Last night I sat at one of the community tables at Red Farm on the Upper West Side. I had a view of Broadway between 76th and 77th Street, and looked at the west side of the block where Big Nick’s used to be. Thirty years ago my father started dating the woman who’d become my step mother; she lived a block away, so I’m familiar with the vicinity. Or was.
Around me, the restaurant was clean, bright and full. The service was efficient and helpful, the food expensive, the portions small, and the taste, delicious. The crowd was well-scrubbed–the Hamptons, Abercrombie and Fitch, nouveau riche set. I was reminded of something a friend of mine told me last week. This friend is about 15 years older than me and he grew up on the Upper West Side in the 1960s and ’70s. He hasn’t lived there for years but recently went on a first date at a spot on Amsterdam Avenue. He sat with the woman at an outdoor cafe and she remarked how lovely it was. Knowing what it had once been, disgusted at what it’s become, he told her it was like sitting in the front row of a farting contest.
They didn’t have a second date. At Red Farm, the crowd, prices, and portions might be enough to keep a sensible person away. But the food was damn tasty so I think I’ll go again.
[Photo Credit: The Daily Muse]