Thursday, June 18, 2015


The pale green and orange chairs now litter Greeley Square as pigeons strut between the tables and under foot picking up bits of dropped Fire Belly Korean BBQ and Red Hook Lobster.
Urbanspaces has lined the square with shack after shack of food vendors for their Broadway Bites event selling tastings smeared on crepes or wrapped in seaweed and rice.
The atmosphere is a melting pot of languages stirred in with a menu filled with ethnic food choices. All of this is available in an outdoor setting rich in culture and diversity. The lanes between the tables and booths are filled with young local shop workers, down-and-outs made to feel a bit normal given a place at a table or tourists feeling as if they've discovered a New York surprise.
The flow of people is endless making the people watching as entertaining as the foods being grilled, baked and scooped from under the makeshift tin roofs of the vending booths.
The menus are so appealing I've now come for the third time since I've been back in New York.
I've tried a kale salad,
Asian cimi balls
and the best dreamsicle snow cone I've ever had.
Tonight it's going to be fish and chips,
or maybe a grilled cheese and truffle sandwich with a cool ginger beer
and a seat on one of those celadon chairs where I can watch the world walk by in al its diverse shapes and voices,
even if the voices are ones I'd wish were whispered rather than screamed

Eating al fresco is more a European tradition than an American one but we're catching on. Ordinances against outdoor dining have fallen off the books in most American cities or put on the same page with laws requiring hands free cellphones to be used while driving or no sodas sold in containers larger than eight ounces. Those restrictions seem to have fallen on the law book page that now read ignore by the enforcers.
There's something so celebratory about outdoor dining under the stars with strings of little lights swaying overhead.
The small Tuscan towns we've loved to venture to have draped their restaurant gardens with these sparks of romanticism. It's such a small gesture but the effect is magical.
The lights in Greeley Square are no different zigzaging overhead adding an artificial star cover to a city whose lightshow burns out the heavenly stars.
Although the outdoor dining is just as wonderful for lunch, it's the evening dining that brings out the best of the Square.
We've taken the look and brought it back to our backyard in Madison and our daughter has taken full advantage.
There's a weekly bonfire with friends where bootlegged beer is hidden in red solo cups and marshmallows are skewered and roasted over the fire for smores.

Trattoria L'ingrasciata, 1961
Enzo Sellerio, photographer
Represented by Eric Franck Fine Art

1 comment: