Oh wow, what a week I had the last few weeks! You’re probably wondering why your gracious host has neglected her blogging duties recently. I realize I provide a vital service to my fans who look to me for NYC and food-related inspiration, and from the bottom part of my heart, I apologize to each and every last one of ya!
It all started when I realized Mr. Panda was having his annual birthday at the end of the summer, and this year was a real biggie – the big three-two! And as my stepmom always says, you only turn 32 once (except leap year babies, of course!), so I knew I had to do something extra-special. For those of you who know my partner-in-crime, you for sure know how much he is obsessed with barometers. Ever since he saw Twister as a kid, he just got super-interested in measuring atmospheric pressure wherever he went, and started collecting barometers. Antique ones, super-modern ones, we’ve got ‘em all over the house, and it might drive me a bit crazy, but he loves them, so what can I do? Our friends are probably very familiar with the Negretti & Zambra pendulum barometer hanging above the urn of Baxter’s ashes in our apartment’s breezeway. But trust me, we’ve got loads more under the bed, in the trunk of the Yaris, and in a storage unit down in Jacksonville.
Well, I know my Dad and Marie have tried to get me to discourage this habit of his, but for his b-ig b-day, I couldn’t resist doing something special for him. Soooo, I decided to surprise him with a trip of a lifetime – fly to Plymouth, England, in Great Britain, and then travel on down to the International Barometer Museum in Okehampton, England. But when I went to book our seats using my TWA frequent flyer miles, I discovered that all of my miles were gone! I am not ashamed to say that I blurted out something very unpandalike that day. You can imagine how horrified I was – I haven’t felt that terrible since we had to put Baxter down after he kept digging up Mom’s marigolds.
So yeah, I’ve just been baffled the past few weeks about how my miles could just simply disappear into thin air. I was wondering if I was maybe a victim of identity theft, but obviously I can’t have Mr. Panda call the police for me, because then I would have to ruin the surprise! And I guess I could try calling TWA, but I really didn’t want to waste all night on hold with someone in India, especially when I’m running out of minutes! So, I had to put the surprise trip of a lifetime on hold for the time being, and to cheer myself up I went to get my go-to comfort food, a Black Forest Ham footlong on Italian herb bread at Subway. I think you guys can guess what happened next – that’s right!!!! – when I got there I found out my Subway Rewards card was totally missing! Like I needed any more headaches that day, and I was only 15 points away from getting a free soda. But don’t you think that losing both my Subway points and my TWA miles is kind of fishy?
Then when I got back home, I found out Amy Winehouse had died. No way that these three things happening all at once could be a coincidence – creepy, right?
Anywho, with this setback after setback after setback I was totally freaked out. What was coming next, an asthma attack? A car bomb? A meteor shower?!? Then I remembered that bad things always come in threes, and I was able to relax again. And then I also remembered something that my stepmom always says: “When life gives you cantaloupes, make fruit salad!” So I decided to take this opportunity and do what New Yorkers always do in times of crisis – go out for brunch!
Now you might have brunch where you live, but here in New York brunch is elevated to fanaticism. Maybe it’s because New Yorkers hate God and never go to church. Or maybe it’s because there are no national parks or frisbee golf courses or college football teams or things like that to keep you occupied. But when the weekend comes, everybody, and I mean everybody (well OK, maybe not poor people), heads to brunch. So, I dragged Mr. Panda away from his favorite solitaire WW2 submarine game, and hauled him Brunchwards! Now, when you want to Brunch Brooklyn-style, the first and last word in brunching is Bubby’s.
Bubby’s is in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is called that because before the Jews and/or Italians discovered New York, this was Indian territory and they would hunt elephants here. (I accidentally deleted my bookmark to Wikipedia, so I am kind of paraphrasing what I can remember from history class.) And Bubby’s is such a wonderful place – imagine, if you possibly can, munching on perfect Eggs Florentine and pancakes while gazing out on a stunning view of the big city and a river. Because that’s exactly what Bubby’s is like!
Except not quite – I am leaving out one thing from this idyllic tableau – there were literally 5 thousand kids swarming the place! I’m not kidding, they were everywhere! Under the tables, on the tables, in the dumbwaiter, hanging off the busboy, napping under the food warming lights, crawling through the boxes of eggbeaters…screaming, crying, drooling everywhere! One rashy, sniffly little boy came up to our table and grabbed at the salt shaker saying “I need this!” No, what you need is mommy to get you out of this grown-up restaurant and home to watch some teletubbies, where you belong!
OK, now I don’t want you thinking that I hate kids or something – it’s exactly the opposite! I love them more than I love myself. In fact, Mr. Panda and I would love to have a few of our own some day if possible. My doctors have told me I would most likely not be able to get preggers on account of my cervix being shaped like a sideways anvil. But you know how you really can’t trust doctors these days. And anyways, I come from a long line of women who were able to get pregnant, and I sure don’t need to go to med school to understand how genetics work! So, check back in with me in a few years, and I guarantee you’ll find our Brooklyn home heaped to the brim with little Panda cubs!
But as much as I love the little ‘uns, there are places that are OK for them, and places that are NO-K. Feel free to bring them to the puppet show or the pediatric dermatologist, but some places are just not appropriate! For example, my beloved Aunt Marilyn has been tragically stricken with Restless Leg Syndrome and is now confined to her Spitfire Mobility Scooter. When Friday night rolls around, there would be nothing she would enjoy more than feasting at the Golden Corral’s buffet. But does she? No way! She knows that the sounds of her wheelchair’s motor will bother other diners, and maneuvering that scooter back and forth to the buffet table means bumping people’s chairs and tables. Would she love to participate in the all-you-can-eating? Of course! But instead she stays at home – why? Because it’s the polite thing to do, and the right thing to do. And that’s what all those Bubby parents should have done – the right thing, and stayed home! So, readers, what do you think? What is the best way to keep kids out of our restaurants?