Everybody knows Ezekiel saw the Wheel way up in the middle of the air…but last Sunday, we had brunch on it!
It was the Sunday Champagne Brunch, actually…and the “wheel way up…” in this case was the revolving restaurant The View, located on the 47th floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Patrick and I met up with Jess and Marc in the second floor lobby of the hotel (get a load of the giant gold pinecones!), where we checked our coats and then stepped into the glass elevator for the trip up to the restaurant.
This was actually my least favorite part of the trip, I’ll confess. The elevator was a bit fast for my taste and I wasn’t comforted at all by seeing how fast we were going, either, so the glass business was wasted on me, except for the moment I distracted myself thinking of Willy Wonka’s glass elevator…which worked fine until I remembered them crashing through the roof…and by then we were at the restaurant lobby.
Perhaps this is an intentional part of the experience. After the unsettling elevator ride, that the restaurant only turns very slowly is a great comfort. ; ) Actually, it’s totally cool. It’s like this, actually.
We were shown to our table and welcomed by our server, JoyEve, who pointed out the letter designation over the window – we were in section C – so we’d be able to find our way back from the buffet stations, since they might be in different places each time we visited. She also loaded us up with coffee, orange juice, champagne and water.
After a brief visit, we made our way to the breakfast station for some grub. Since the price of admission for brunch here is not what you’d call inexpensive, our plan was to use the Slow and Steady method to see just how close we could come to getting our money’s worth, without re-enacting certain scenes from particular Monty Python movies. So, resolving no wafer thin mints or salmon mousse, we hit the buffet.
I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures of the food, but I suppose I was enjoying myself too much to remember. I was happy to see the Eggs Benedict presented in a very shiny and splendid roll-top silver chafing pan, because, as I pointed out to my fellow diners, there’s No Place Like Chrome for the Hollandaise.
They were not amused and may even have considered having me sent to a completely different table. You know, as pun-ishment. I was grateful they reconsidered and let me stay.
Because this was a terrific afternoon and one of my favorite things about this or any holiday season. I would even go so far as to say that meetings such as this, these happy reunions of friends over good food, are the sorts of things that make a holiday season. And it was certainly a holiday to spend the afternoon in such good company as we talked of everything and nothing and watched, quite literally, the world go by around us.
The food was terrific. I could write a sonnet just about the bacon, of which I ate entirely too much. (Thanks, Jess…) Honestly, there were more options of things to eat than I could possibly have explored fully in the three hours we were there. But I did my best. There was some lovely lox and awesome antipasto and scrumptious salad…and then the desserts, all those little tarts who met their demise at my hand and the bread pudding with bourbon sauce and berries…oh, I’m feeling overly full all over again just thinking of it.
It was delightful, all the food, glorious food.
And of course, the buildings of Midtown and the more distant horizons of the suburbs are the real stars of the show, the continual turn of the restaurant floor always revealing another building, a different perspective, a new scene.
You certainly get an overwhelming sense of these magnificent towers from the street, but you can’t appreciate them fully until you are standing eye-to-eye, sort of, with them. Up in the air, you can see them in their own peer group, the way they shoulder up against one another, or how one towers over the others, those shiny little upstarts that hold their own against taller neighbors, each with their own unique flair and personality.
They are all out there, moving slowly past, and it’s just amazing. We stayed for about three hours, which was two full revolutions of the restaurant. It wasn’t until we were well into that second time around that I remembered I wanted to be taking some photos from this unique angle. You certainly don’t get to enjoy this sort of perspective any old time, that’s for sure.
I offer my sincere thanks to Marc and Jess, who were kind enough to subsidize this one-of-a-kind experience. Brunch put a perfect crown on my weekend in New York by not only giving us the chance to hang out, but also affording me the chance to capture some of these sweet views from on high.
Those three hours went pretty quickly, to be sure. The company, the food, the scenery all a perfect combination for Time Flying When You Are Having Fun…and suddenly, we were saying our goodbyes and trading sweet holiday wishes (and holiday sweets…have you heard about Marc’s hot pepper peanut brittle…ay carumba…) in the throngs of Times Square tourists, where I helped us fit in by snapping a few photos.
Marc and Jess headed off for their train to Long Island and Patrick and I made our way to the subway that would return us to Harlem and what remained of the weekend. One thing was certain, whatever else we did with the day, precious little of that was going to involve eating anything.
Gee, I forgot to mention that earlier, as we’d been dashing for the subway on the way to the View, we’d come across this float, as well as a crowd of folks who were preparing to celebrate the festival of our Lady of Guadelupe on this sunny morning.