Our dinner plans changed due to the indisposition of a guest, and so we were free this afternoon to do what we would. So we shopped.
We took deep breaths and plunged into the vortex that is the collection of cut price malls at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush. An hour or so later we emerged, rather blue in the faces, but triumphant with a beautiful black coat for Vince, socks, a Le Creuset pot and a running shirt, from the Burlington Coat Factory and Marshalls. For about half their Proper shop prices. I hate shopping, or at least I have until recently. Maybe it has something to do with the time of year: dark early and lights twinkling and stores become theatres in the late afternoons.
We walked home past BAM, and I took Vince in to see Thomas Beisl [extraordinarily, the place has no website], which he didn't know. I'd eaten there a few times years ago when it opened, finding the goulash very good and the service very bad. Today, we had coffees with cream and Linzer torte and crepes with apricot jam, all very nice, and delivered by the terrible service of yore.
It's a beautiful restaurant (started by Thomas Ferlesch, the man who was chef for a long time at Cafe des Artistes, the Upper West Side institution that closed after this summer) and fills gradually with the rising and ebbing tide of audiences destined for or leaving the erudite theatre offerings over the road.
On our left sat a middle aged couple having a big fight. On our right, a very elderly couple holding hands across the table. We sat and ate our afternoon dessert and wondered...