From an old notebook.

Circa 2005:

Inauguration of new notebook with scribbles and spelling mistakes [ed: all corrected, hopefully] in a New York Starbucks. Life is officially complete with perhaps one exception. Damn, I want to kiss that girl right now. Maybe I can live here one day. That would be grande!

Same Day

It must be getting close to need, now. I took the wrong train and ended up further into Brooklyn that I’ve ever been. Now I’m at the corner of 7th Av and W 23rd St. Pretty junky. Nowhere to sit, but not too many people. Smoking a cigar, drinking Starbucks coffee. It’s really quite hot here, too. I want to buy a bottle to fill up with water. Anything to drink is boody expensive here.

Later

The subway stations are hotter than most tropical countries, but this train is beautifully cool and not that difficult to write one. A bit jerky. Then again, so am I. Hopefully on the right train this time.

Later

It’s probably around 2pm now. I don’t have a watch. Nick and I are outside some sort of convention centre. A giant glass building filled with cool, cool air. Which is nice, that. It’s a record-breaking heat wave here. Speaking of which, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market seems to have disappeared. Sad, that.

Later

Back at the hostel again — cool air! And even though ti smells vaguely of garbage in here (or is that some sort of sanitizer?), it’s good to be back. The subways were crazy in Manhattan. Weekend, everything closed for construction and such. We saw Ground Zero, which seemed to be in the process of being rebuilt or something. Also saw Staten Island from across the Hudson. A rather interesting thing — water and then suddenly buildings. Wish I could check my email or something, but I could even get to the hotspot I used yesterday. Annoying.

Milestones sucks

You know sometimes you go somewhere and get really great service and good food? The Keg is like that. We save up money to go out to The Keg every once in a while; it’s pretty much a guaranteed good time all round. Expensive… but good.

Milestones, however, is pretty much the exact opposite. I’ve had a really, really bad experience there (and vowed I would never go back), and it turns out that just about everyone I know has had a bad experience there of some kind.

And it’s not just one thing. You go to Kelsey’s or something and you get what you expect. The service isn’t great and the food isn’t great, but the prices aren’t bad either. Kelsey’s is what it is. It’s authentically itself; it doesn’t have any pretences of being anything other than itself. And this is good. You don’t feel like you’re being deceived when you eat at Kelsey’s. (McDonalds is the same way; we all know it’s crap, but it is what it is and doesn’t pretend to be something else.)

Milestones on the other hand is all about the upscale. It’s like they took The Keg, changed a few wall hangings, and prayed very hard that things would go well.

They haven’t.

Milestones is Kelsey’s with inflated prices. The service still isn’t good, the food is still sub-par, the atmosphere is alright but nothing special, yet we are being asked to pay a premium to eat there.

Everyone I know will say the same thing: The Keg is worth it, Milestones is not. The Keg is somewhere you plan to go to eat. Milestones is where you go to eat when all other plans have been exhausted and you just don’t care.