Karen (estherchaya) wrote,

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New York, New York... Land of Kosher Food!

I have a love hate relationship with New York. I hate car horns. I hate finding parking. I love the options in restaurants. I love that we drove past "The Succah Depot" on our way to one of the restaurants. I hate the idea of dragging groceries all the way back to an apartment. I love the idea of having my groceries delivered. I hate the cost of NY real estate. I love the communal feel of living there. I hate the politics between frum communities. I love that the frum community is so large. I hate the dirt, love the skyline. And so on.

But despite my love-hate relationship with New York, I rarely turn down the opportunity to take a road trip to NY. It's perfect. I get to enjoy some of the convenience of NY (read: restaurants) without actually having to live there. So when beaniekins called me Saturday night to find out if I wanted to take a road trip Sunday so that our friend could attend a banquet, I said "what the heck?" Besides, all I'd been planning to do was clean anyway, right? :)

So off to New York we went. I wasn't driving on the way up, but I was navigating. This is a very bad thing for me to do. I have a good sense of direction and I've been to NY a bazillion times, so I'm decent with New York, but if I'm not driving, I do NOT pay attention to road signs. Whoops. So instead of being on the Belt Parkway after the Verazzano Bridge, we were on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Not exactly what I'd intended. We got off the expressway, only to find that we couldn't get back on it the correct direction. Sigh. So there was a little fanagling and driving in circles, but we eventually got to where I could resume navigating. I was never lost, but I was extremely frustrated, and it's hard for me to be the decision maker for another driver. If I'd been driving, I wouldn't have had any issue making decisions (nor would I have minded if I'd made the wrong ones), but when I'm navigating and NOT driving, I feel a responsibility that I can't possibly deal with. It's a weird quirk of mine. Anyway, I rock and I got us to our destination. Right on time. With only slight detours. But the three of us were laughing so hard it hurt, so really no harm was done.

So we dropped our friend off at the Marriott near the Brooklyn Bridge (across the street from where mamadeb had jury duty last week). Because this trip happened so spur of the moment, and because I didn't know until just as we were leaving where the banquet was, we didn't do any prior planning regarding what Bea and I would do while the banquet was going on. All we knew was that we had 5-6 hours to kill and we wanted FOOD. Easier said than done. There's no place to eat at that hour in that area of Brooklyn. This is fine, because we knew if we made it to Flatbush we'd be able to find food. Ah, but how to find Flatbush? Heh. I called Seth who was still at work and asked him to hop online and see if mamadeb was online. As it happened, she was, so he IMd her asking if she could help. She confirmed our suspicions that there was nothing we could eat in that area of Brooklyn and told Seth to have us call her. Seth read off her phone number to me, I repeated it to Bea, and Bea wrote it down on the back of one of our maps in lipstick (I had a pen, but couldn't find it at the right moment, lipstick worked).

So I called mamadeb and she said we should come to Flatbush and there were a plethora of restaurants. Did we want American? Israeli? Chinese? Sushi? Milchigs? Fleishigs? Anything we wanted. Golly. That's just too many gosh darned choices. So that wasn't happening. Chinese it was. Chinese was safe. I had remembered her writing about a nice chinese place in her journal. I figured it was a no-fail plan. Silly me seemed to forget that of course we have marvelous kosher Chinese Food in Baltimore, so we really should have tried for something we can't get here, but that was fine. mamadeb gave us absolutely superb directions and we found the Chinese place (complete with municipal parking lot! Yay for no parallel parking!) without a hitch. We had a lovely meal and then called mamadeb to see what she was up to. She and Jonathan were just sitting down to dinner, so Bea and I walked around and over to a bookstore for a few minutes, and eventually walked over to their house. We chatted with Debra and Jonathan for an hour or so (maybe less?) and then decided we'd better head back to the car and start making our way back to the Marriott since our friend expected that the banquet would probably end around 10pm. We arrived at the Marriott at exactly 10pm because we rock. But, of course, the banquet didn't let out until after 11pm (our friend came out around 11, but she told me later that it was actually still going on when she left. I told her she should have stayed, but she felt badly that we were waiting...she shouldn't have...we were having a fine time).

And then we drove home. We made amazing time both up and back. 3 1/2 hours to Baltimore. Not too shabby. Of course, then I still had to drive to College Park to drop our friend off and then to Silver Spring to go home. I crawled into bed around 4am. It made me feel young again. :)

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