How fast can you say “Chelsea is dying”?

The other day I entered an inexplicably popular restaurant and bar on Seventh Avenue to meet an itinerant Monegasque (i.e. from Monte Carlo, you heathen) hotel executive for a drink. He was already seated at the uncrowded bar and was happily nursing a glass of red wine. Of course, he was dressed better than me (hello, European?), but still I was hardly pulling a Hoboken.

God forbid the bartender, if I could dignify the guy standing behind the bar as such, should smile and put forth a brave “What’ll it be?” No, I was steadfastly, studiously ignored for the better part of ten minutes. The way the bar guy was cradling his portable electronic device (not even an iPhone, mind you…what on Earth was I doing here?), you’d think he was hoping it would morph into a thick wad of tips. But finally, I had to shout across the bar, and then suffer the pain of a hopelessly watered down, nine-dollar Malibu and Coke.
Note to Elmo: We are in a little something called a recession. At that point, I felt like the only conceivably just tip would be slapping the indefatigably rude bar person, and not on the ass. For not only was I royally ripped off, but his acid inattention had spoiled the atmosphere, and arguably ruined my evening.

So I felt like making a beeline to a better place on Eighth Avenue, like Ate Avenue, but wait — I think some Republicans, now hiding out in Texas, trashed the economy, and a nice Democrat can’t seem to fix it. Ate Avenue is out of business.

Maybe I would have been better off in Hoboken.

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