82nd & 2nd

Well an interesting Saturday night.  First, I realize as I am about to get on the Throgs Neck Bridge heading over to The Bay Club in Bayside, Queens to pick up my friend Nancy for her birthday celebration that I have no cash for the toll booth.  Luckily I realize this in time enough to catch the “last exit before toll”.   I surprisingly end up right on a street that I am a little familiar with at a restaurant in the Bronx called Tosca’s.  A trendy restaurant you would not think you would find in the Bronx that has a great atmosphere and good food.  Nevertheless, I was a little familiar with the neighborhood and found an ATM.  After about 10 minutes of trying to find the entrance back onto the bridge and being a little flustered doing so, I end up in the EasyTrak lane.   But, I don’t have EasyTrak.

As I pull up to the toll both and hold my $10 bill out for the toll man, there is no toll man.  Only a gate in front of my car and a bunch of cars behind me starting to pile up.  Oh, Sh*t.  “Where the heck is the guy?”  I get out of the car, walking to other booths to find someone.  But no one.  All EasyTrak lanes.  Oy vey!   All the while I’m saying sorry to all the cars and knowing that at this moment they are saying “figures” when they see my very blonde hair.   Finally, a police officer shows up and jokes with me a bit, gives me change and wishes me a good night.  Oy yoy yoy.

Nevertheless, the evening went on pretty nicely as I had dinner at a restaurant in Little Neck at a place called Il Bacco.  A very well-to-do Italian restaurant with as equally well-to-do patrons who expect exceptional atmosphere and cuisine.   Ends up, Joe, the owner, use to own a restaurant named Firenze on 82nd & 2nd in Manhattan at the same time I lived there in 1986.  It was that apartment where my daughters father and I lived together and had some of the greatest times. 

Joe, a strikingly handsome man was also a huge flirt (comes with the territory of being the owner).  Of course, I put him in his place a little by mentioning that I thought he was married and “ta ta ta”.   He assured me he wasn’t but I didn’t buy it and he knew it but kept keepin’ on.  Our waiter, who I call “skins” (because he had such beautiful skin which he stated was his third compliment of the night on his skin) was wonderfully attentive and refilling my glass at dessert with Frangelica (my new found favorite).  Although Nancy and I had plans to go out dancing afterwards at Zachary’s, we ended up closing up Il Bacco, chatted up a storm then called it a night not to say that I had a 3 mile hike scheduled the next day in Cold Springs, NY that I had to have at least a little rest for.   

Of course on the way back I was duly prepared with $4.50 in tow.  But as I was crossing the bridge my gas gage blinked on the empty light.  Oh no!  Of course I freaked a little.  I was on a bridge for goods sake.  But…nevertheless got to a gas station thank goodness before Mr. Drip had it’s last stand.

However, the apple martini, the delicious “specialty” red (need to get the name from Joe or Nancy) and the fragelica did aid in a slight headache in the morn.  All in all worth it though.

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