Sunday, February 17, 2008

At Least It's Not A Ginger

Garfield's On Fourth
Originally uploaded by Gringcorp.
The last few weekends I've been taunted by a phantasm as I gaze out of my apartment's window. Down on Fourth Avenue a brightly-lit sign appears sporting the moniker "Garfield's".

It was first pointed out to me two weeks back by guests at our Superbowl party. I saw it, but by the next morning when it was time to trudge down to the Union Street R train station it was gone, locked up behind heavy metal shutters. I wondered for a while whether it was one of the sleepy social clubs of Gowanus, opening up at erratic hours for a dwindling clientèle, though the bright lights seemed to dispel that notion.

Waddling back from Cocotte [UPDATE: We should now be calling it the erstwhile Cocotte] on Friday, I saw it again, and this time I was at street level. It would be mine. Moreover, there was a gaggle of people outside, and loud music coming from within. Abandoning Mrs Cutesome to the vicissitudes of my building's lobby I strode over to report.

I encountered there a man and a woman smoking cigarettes, who stared at me with an air of amusement, and informed me that the restaurant would be open in a month's time. They did not venture any more information about cuisine, the owner, and whether it would cater much to cab drivers.

From a peek inside I saw a lot of bare wood, moderately dim lighting and a lot of space. It reminded me of nothing so much as La Villa, so I'm expecting an unpretentious family joint to sprout up in the space forthwith.

It is, I guess, a pleasant sign that people are still trying to bring businesses to the stretch, although Fourth Avenue, like Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, has a little too much car traffic and a little too little foot traffic to turn into a bustling restaurant row. I guess the guys moving into all those condos right on Fourth will be happy to see it happen, though I think the owner will need lot of patience while the new buildings fill up.

I'm doubting, though, it's going to appeal to the Sheep Station/Pacific Standard crowd.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Not So Secret Real Estate Conspiracy

He's right, of course, though the value of the statement, coming from a billionaire, is not that high. And would Mr. Bloomberg really like immensely rich people to stop meddling in the city's affairs? No, he just wants them to stop doing it through the city's Democratic hacks. Again, I don't disagree with the premise that the Democrats are a uniquely useless, let alone uniquely useless instruments of rich men's wills.