gridlock to Redhook
Wednesday, December 21 2005
Winter began a 1:00pm this afternoon, and, though it was the shortest day of the year, it was sunny enough to collect several hours' worth of solar energy. Though average daily temperatures will continue to decrease until about January 20th, I can count on ever-increasing amounts of sunlight from now until late June.
The semester had ended at Mass. Art and Mr. Tillson is once again back with his wife in their home in, well, Tillson. This evening Gretchen and I car pooled with the Tillsons from the Hurley Mountain Inn parking lot to Redhook for a planned dinner and a movie double date. But we got stuck in freakish gridlock on the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge over the Hudson and the delay meant that we missed the movie.
Our dinner was at Luna 61, a gourmet vegetarian restaurant loved by everyone in our contingent (with the possible exception of me; there's something I don't like about that place but I can't put my finger on it. I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm the only one who ever orders alcoholic beverages when part of a contingent that eats there.). As I have in the past, I ordered the reliably-delicious Cuban press sandwich, though I briefly considered getting a burrito, which is what Gretchen ordered. She was terribly disappointed with it, though, because it was completely flavorless. In a conversation with the waiter/owner, she asked why the cook hadn't seen fit to salt the water used to cook the burrito's rice. "This is a vegetarian restaurant, and..." the waiter/owner said, as though vegetarian is a synonym for ascetic. "I know, I'm a vegetarian too. But I salt my rice!" Gretchen protested. Any argument about the wholesomeness of not adding salt seemed to be contradicted by the strange decision on the part of the cook to wrap the burrito in white flour as opposed to something more authentic. In the end the waiter/owner fetched Gretchen a scallion pancake as a replacement, and all agreed every bite of it was a moment spent in Heaven.
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