Actually it was late afternoon into evening if you want to get technical, but never the less it was a great time to be had by all.
We decided to meet up in front of Virgin Records in Union Square where I immediately recognized Shauna and Gareth crossing the street and coming toward me...she gave me a big grin as she approached, obviously confirming that we indeed "knew" each other. A quick greeting and the regular introductions and then it was down to getting through the masses and onto the train to Bayridge Brooklyn. We started getting acquainted on the ride over to my old hood, laughing and gabbing on the way. It took me a sec to adjust to Gareth's awesome Scottish burr, but I was insync before you could say Chip Buddy.
Once we arrived in Bayridge (and I got my directional bearings) we took care of the first order of business, hitting the little Italian bakery before they closed in order to procure the delicious little 7 layer cookies (a.k.a. tri-color cookies)that I've been bragging about to Shauna for a week or so now to have for a later planned snack. Then we walked over to the quaint little coffee shop where the Maestro was meeting us and picked him up on our way to the Indian restaurant I had chosen. Ten blocks later, we arrived at Indian Passage where we were eventually seated...not that it was packed or anything, I just don't think they were expecting people so early for dinner (and the service is always a bit slow there.) Once we were seated, we gabbed and perused the menu, my recommendation? The Mixed Grill...an assortment of Tandoori delights from Lamb to Shrimp to Chicken all on one plate...I ordered the Chicken Tikka part of the grill, my favorite, and it's tender goodness did not disappoint. Shauna and the Maestro both opted for the full grilled meat assortment and Dr. G chose a sort of paneer saag I think...all accompanied with basmati rice, soft naan bread and the most delicious creamy sauce that makes everything just right. This truly is my favorite Indian restaurant in all of NYC...that's right, way out in Bayridge Brooklyn...even better than the posh places I've tried in Manhattan. It seemed that everyone was satisfied with their meal and the conversation was great...we even touched on what exactly it is a Maestro does and he was happy to explain (if not excited) :)
After dinner, they served us some Mango Ice Cream that refreshed the palate, we paid the bill that eventually came (remember slow service) and then it was off for a nice jaunt over to the bay and the Verrazano Bridge. Ok maybe not exactly a jaunt more like 3 or so miles walking over and up to the bridge, but we were all glad to walk off the massive amounts of Indian food we had just consumed. It was a lovely evening, in fact we were so lucky that by the time we started walking towards the bay, it was sunset, so we were able to enjoy the lovely colors over the water as we walked. After a while of meandering along the bay the sun went down and we finally reached the bridge. The lights of the Verrazano were glowing off the water in a rather ethereal looking way with it's blue glow. We chose to reward ourselves with a rest on one of the benches lining the bay and took in the view of the bridge, the skyline, and a little boat that was tossing rather violently in the water. In fact the boat looked a bit questionable where several times it seemed to sink down at one end as if all the weight in the boat had gone there...we joked that perhaps they were getting rid of a body...and on that note we decided to leave as not to become unwilling witnesses to a crime. We headed over to a coffee shop to have a nice warm drink to contrast the nice fall air and to eat the 7 layer cookies I had been carrying around with such care :) We arrived at the coffee shop 30 blocks later and sat down at an outside table, ordering a variety of drinks...The Maestro with his standard iced decaf, me with a nice hot cup of chocolate raspberry decaf coffee, Dr. G with his 100% Colombian, and Shauna with a nice cup of English Breakfast. Once we were served our drinks, I pulled out the little bakery box with red and white string and gingerly opened it under the table, passing out the little delicacies to the group in a sneaky sort of fashion. (I had to keep it on the DL as no outside food was allowed). We then bombarded poor Shauna with questions about her upcoming interview. What was she going to say? How was she going to answer the questions the publisher had prepared for her? What do you do when faced with questions that were more fluff than substance? Shauna of course was well prepared with notepad and pen handy and talked about all the ideas and confusion surrounding the book. How do they market The Amazing Adventures of Diet Girl? Is it a diet book? Is it a novel? I believe they decided to reference it under Chic Lit...which I guess is the happy medium betweenst the two (but personally I don't think it does her book enough justice, however Chic Lit. does well over here in the States). If you haven't read the book, then order it from the UK or buy it here when it comes out in December...I highly recommend it, as it's a really enjoyable read and hard to put down.
Once we finished our drinks and our interrogation of Shauna, we decided to head home (she did have an interview the next morning afterall). We chatted a bit more on the subway laughing and gabbing easily like old friends, and sadly when we got to Union Square we had to part ways. As we gave each other hugs and big smiles, I couldn't help but wish that they lived in NYC...Carmine even commented on how genuine and nice they were and what nice friends they make. We really enjoyed our time with DG and Dr. G. and yes they're just as lovable in person as they are on paper...more so to tell you the truth, and as I think you'd expect.
My only complaint of the night were the high-healed boots I had chosen to wear...sensible and way cute in City terms for the office and commuting, but not idea for walking 5 miles (the full round trip that we ended up doing to coffee shop, to restaurant, to bay, to bridge, back to coffee shop and then back to the subway.) But other than that, it was a top notch night-out with top notch peeps. I hope they come again and soon...Maybe next time they can see the Maestro and I in performance. Oooh...and perhaps we'll do Korean food too.
Oh and YES I did shamelessly get my book signed by the Author...and to my happy surprise I got Dr. G. to sign it too (with a little help of coaxing from Shauna) which really made my day...
So there it is...my little essay on an evening with the Famous Diet Girl and her Dr. G. Try not to hate me too much ;) (yeah I'm a bloody bragger)
Have a great day!