Sparky's, The Frick & San Ambroeus

As usual, we had our first meal of the day at our extended kitchen, Sparky's. Sparky's is a true neighborhood place where everyone knows each other. If the waitresses are too busy, just serve yourself a cup of coffee or glass of water, and if you really have to, clean up your own table to make room for the next family. We manage to have a well-rounded meal at $10-15 a day for 2 people. So I've taken to doing more life drawing there since I've started freelancing. Since drawing on a subway commute is no longer an option, Sparky's is the next best thing. As I was drawing, I was struck by all the logos everywhere. 24/7 we're bombarded with product placement even in the most unsuspecting places. I didn't draw them all, but you'll see four of them here.

I was in a drawing mood and it couldn't be a more beautiful day. We decided to head to the city and visit the Frick. We weren't sure where it was exactly, but we headed to Museum Mile (which runs on the east side of Central Park), hoping we'd run into it. Instead we ran into a young English gentleman sitting in front of The Met. He was kind enough to let us borrow his copy of Time Out New York which told us that we were only 10 blocks away. Once we finally made it to the Frick we did a bit of drawing there. I don't know what it was, perhaps because it was literally a house full of accomplished masters, but my drawing was feeling a bit lifeless. I was drawing a few statues that came out stiff and mannered, as good as a student exercise.

A very mannered sketch

Not exactly the ego boost I was looking for. So I just decided to enjoy the paintings as accomplished works and draw the people looking at the paintings. Afterwards, we went to a snooty, Upper East Side brunch place called Sant Ambroeus, where I had a perfect salad of thinly sliced Parmesan on a bed of artichokes. I drew Dennis and cleaned my plate. Then we had some wonderful gelato and a strawberry and white chocolate dessert. The service was excellent, despite the upper crusty clientele. We managed to avoid most of it until, close to the end of our meal, two young women, maybe fresh out of college, were seated next to us.

A slightly disheveled Dennis (lovingly colored)

They spoke one decibel over earshot, which wasn't difficult since their table was less than a foot away. Each name-dropped designers and actors like they were going out of style. We learned that one of them, the louder of the two, has a family friend who designs jewelry for Gwyneth and several other famous women, and that her father made an enormous amount of money on side jobs editing music videos. In short, she was basking in the success that was her father. Actually, I was very impressed by her father, even though I've never met him, let alone his daughter. But really, I almost wanted to erase them from my memory (my husband's smarter technique) but the situation was in such poor taste, I had to pen it here. Well, suffice it to say, we left rather irritated, exchanged snide comments a few decibels above earshot, turned our noses up and walked out.