A chance meeting

Monday, July 31st, 2006 | All Things, Friends

I decided not to make the trek out to NJ tonight, and instead planned to attend Jie Chen‘s concert at Pace University. Chen is one of that breed of young — often Asian — piano prodigies: Chinese-born and the winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions, the Piano-e Competition, the Washington International and the Missouri Southern International competitions. After work, with about an hour to spare, I decided to check out the summer sales at Century 21. Just east of the entrance doors, I ran into B, who was just then leaving work at the World Financial Center.

How serendipitous. He accompanied me into the store, and after gamely touring through the women’s European designers section, we left in search of a quick bite to eat before my concert. I encountered the problem I always seem to have when trying to think of a casual dinner spot in the Financial District. If time hadn’t been of the essence – and it weren’t in the opposite direction of where I needed to be – I would have considered Adrienne’s Pizza Bar on charming Stone Street, which was just ranked #76 on New York Magazine’s 2006 Cheap Eats list.

We ended up at The Soda Shop on Chambers Street, just off West Broadway, a quaint little place dishing up ice cream creations and standard light salad/sandwich fare, with hearty doses of Norman Rockwell Americana. The back is outfitted with an old timey candy bar: peppermint sticks, wax lips, plastic ruby candy rings, candy cigarettes. Kid heaven!

We finished our burgers next to the (fake) fireplace and walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge entrance. By that time, though, Chen’s performance had already started, so we loitered for a bit longer by the red Calder in front of City Hall Park, waiting for intermission.

Brooklyn Bridge Entrance

The concert was being held at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, the principal theatre of Pace University. The 750-seat Schimmel Center is most famously home to Bravo’s Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by James Lipton. After B took his leave, I crossed over to the campus, but had difficulty locating anyone outside the auditorium. I decided to sit outside, waiting for a tell-tale stream of audience members, but when none came, I could only assume that there would be no intermission. Not wanting to burst in on the performance in progress, I headed home instead.

So I didn’t end up seeing the concert as I had planned, but I did get to catch up with a friend over an impromptu dinner. A nice evening overall.

Brooklyn Bridge Apple

There's 1 comment so far ... A chance meeting

August 3, 2006

I really like the way you bookended your entries with the different “views” of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Go for it ...