Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dinner, readings

Ate dinner at Acqua (Amsterdam and W. 95th) for the first time. It was packed, but they sat me right away, even though I was eating alone. A nice low-to-mid-range Italian, with a specialty on Sardinian cooking. Fairly warm and inviting interior to make you forget you're on a pretty chilly block. I made the mistake of ordering Chardonnay on a whim, regretting it almost right away. But the pasta dish I got was not a disappointment: rigatoni in a wild mushroom meat sauce. I practically licked the plate, with some help from the interestingly seasoned crispy flatbread that came in the bread basket. I'd go back.

At Symphony Space, Jonathan Lethem didn't have much stage presence, reading rather stiltedly from his overly verbose notes. But luckily the always warm and inviting Isaiah Schaeffer made up for the guest host's chilliness. One medium-length story read by Malachy McCourt: "The Wood Duck" by Thurber. One too-brief and not punchy enough story read by Isaiah: "Dreamtigers" by Borges. And after intermission, a really long but overall satisfying story read by Maria Tucci: "The Dinosaurs" by Calvino. Which reminded me again how much I need to read Cosmicomics, after all I've heard about it (and from it).

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