Wednesday, June 28, 2006

East Village Elitism

The softer side of St. Mark’s is invisible from the view between Second and Third, obscured by the longish bi-hawks of aging punks, kitschy sunglass kiosks, and t-shirt peddlers famous for black attire emblazoned with ‘edgy sayings’ (most of which seem to crazy-font-shout ‘Have a nice fucking day’).

It’s a mini wunderkid land, calling out to teenagers, tourists and upper-direction-siders alike. For those of us who live within a stone’s throw, we look on with a short sense of dread, a perennial reminder of our failed rebel youth, healed tongue piercings, and regrettable tribal tattoos. For me, the bounty of polyester pants and gas station uniforms overcomes the attraction of the crowded dive bars and Chipotle, usually in heavy rotation.

Luckily, walking east, it morphs slowly; dotted by bistros, jazz bars and eateries. The brick buildings emerge, the planted trees in full leaf sprout, and wrought iron no longer indicates prison-barred windows.

Between First and Second, and then from First to A, a nightly sway drifts in the air. Jule’s Café’s sunken patio and intoxicating French conversation pair well with the raspberry coulis Bellini, especially when served to the sultry stylings of a live band. A place I’ve never found the name of is abuzz at every hour, beautiful people stretching their legs alfresco as they dine on exotic salads. Further on, the date spots continue with many like Yaffa Café, under a striped awning and the famed mural. Beyond that, incredible drunk food in throngs: sushi, The Dumpling Man, Crif Dog.

Finally, there exists an Australian ice creamery with gooey concoctions that put Tasti D-Lite to shame (though I am a fan of the whipped air). The cold cups are rich and velvety on the tongue. As they scoop up your order, it’s fun to survey the vast offerings of gourmet chocolates, gilded with designs and infused with teas and other subtle flavors.

Last night, that was exactly what we intended upon doing. Sampling a few on wooden spoons and then insisting our flavor of choice be in a children’s cup, which comes with a hidden toy in the bottom, usually a bouncy ball, perfect for throwing in traffic on First. A few feet before the storefront, we passed two, skinny hipsterettes, apparently pecking at white plastic cups. It was an awkward passing in which we had to dart one way and then the next to avoid the outdoor diners and then again to avoid a perfectly grunged street performer. So we slowed, letting the girls pass. It was then that I realized the thinner one, the one with the pretty, bulging blues and delicate high forehead, was Heather Graham.

In a flash they were gone, and we started gossiping. We just saw Heather Graham! Sure, it didn’t seem she’s been getting much work since Scrubs, and she was a dead ringer for a startled cousin of Elijah Wood's, but it was a celebrity sighting nonetheless. Right near our favorite ice cream place. And even better, it looked like, just maybe, she had just been there.

We lightly continued on our journey. At the door, two workers wouldn’t let us in. They were closed at 10:20. Apparently they had been closed since ten. No. No exceptions.

But then…? How did…?

Though our sighting was admittedly quick, and I couldn’t really tell what she was holding, if anything at all, and she was merely walking from the direction of the place, not out of it, circumstantial evidence leads me to believe…. oh, right. They let Heather in and not us. Duh, ice cream only for the famous.

Got it.

Even still, we felt a little stiffed. Telling from her lanky limbs, we would have at least finished ours…


Kidding, kidding.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha! Oh that is great. I like Heather Graham, but I would have been pissed too.

Nice descriptions.

victoria said...

i love st. mark's place! and bistro jules is one of my favorite romantic places... have the postcard framed in my nc apt. so happy to read your entry. i miss ny!

new to the comments, but a regular voyeur, er, reader. :)

Gigi said...

The world is an unjust place.

Put it to memory and you'll do just fine.

themarina said...

I love star sightings. It's especially funny how they're usually over before one realizes it even started.

Dazzles said...

Are you on druks?

Anonymous said...

druks rock

Another twentysomething said...

Isn't it lovely how summer calls people out of their wool coats and faced-paced winter walks onto patios, wearing summer clothes? It's lovely how all you need to make the most of a summer night is a patio serving good food. I definitley heart sumemrs and patios.

Buffy said...

She does look rather like a startled cousin from the family Wood.

Broady said...

Unbelievable, those celeb ass kissing ice cream sheisters.

congrats on the Gawker shout out!

Anonymous said...

I was at a party with Heather Graham and one of my best friends is still traumatized becase he swears she... ahem... "returned" his lemon meringue pie. So yeah. The ice cream was probably wasted.

D.T. said...

Maybe Graham didnt read your discription of the little shop of tasty delights...but I bet if she did, she would totally be craving ice cream right now. Like I am.

Cheetarah1980 said...

stop frontin. you weren't kidding. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Heather Graham can't act at all! Why does she get work?