I finally ate yesterday at the Standard Grill, one of Manhattan’s trendiest restaurants — the scene at the front door a dazzling blur of entitlement, of leopard coats and Goyard handbags and great jewelry and the set jaw of the people who expect everything now having to actually wait a few minutes for their pleasure.
But it was worth it. I’d made a reservation five days earlier, sitting on hold for 10 minutes, to meet a young friend there visiting from Ottawa. He’s a stylish guy and I knew this would be a good fit.
(One of the greatest pleasures of living in New York is deciding which bar or restaurant to take someone to who is visiting from elsewhere; tonight we’re heading to Toloache, our favorite midtown restaurant, which is a gorgeous room, serves amazing, fresh small margaritas and serves beautiful Mexican food. Our guests tonight are friends from small-town Rhode Island, an artist and her professor husband.)
Our lunch was perfect, as much for the waiter’s patience as for the food and ambience — the penny tile on the floor actually was pennies. We had only met once before, last July in Vancouver, and we are still getting to know one another. Plus we’re both journos, both Canadian and love to read. I think we must have talked for at least half an hour before we even ordered.
The food was simple but good, and my martini blessedly powerful. We suddenly noticed the lights changing — and, having met at 1:00, it was now 4:40 and the sky outside was darkening.
My lunch companion was a young man half my age, someone (yay!) whom I recently found a job for through — who else? — a man who took over my Montreal apartment in 1988 and found me this summer on LinkedIn. We met on-line as bloggers for the same site, now defunct, and decided to have dinner when I visited B.C.
As someone self-employed, a long lunch and lazy afternoon are my best work-related “benefits” — not a 401(k) match or paid sick days — but the ability, when and where possible, to savor a great leisurely meal in lovely surroundings with someone whose company and conversation I enjoy.
One new friend, who lost her job two months ago, meets me once a week at a local diner where we catch up. She is OK financially, if bored and restless, and only now — now that she has time to sit and relax and not rush off — are we finally getting to know another.
Time to enjoy one another has become the ultimate luxury.
Do you ever take long, lazy lunches? Who do you have them with, and where? What do you eat?