Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 22:06:44 -0800
From: Karen Kay <karen@WORDWRITE.COM>
Subject: Tushar Report, or How I Lost My Virginity

The man knows how to pick a neighborhood.

I wasn't going to post this now because it's 12:30, and I'm trying not to catch lung crud, so I need my sleep, but I don't want to forget the details of this frabjous day.

I shall draw a veil over the morning with my sibs. Tushar phoned me when I was in the Burberry Store, and we agreed to meet at The Billy Goat Tavern, which is the "Cheeseburge! Cheeseburger! Coke! No Pepsi!" of SNL fame. I saw this not too long ago on TV, with John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, and Bill Murray, and I can understand why they did this. This place is a parody of itself, in a rather unconscious way. Anyway, they really do talk just like the skit. And the food is quite good.

I had all my sibs watching the door for a bald Indian--and one of them spotted him immediately. So he came over and disrobed, and I introduced him around and he sat with us for a few minutes, and then we started talking about what to do till my train left at 6:10pm. He quickly outlined a plan that had a few time constraints, so I jumped up and ditched my sibs without a 2nd thought. We walked over to a place that has jazz from 12-2:30, and listened to the last 45 minutes or so. I was trying to figure out what to drink, and thought, "Aha! I'm in a bar, I'll drink a Cosmopolitan!" The bartender asked me if I was sure, which made me hesitate, but I figured even if I got drunk and passed out that Tushar would get me to the train station. So that's how I lost my Cosmopolitan Virginity.

The drink was VERY strong and the music sounded better and better and Tushar started looking better and better, and oh, well, it was VERY strong. So we listened to the music and talked about What To Do Next. We decided to go visit Tushar's neighborhood, and I'm very glad I did. The man knows how to pick a neighborhood. There's block after block of interesting shops (including an old-fashioned hardware store) with no duplication. Extremely unpretentious. (With the exception of the new yuppie steak place whose name escapes me--that sticks out like a sore thumb.) You name it, his neighborhood has it.

So since I was looped and having trouble walking, we stopped at a coffee shop and had amazingly strong coffee and tea with a chocolate mousse cake. I loved the waiter in the coffeeshop; I thanked him for being part of my Chicago Experience. So we sat there for a long time and drank and talked and ate and drank and talked. It was a lot of fun, and the conversation did not flag. So we walked down the street (I think we were heading toward the El at that point), and we walked past one bar, and then we got to another and Tushar insisted we needed to stop and sample some Belgian beer. The beer list is truly impressive. They have--dammit, I forgot the name. Uh... Gloog? A Swedish spiced wine that used to only be made in Tushar's neighborhood. Yes, our sweet Tush lives in A SWEDISH NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!! Who knew.

Anyway, drank some of that and admired the bar, which is lovely. Lots of wood, jazz on the jukebox, and NO TV. I like the guy that owns the bar. And the ceiling--a pressed tin ceiling, painted dark green, with crown moldings that also looked like pressed tin, but I don't know that crown moldings come in pressed tin. Alyce would know [They do].

And I'm not going to talk about why I was spending time gazing up at the ceiling...

And eventually we had to leave so I could catch my train, which I did, and which was on time. As usual, the Kay Christmas Trip went flawlessly.

I really like Tushar's neighborhood a lot. It's quite exceptional, as city neighborhoods go. I don't want to own a house there, but I suspect that if I lived in the same city, I'd be visiting often.

Ah, well. Next year in Chicago...