Thunderstorms! Rain is teeming down here, lightning flashing on this dark and stormy Brooklyn afternoon. It's peaceful, actually, since I haven't heard rain in the summertime for a while. K. doesn't want to leave the house while it's pouring, so we're browsing through the Times, doing the crossword, eating microwaved chocolate-chip cookies (since her oven doesn't really work, and I'd made the cookie dough before realizing this) and contemplating take-out vietnamese noodles. But if the rain stops, it's onto the R train to see the new film of Brideshead Revisited, since it would take more than a little rain to stand between me and dissipated, self-torturing English types in 1920s haircuts. Not that anything could really beat the 1980s BBC miniseries (Jeremy Irons! Anthony Andrews with a teddy bear! Nude sunbathing, in Venice!)
Pizza at Grimaldi's was, as usual, exactly the right thing, eaten elbow-to-elbow off red-checked vinyl tablecloths. Before seeing Laurie Anderson's show at the gorgeous Rose concert hall (part of Lincoln Center, in the fancy slate-gray mall that is the Time-Warner Center), we tried to have dinner at Jack the Horse, a nice bar and restaurant on a leafy stretch of Hicks St. Except that after waiting in vain for our dinners for 30 minutes, we finally tracked down the waiter, who blithely informed us that our order had been lost--in a place where maybe 6 tables were occupied, the chef was chatting with the table next to ours, and half the wait and kitchen staff were standing around with nothing to do. So we split, grabbed a sandwich at the deli on the corner, and ran for the subway. And now this place will forever be known to us as Jack the Ass. After the show, we stopped in at Epices du Traiteur, off Columbus, for a big golden fan of brik (fried phyllo, stuffed with egg and tuna), peach gazpacho, and chopped mediterranean salad.
On Saturday, we took a breezy spin around the East River on the Pioneer, a 1880s ship turned schooner. Very peaceful to be out on the river with nothing but the splash of waves and the slap and creak of billowing canvas sails overhead. Best part: going right under the Brooklyn Bridge, so that we could look up and see the underside of the bridge--a rare perspective. Then, in keeping with the maritime theme, I dragged K. up to The Mermaid Inn, a favorite little seafood joint on 2nd Ave, which takes its theme seriously--goldfish crackers on the bar, fish-info placemats, little mermaids on the matches. Keeping with the fruit-gazpacho theme of the weekend (hey, it's 89 degrees, with humidity!), I got the watermelon gazpacho, which was a little too sweet, but had cute tiny watermelon balls and lots of lovely blue crab. Then fab fresh sardine filets, sans the usual head, tail, and backbone, with pineapple bits, a mango-ish sauce (I think) and thinly sliced cukes, radishes, and onions with vinegar, reminiscent of what NYC delis used to call "health salad". To save on table-malingerers, Mermaid doesn't offer dessert. Instead, you get a demitasse of free chocolate pudding to send you on your way.