Monday, March 4, 2013

Uncool is the New Cool

Williamsburg, 2013

I've lived in Williamsburg for nearly a decade. And I've walked past this place, Peter's, for years, and never really given it a second thought. When there are so many great restaurants around, I'd think, what's the point of a place with so-so atmosphere that sells somewhat pedestrian takeout (think meatloaf with yellow rice and spinach, 1/2 a roast chicken with mashed potatoes, that kind of thing.)

But now that there's a baby in the picture, I've done a 180. Peter's! Genius! Add it to the list of not terribly cool local places that might just welcome us with a baby.

On a Saturday night, when Will and I want to go out, stroller in tow, I often find myself thinking, 'What's the least cool place in the neighborhood right now?' Not because I am worried about loud music or even a wait at the bar, but because I get sick of hostesses wincing when they see us (and stroller) coming through the door.

This weekend, we wandered into a completely empty Antica Pesa, and were turned away. Then we proceeded to pop our heads into 4 or 5 local restaurants where the staff clearly didn't want to accomodate a stroller. Yes, I get that a screaming baby isn't great for atmosphere, but I swear I am not glossing things over when I say that after 7, no matter how noisy it is, Axel will sleep through dinner and not make so much as a peep. Basically he is like a small pice of luggage at that point in the evening.

After getting rejected at a few somewhat-of-the-moment spots (even though it was barely 7 p.m.) I wound up feeling like a terrible parent, schlepping Axel around past his bedtime, as a dusting of snow fell. We settled on drinks at Betto and dinner at D.O.C. Both totally fine, but it was nonetheless a kind of discouraging experience.

Does it matter? I guess not. We still go out at night, we still eat well. But I am finding it a little surprising how baby unfriendly so many neighborhood places are past 6 p.m. (the witching hour?)

Which leads me to wonder if I am going nuts and if it is, in fact, totally inappropriate to bring Axel out to dinner with us. While I figure out the answer, you'll find us at that brand new place...from 2003.

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