Saturday, December 30, 2006

I love the city

And I love my neighborhood. We went out for dinner tonight to celebrate the completion of my first ever book manuscript. I had a hankering for pasta with fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, so we went to Anna Maria, which used to be a short walk from home but now is a short drive away. They haven't got a kids' menu, but they can make whatever you order (Ben wanted pasta with alfredo on one side, marinara on the other. And the desserts! Mr. Tangerine always gets the tiramisu, but was too full to finish it tonight. Ben and I shared the bomba al cioccolata, a blissfully light and airy, warm and moist square of cake, swimming in bittersweet chocolate sauce, with a dollop of whipped cream. It was all we could do not to lick the plate clean.

I love the area we live in because we're sequestered amid a zillion great restaurants, precious few of them part of mega-chains. Would have to drive a good 10 miles to the closest Olive Garden, but there are over a dozen Italian indies within a couple miles of us.

And I love the neighborhood because while we were at the restaurant tonight, there were five other tables with kids (this, at a place where the cheapest pasta dish costs $10.50). Three of the six families were of mixed races. One of the families had two dads. I like that none of these groups stick out as "other" here.

Sure, the city's noisy and congested, and snow turns black from exhaust along the roadway (although: hooray for it being 44 degrees on a late-December evening with no snow on the ground!), and real estate's small and pricy. But I wouldn't trade it for clean, peaceful, spacious homogeneity. I find homogeneity discomfiting.


Cricket said...

YOU GOT THE BOOK TOGETHER! What a great gift to yourself. Congrats!

Narya said...

Congratulations! Entertainingly enough, I went by this place on the bus Thursday night. A day later and I could have stopped in and congratulated you in person!

And I'd still like to read the ms.

And I agree about homogeneity.

And did I mention, congratulations?!

Feral Mom said...

You are my hero, in more ways than one. But mostly for the completed book manuscript and your beautiful, charming son. Congratulations!!
p.s. I trust you'll still wear some of the chains we've forged in life, i.e, IHOP.

amusing said...

Hurray and Congrats!
And I'm jealous of your neighborhood. We have Friendly's. And I pledge not to say mean things about the people we see there....

I'd have licked the plate. Bring me next time and I'll embarrass you!

Krupskaya said...

Congratulations about your book! What an accomplishment!

And, I obviously totally blew it by not bugging you when we were in town. Because that restaurant sounds awesome.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge advocate of licking the plate clean of whipped cream. I also get kicked out of restaurants.

Congratulations on your manuscript!

Orange said...

I e-mailed everything off Tuesday morning. So much more efficient than the old-school "type one copy on paper, put it in the mail, and hope there's no fire or flood."

Cricket: Thanks!

Narya: You and I ought to meet up for dinner there sometime.

Feral Dame: Having a beautiful child isn't heroic. Having an ugly one—now, that's heroic.

Amusing: You go ahead and say those mean things as long as they can't hear you and you're not influencing any children. I always like to hear some good mockery!

Krup: Just let me know the next time you're heading to the North Side and I'll send you to all the fratboy-free zones.

Moose: Any restaurant that would take action against a whipped-cream licker should lose its license.

Katie said...

Congrats on finishing the manuscript, and thanks for recommending a new nearby restaurant!

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