The New French and Other Neighborhood Characters

I was feeling low this morning over some romantic nonsense and preparing to schlep a giant duffel of old clothes down to Housing Works so they could start a new life. Heaving the bag to the corner, I spotted tangerine stilettos and followed them up saffron spandex-wrapped legs and persimmon leather purse, fur bomber jacket, and flaxen blonde hair with coarse black roots, just marveling.

She turns around to look at me and says “Oh My God, Oh My God.” I wonder what has her so freaked out. “You are so beautiful,” she says. I laughed and thanked her, leaning my arm out for a cab. “No ā€” you don’t understand. I was born a man. And I’ve been studying real women my whole life. And you are just so beautiful ā€” for real.” A cab arrived, and Jasmine turned chivalrous, opening the door for me and making sure my bag got into the trunk, then asked for (and got) a big hug goodbye. We didn’t exchange numbers, so thanks for turning my day around, Jasmine.


Strolling back from depositing the dresses and trying to decide between eggs at Petite Abeille or something salady at Le Pain Quotidien, I see “The New French” written on the windows of the old Le Gamin at 522 Hudson St (btw W. 10th St and Charles St, New York, NY 10014) in Maira Kalman’s unmistakable handwriting. Peering through the windows I see a funny table of guys waving at me to enter. So I do. Adorable wall mural by Maira Kalman (detail above) and short but intriguing menu (also in Maira’s handwriting) of bistro dishes with a twist plus pho and vegetable curry.

frenchpressatthenewfrench.pngGorilla Coffee served in a French press (naturally) with a four-minute timer. Good vibes from the kitchen and waitstaff; they seemed like they were happy to be there too. All kinds of great restaurant DNA with an owner from Blue Ribbon, and former sous chef from Tabla and Resto.


My spinach/pepper/gruyere omelette accompanied by fresh baby greens and shaved yellow beets was so lovely and delicious it conjured up the plastic bag scene from “American Beauty“. Is dinner tonight too soon to go back?


Inside the paper that accompanied me to brunch, OK Go’s Damian Kulash Jr. contributed a great op-ed “Beware the New New Thing” on Net neutrality in terms of the old rules of common carriage. Across the page, Adam Cohen editorially observed “The Already Big Thing on the Internet: Spying on Users,” explaining that the fourth amendment of the US Constitution’s bill of rights, which guarantees protection against illegal search and seizure, was originally concerned with protecting homes and bodies then extended to cover telephone communications.

He concludes that work has to be done to grant Internet communications the same level of privacy protection. I agree, but are we even still protected by the 4th? Looks to me like we’re back to Bill of Rights basics and work has to be done to assure any privacy protection at all. I guess it’s a perfect time to dig into Jonathan Zittrain’s intriguing new book, The Future of the Internet ā€” and How to Stop It.


Song of the day: “Willie Deadwilder” by Cat Power (Specifically the one from Speaking For Trees, though they’re all good.)


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