Last week, I travelled into New York for what was supposed to be a day of culture, fun and family. You see the wife was browsing Barrista.net and came across Family Day at the New Museum.
Each first Saturday of every month, the New Museum hosts Family Day, complete with activities for the whole family. This particular Saturday featured an exhibit of an artist who was renowned for his landscapes, and the children were given paper, charcoal, and a view of the city to sketch.
After an hour, we had three masterpieces and three hungry children to boot. We decided we’d head to a NYC staple, BBQs, for lunch.
In my youth, BBQs was the spot for late night grubbation on a budget. With three kids in tow, my pockets were looking for a safe haven. BBQs was just such a haven.
We’d driven up 8th Street to where we thought BBQs was, but it wasn’t there. The wife remarked that she had seen a ‘BBQ’ sign, but it was further down the block (in the opposite direction) much closer to Gray’s Papaya.
So we looped around the block, and arrived at what was apparently the new location of BBQs. We parked and were led into a dining room with a view of 8th Street. We promptly ordered and waited for our food to arrive.
The kids ordered 1/4 barbeque chickens with macaroni and cheese. I ordered the half chicken and french fries, while the wife got the barbeque chicken wrap and coleslaw. Pineapple juice, a hot tea and virgin pina colada’s rounded out our order.
When the food finally arrived, we dug in hungrily. The food wasn’t quite as tasty as I recalled. The chicken was dry and totally devoid of barbeque sauce (umm, what gives?) But the kids were content and didn’t seem to mind.
That is until I looked out the window to see one of NYC’s finest issuing me a ticket.
Apparently my meter receipt was not turned face up, and despite my rushing out to flip it over (thereby demonstrating I had a valid parking receipt on my dash) the meter reader had already begun tapping out my ticket on his digital ticket-issuer-that-can’t-retract-tickets-once-he-begins-a-tapping and was duty bound to proceed.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, when I returned to the restaurant two roaches arrived (as if on queue) unannounced next to our table. I immediately ordered everyone to stop eating and demanded to see the manager.
And where was the manager? Stuck in traffic on his way to the restaurant. The best the waiter could do was take 50% off my ticket. Thoroughly defeated, and not prepared to fight for a completely free meal, I paid the 50% (the value of the drinks we had ordered that were presumably cockroach free), and bounced – disgusted.
And then got stuck in traffic heading out of the city…
And so what was supposed to be a wonderful day filled with culture, fun and family, ended up being a day of culture, cops and cockroaches.