Erika and I started our holiday gift list last night. It's true, I need some new corduroy pants, but what I really want... is dinner with New York Times food writers Florence Fabricant, R.W. Apple Jr., Eric Asimov and Frank Bruni. Nothing would give me more joy _ aside from the future birth of my children, and the possible first production of a play I've written. I would bring Erika, of course. What the hell _ throw in Peter Meehan and Mark Bittman, too.
I envision a trip to the City. We get there early and spend a few hours staring at the ducks in the cold at Central Park. We head to a restaurant on the Upper East Side and find the group has already ordered _ they say they waited for us. The writers pass the time with Times gossip and snipes at the staffs of Gourmet and Bon Appetit. "Have you had any good meals lately," I ask and am met with icy silence. One-by-one, they slip off to the bathroom and out of the restaurant, leaving my wife and I with the check _ a la "Bonfire of the Vanities." A memorable evening, truly.