Hot in the city (hot in the city) tonight. The crowds are building for the fireworks and there's a swarm heading for the Hudson River north of 34th Street. We're caught up a little on the way to The Red Cat in Chelsea, just past 23rd Street, but the crowd is moving smoothly and with good humour. The police have blocked most of the sidestreets from both vehicular and pedestrian through-traffic. There's one or two vendors selling American flags and light-up patriotic wands and headbands.
Our table isn't ready and the bar stools are all taken - including with people eating - so we stand around pointlessly for a while until a bartender takes pity on us and sells us some wine. The table is eventually cleared for us and we're seated at a smallish table for two in the dim seating area.
Our waiter is from Gay Hipster Inc, a new multinational manufacturing skinny men with sharp haircuts, oversized glasses and striped shirts buttoned to the top for the hospitality industry. He did the business ok, and took us through the specials.
I opted for the roast kid - not "goat" no no no - with rice and a side dish of brilliantly scrumptious sweet pea puree ravioli. Lynda had the 4th of July special - fried chicken and potato salad - which was ironic and iconic and a bit over-salted. It was a big leap of class above the Colonel's secret recipe though. The restaurant has a reputation for being a bit foody and a bit pricey but I thought it was within normal ranges for both, apart from the steak on the menu for $42.
Once the fireworks started the bar pretty much emptied. This should have been a clue about the perfect time to leave - when we settled up and out, people were then coming back from the fireworks and were a bit more disorderly. We tiptoed to a quiet side street and made it back to the apartment in time for some work emails and news from home.