evening, arranged by my friend Julien, had changed from "Let's get all dressed up" when the plans were made to "Wear whatever you want" when I asked his advice. Those two points are not necessarily the same thing. I'd brought a suit and tie; after some indecision, I rejected my Insane Tibetan Dentist drag and wore the suit without the tie.
2) Having gotten through the snowstorm during the day, I now had to get through a textstorm between 6:30ish and 7:45. It began with a text from a strange number along the the lines of "Everything is closed around here," and ended with the arrival of Julien at our table. Snug and warm in my hotel room, I was loath to leave too soon, but I also didn't want anyone in the party to feel awkward.
3) Hailed a cab on Sixth Avenue and headed to Columbus Circle, the location of a Restaurant Named After Me. I had no difficulty finding the place - it was right where the map said it was - but there was a wee bit of confusion in the lobby since the museum to which the restaurant is attached was closed due to the storm.
4) The elevator opened immediately into the lounge - no foyer or anything. Very hip swingin' airport lounge of the 1960s vibe, enhanced by trees of glowing purple flowers and clear plastic lounge furniture. A ninth-floor room with a low ceiling and a dark ambiance (no doubt to enhance the view), in the far corner a pianist and a bassist were making with the cool jazz. I was the first in the party to arrive, and I sank into a deep chair near the elevator to get comfortable with a manhattan, while continuing to receive texts.
5) A couple sips into my drink and the elevator opened to reveal Julien's neighbor Shai and his partner Paul. They joined me in drinks (I believe they ordered old fashioneds or sours) and we set about party chat with sporadic texts from Julien.
6) Not long after we were escorted to our window table, Julien joined us in a burst of excitement. Julien is one of those people who exude perpetual energy. Hook him up to a generator and he'd run India for a year!
7) For dinner I ordered whatever the salmon was. It only occurred to me much later that I'd also had salmon for lunch. I am not one of Those People who insist on varying proteins from one meal to the other. However it was prepared, it was delicious.
8) Conversation over dinner went all over the place, but I was especially pleased to hear about some of Julien's creative endeavors.
9) Perhaps because of the weather, the place was not full; Julien said it's usually packed. The absence of a full house contributed to my enjoyment, it must be said.
10) My chocolate cake pod was frosted in pink and bile green, with a yellow-green bit of clear sugar capping a white truffle on top. One of us said "This dessert hasn't decided what it wants to be yet. Julien's banana mousse came in the form of three white bonbons.
11) I invited the party back to the Algonk for a nightcap, and we piled into a cab just off Columbus Circle for the trip downtown. Along the way we got stopped by traffic just outside Saks - and just in time for their Christmas light show to repeat. No wonder people love Manhattan at Christmastime!
11) Nightcaps in the Algonquin lounge = yes please. Just more good conversation in a beautiful room. Julien, to my astonishment, had worn down. So rather than read his tarot cards, I had to bid him farewell when Shai and Paul made their adieux.
12) I stayed up until a shade after midnight, and then set the alarm so I could get a head start on another exciting day in New York.