gasp! I need some air, and was searching for it at - of all places- on google, semi-geek that I am, when I came across this website. Not quite what I was looking for, but refreshing nevertheless.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Cirque du Soleil, and some food

The weekend, so far, has been hectic. Kanishka, Snigdha and I went to watch Allegria by the Cirque du Soleil group yesterday. They came over to my place around 6, with a bottle of 12-year Macallan (which I am *waiting* to try out), and some excellent Black Forest cake. It was pouring out, and we made a wet getaway to the 6 train. Came out of 125th street to find ourselves in front of the first Pathmark I have seen in the City to date. Met up with Hojo and the X80 bus, which took us to Randall's Island. The Cirque tent was reminiscent of the old traveling circuses, and so were their retro dresses and make up.

The show - in brief - was captivating. Somehow, it made me feel that all I had learnt in Physics was up for dispute. Men are not supposed to be able to stand and skip on their hands as they can with their feet. Fire is supposed to burn, specially when licked with one's tongue. Feet can not land up in front of my face, coming over and around my shoulders. When you let go of a little swing and jump, you do not fall to get a grip on the same swing. It takes a lot of effort to balance on a 4" wide plank, and it's not possible to jump from one such plank to another perpendicular to it, and not break a few bones. In short, there's no point describing Allegria - you have to see it to believe it. And no, it's not like the Gemini Circus in India, or the Barnum Brothers in Madison Square Garden. It's different. Very different. If it was any cheaper, I would go for as many shows as I can. And - IMHO - don't try to save the $20 to get the cheaper $75 seats, you see the backs of most people. On a similar note, unless you are very rich, avoid the $220 "tapis rouge" seats - you can see just as well from the ones behind that section. But then maybe you want to pay $100 to get the heat from the flame thrower's act!

Return was quick, considering the large crowd in the middle of nowhere. Subway to Bleeker, followed by a short walk to our most frequented intersection, McDougal and Bleeker. Brazil Grill is closed and gone, replaced by Nikita with it's standard American fare - which did not quite appeal to us. Consensus was reached in favor of Panchito's - which serves one of the 6 best Margaritas in NYC. Does that mean they are the 6th? Anyway - food was awesome, and serving sizes were just right - at least for the Chimichanga, Tamale, and Fajitas. The margarita definitely lived up to it's reputation. The salsa dip looked homemade, fresh, and among the bests I have tasted. With a pitcher of the 'rita, one appetizer and an entree for each, it came to about $30 a head for the 4 of us. Definitely worth the price. Should have taken my camera along, and written it up on the other blog. Then again, may just do it anyway, and fill in the pictures some other time.

A quick getaway to the apartment, and a fast apartment-to-sleep time followed. It was supposed to last nice and long, but for the infernal racket created by some construction works - the city was being made a better place to live in, right this morning, right from under my window. Incredible. One wonders what these guys were doing Monday to Friday, when people are away at work. Then again, they have completely disappeared right now - I went over to check - maybe they want to make sure I wake up early again tomorrow. Maybe they are hired by the church to get people up for the 9am service. But then I am not even Christian!

I digress. I was not talking about religion. I was talking mostly about circuses and food. Now that we were all up and awake, albeit sleepy, we decided to head to Chinatown and have some dim sums for brunch. Sweet and Tart to the rescue - at 20 Mott Street, right opposite the Chinese church. We had about 10 dishes, with a total of $30 for the 3 of us, along with some excellent fresh-made apple-carrot-celery-ginger juice. Then again, no point in writing about it here in detail, when I have the other blog dedicated to such purposes.

Snigdha had invited some people over to her place for dinner, and one of the major pre-requisites for the day was the possession of eggplant. Chinatown green grocers only sell the Chinese variety, which are not good for baigan bharta. So now you know. Took a cab towards the Whole Foods on 7th and 27th - but the cabbie somehow managed to get into the Holland Tunnel entrance. We made a high speed swerve mere feet from the tunnel itself (if you haven't taken the tunnel at rush hour, you have no idea what I am talking about), and managed to get back to 8th Avenue, whereupon we started discussing what were the curses that were shouted upon us back at the tunnel entrance.

Whole Foods happened. NJ Transit also happened, for Kanishka and Snigdha, and some walking happened for me, with some smoking to keep the pollution level high enough (in the City, and in my lungs). So far, sooooooo good.


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