Friday, January 28, 2011

In a New York Minute

Monday, 6:50pm: The Plaza Foodhall by Todd English

The Foodhall is not so much foodhall, rather an intimate grouping of bars – pull up a chair to your bar of choice. The point here is not the shopping but the pleasing visual display and the eating. Among the offerings are candy and Bonne Maman jams – nothing special really but, grouped together, they create a lushness of rose and plum colors against the creamy marble and brown wood of the restaurant.

My dinner companion is late. I wander over to the Shops and weave through the MAC and C.O. Bigelow counters. Before I know it, the Plaza staff is vacuuming and the heavy wrought iron grills are slammed shut and locked. My only escape routes are undignified: Through the Foodhall or up the escalator and out the side entrance.

This definitely never happened to Eloise.

Thursday, 11:28am: Caffe Lavazza at Eataly

I sit near the windows with a latte, opposite a lawyer type also with a latte. For the window display, Eataly has arranged cans of tomatoes in a perfect pyramid – Each can label features a celebrity (Giada, Gaga, and so on). And beyond the windows is Madison Square Park. Flashes of yellow cabs and black limousines fill in the gaps between the cans: a veritable kaleidoscope.

Friday, 3:59pm: La Maison du Chocolat at Rockefeller Plaza

I need hot chocolate. As I pick out a round table and pull off my gloves, a family of three is leaving. The tweenage daughter, with braided pigtails and a puffy, down parka, exclaims into her cell phone, “I saw Gwyneth Paltrow! I saw Gwyneth Paltrow and a bunch of other famous guys perform. I’m on the NBC tour!” Reporting home?

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