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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American East Village Moderate Good

The other day I was having lunch at City Bakery. I had been running around and realized it was nearing 2 o’clock and I was famished. (I am like an infant; I need to be fed every few hours.) I stopped in for a cup of tortilla soup and grabbed a seat downstairs. I didn’t have a magazine or a book with me, so I just ate my soup (so good) and observed. On my right was a woman in her fifties. She had her feet up on the chair facing her, was working through a plate of mac n cheese, and had the New York Post open to Page 6. While eating, reading and lounging, she was having a rather loud cell phone conversation that I gathered had something to do with someone in a hospital.

To my left of me were two dark-haired women in the early 30s. They could have been sisters, or just good friends who kind of look alike. One of the women was recounting a drama about a guy she was dating. “I mean he should call more and be more interested,” she said, sinking her fork into a plate of roasted beets and greens. “He says all the right things when we are together and we have a great time, but then I don’t hear from him. I mean, I feel like I am waiting around, and I am sick of it, you know? It’s been like this for like three months.”

She looked distraught, her brow was all knotted up and I could tell she was in need of a friend to listen and help her sort this through. Rather than give her the "you deserve better" talk coupled with the “He’s just not that into you” speech, her friend was busy on her iPhone, tapping and scrolling. She nodded and gave her friend an occasional thoughtless, “Mm Hmm. Yeah, I know, he sucks.” Wow, that’s comfort. Nothing like a lunch with a friend to really cheer you up.

Meanwhile, on the other side of me the woman’s conversation was getting scary. “She’s still on the respirator, and it’s not like she’s wheezing but she’s near the end,” she said, taking a bite of her mac n cheese and turning the page of her Post. Then she said something that almost had me choke on my soup. “The thing is you really don’t know when the right time is to kill your mother.” Yes, my neighbor at City Bakery was talking about euthanizing her mother on her cell phone, while reading the Post and eating mac n cheese. I was horrified. I finished my soup (it was delicious) and went home, disgusted ... [more, click below]

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Great article. Share your feelings about cell phone usage or perhaps "abusage" is the proper word to use here. People just don't seem to care who is listening to their conversations. Love your photos of thre restaurants you talk about. Belcourt sounds like a place worth visiting. Love you.

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