Month: November, 2007

The road to Fairway

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 | All Things, Events

Thanksgiving eve on the Upper West Side.  So much for my plan to stop by the parade balloon inflation before last-minute shopping at Fairway Market.

Balloon infation crowds

Balloon infation crowds

Balloon infation crowds

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Garden dining in MePa

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 | All Things, Drinks, Eats

At Paradou on Little West 12th Street tonight for dinner with MB.

There was a time — back when I was spending more of my nights in the Meatpacking District — when this little restaurant was one of my semi-regular haunts, both for its small but satisfying Provençal menu and its decidedly warm but not very trendy feel among a sea of increasingly stylish spots. Regular readers know how I feel about the transformation of MePa; last year, urban travel guide Gridskipper recommended a full blockade of the area, and I’m inclined to agree.

All the more reason to believe the sandwich board outside the restaurant: “Wherever you’re going it won’t be as good.”

Paradou

Which is not to say that Paradou hasn’t changed also from its neighborhood pioneer roots. The menu has expanded over the years to include full entrees — I have particularly fond memories of times spent over their cassoulet — and the expansive back garden, once a bare back lot with tables, has been gussied up with actual wood flooring, foliage and a white canvas tent so that the space can be heated and enjoyed year-round. The pastic sheeting “windows” face into the lit garden of the establishment next door, which once operated with no official name, but has since been rechristened as Revel.

In a nod to menus past, we kept things light tonight. I ordered the salmon tartare, mixed with pumpkin seed oil and paprika oil, topped with a lemon-chive mousseline, and served with slices of Haas avocado and red onion, and a balsamic reduction. Very good. And because we learned our lesson from the last time, we each reserved ample room for a plate of dessert crêpes: nutella & banana for her, dark chocolate & candied orange for me.

Paradou

Paradou

How very dainty. Well, maybe not so: as the talk turned to the impending holidays, we noticed a chalkboard touting the restaurant’s “Dirty Bingo” night (December 11 — sorry). Numbers were to be called out by drag performer Epiphany from Screaming Queens, with adult-themed prizes provided by Kiki de Montparnasse and Babeland, the latter of which (if you’re not already familiar) you’ll just have to Google for yourself.

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New York Islanders @ New York Rangers

Monday, November 19th, 2007 | All Things, Sports

Back at Madison Square Garden tonight for the Rangers-Islanders match-up, courtesy of SC and PJ. After a surf and turf dinner at Nick & Stef’s — rather: surf for the men, turf for the women — we headed next door and made our way into the best seats I’ve ever had inside the area.

Rangers ticket

So what does a $184 ticket get you? A club seat four rows from the glass (watch out for flying pucks!), with a prime view of every pass, check, hook, scuffle and skirmish. And personal waiter service, apparently. Rolled into each of our cup holders was a printed menu from which we could order a variety of food and drink. CG found the opportunity to order Peanut M&Ms just too extravagant to pass up; we put in our requests (no cotton candy this time, alas), and minutes later had the bright yellow bag delivered to us where we sat, along with a box of popcorn, a couple of Amstels and a Johnny Walker Black (hey, why not?)

New York Rangers

Islanders Rangers

Faceoff

Singer-actress Hilary Duff was in attendance that night – though we didn’t see her — cheering on her boyfriend Islanders forward Mike Comrie. In between periods, I tried — unsuccessfully — to get a text message posted up on the JumboTron scoreboard. Apparently my proposed missive deviated too far from the usual “Go Rangers!” “Islanders rule!” and “Dear Sharon, I Love You Forever!! Will You Marry Me? Streety Bird,” which aroused some suspicion among my companions. Were the MSG censors hard at work this night? Or was it just that the 18,200 fans inside the arena generated too many messages for all to be displayed? We’ll never know.

The Rangers’ only goal, which came in the second period. (They lost: 2-1 )

Rangers goal

Check out the rest of the game photos on flickr, though unlike at the Knicks game a couple of weeks ago, there was a notable lack of cheerleading support on the ice. Sorry, boys, the Rangers City Skaters disbanded after former captain, Courtney Prince, brought a 2004 sexual harassment lawsuit against the club. Is it something in the air at the Garden?

And what would a hockey game be without a brawl? This pile-on ensued after Isles’ goalie Rick DiPietro punched Rangers bad boy Sean Avery in the head. Tsk, tsk.

Islanders Rangers fight

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