I had just gotten in from a Day's work last week when my phone rang and it was a good friend of mine calling to invite me out to Dinner. I had already gotten undressed and was in my Boxers and a T-Shirt but the idea of meeting her in the City for Dinner was really appealing. We hadn't seen each other in a very long time, although we talk on the phone almost daily. It was still relatively early so without hesitation..I gladly accepted the invitation.
I freshened up, threw on some Blue Jeans and a pair of Nike's and was on my way into Manhattan (from Staten Island) within the hour. The plan was to meet her at her Job, she was scheduled to punch out at 6:30p.m. I had gotten there just in time and was pleased to be in Manhattan's Upper East Side (East 80's at @ 2ND Avenue). The warm Spring air, the busy streets, a plethora of different aromas emanating from all the different Restaurants was so intoxicating to me. At first we were going to eat at "Trata's" but then decided we would just play it by ear.
We walked a few blocks then we approached a "Big Daddy's Burger". I was instantly drawn to it's casual. colorful all American atmosphere. They also offered outdoor dining which is what my friend and I were really in the mood for..this way we could enjoy the Spring air and take in the eclectic New York scenery. All kinds of people from all different walks of life, people walking their exotic dogs or very unique and interesting mixed breeds with lots of personality.
The Yellow Taxi cabs picking up and dropping off everyone from the young urban hipster to chic, swanky, sophisticated artsy types and even the local construction workers seemed to be silently, inwardly humming the tune of the East 80's that we all seemed to hear. We took a table for two out on the sidewalk and were greeted by Suzy, a wonderful young waitress with a style all her own.She was petite with blue eyes, blond hair, twisted dreadlocks and a look authenticated in the "Big Apple".
After looking at the colorful menu, Toeny (my friend) and I both decided on a Cheddar Cheeseburger that was stacked with avocado, bacon, romaine lettuce, ripe tomato with a side of Tater Tots and coleslaw. She ordered medium well and I of course..medium rare.
We ordered drinks and as we waited for our food I was pleased with the way people seated near us as well as the pedestrians walking by would smile and nod hello...some even spoke and greeted us warmly. I was amazed at all this because I was born and raised in New York. This is a Borough known for the surliness and constant "I'm in a hurry" attitude of it's inhabitants.
I've spent lots of time in Harlem, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn and The Bronx.
However, this area seemed like it had been hidden from me all my New York life and I couldn't help but be amazed at the almost musical under current that permeated the air here. When our food had arrived after our pleasant exchanges with the diners surrounding us as well as the warm and friendly waitress , Suzy...I proceeded to enjoy the best Burger I had eaten in years (not to mention the biggest).
After an enjoyable meal, allot of laughs between Toeny and myself and taking in all that the area had to offer, we decided to take a leisurely walk to the Subway instead of taking a Taxi. I noticed so many things in this amazing Metropolis, A huge selection of all kinds of fine dining, Movie theaters, Gyms, Retail clothing and shoe stores (Victoria's Secret, Aldo and much, much more). The beautiful Men and Women of all races, sizes, backgrounds and various "Modes De Vie".
I was almost sad to be leaving not only the great company of my friend, Toeny... but the warm, inviting embrace of my newly found friend.....Manhattan's Upper East Side.
The whole thing was a beautiful experience that was an unexpected surprise to me. I made a mental note and promise to myself that I would make it to this part of town as often as i can this Summer. To pursue a love affair with my latest beau...to satisfy the curiosity and re-visit this place where everybody may not know your name..but you feel as though they do. I want to walk by "Jack Russell's" Pub ...where right across the street some one's walking their pampered Jack Russell Terrier. The smell of Souvlaki intermingled with Curry from the Indian Restaurant right up the Block. The long line of friends and lovers waiting to see "The Hangover" outside a local Movie Theater. This is my New York...this is my "Upper East Side". I must admit...I think I'm in Love. Cheers!!!