La di da


Just had dinner at a mostly fabu restaurant in Brooklyn called Al di la with a new friend of mine. I had heard a lot about the place before going, and we were thrilled to get a table with no reservation, even though the place was packed. The starter (red beet ravioli) and main (flank steak in a balsamic reduction) were both really fantastic. So much so, that I was really looking forward to dessert (pear chocolate tart and chestnut-honey ice cream), but alas it was awful. The ice cream in particular tasted like a musty lead pipe smells. How can a place that has such fantastic starters and mains be so completely off the mark in dessert?

Random Brooklyn Notes


– There are a surprisingly large number of dog owners here, and an even more surprisingly large number of them that dress their pets in elaborate winter ensembles.

– There are a number of very good restaurants in Brooklyn.

– Park Slope is called such because the entire area slopes gently downhill from Prospect Park. Go figure.

– Not quite as much as Manhattanites don’t like to leave Manhattan, but Brooklynites prefer, all things being equal, to stay in Brooklyn. But they sometimes have no choice.

– The “R” train is almost always a bad choice (despite it being geographically the closest stop to me).

Art, Brooklyn and such


Yesterday I met up with a nice group of guys at MOMA for a walk around the various exhibits. At the entrance I was confronted with the sobering fact of a twenty dollar entrance fee, and decided to become a member (which was only sixty dollars). Much like buying my MTA card, this struck me as a commitment by me to the city and by it to me. I love the MOMA and I am sure I will go many more times this year (he says by way of justification).

Had a lovely brunch at a place called Melt today in Park Slope with my friend Sian, where we discussed the hopelessness and horror of the situation in Gaza, among other things. Brooklyn (and Park Slope in particular, where I am staying in the lovely apartment of my friend Sivan at the moment) is a place to the east of Manhattan. People that live in Manhattan seem unaware of it, and are mystified when presented with the street grid here, although it is a grid and they all have iPhones and GPS. Such was the case with my cousin Josh this morning, who actually has a work gig in Brooklyn at BAM and struggled somewhat to undestand how to meet me but a few blocks away from where he was.

Are you sitting down?


Because I have something crazy to share with you.  There is a whole, amazing world outside Manhattan… I know!  This morning I discovered to my delight a charming area called Park Slope in a hamlet known as “Brooklyn“.  And it is only minutes away on the subway.  Who knew?

Joking aside, I went to go meet my lovely friend Sian for brunch at a fantastic restaurant called “Rose Water“.  I highly recommend it, for the brunch was one of the best I have had in a long time.  We then walked around the neighborhood and talked about life’s meaning and the nature of belief.  Sian is a former Quaker who converted to Judaism a few years back, and she has a fascinating perspective on it all.  She invited me to go with her to her shul Friday night for their service, and perhaps I will.  It was certainly a treat to see Sian again after so many years.