Attended a Jane Austen meeting/lecture held at the Clyde’s restaurant next to the Verizon Center. The lecture itself involved more Byron than Austen and I didn’t really succeed in following what the guy was saying. What struck me the most about the experience was instead the restaurant.
There’s another Clyde’s I’m more familiar with, a restaurant close enough to where I work we’ve had farewell lunches and last year’s holiday party there. It was large but not overly so, and somewhat overpriced but at least more or less edible. I figured this would be much the same.
Before getting there mom and I were a little worried about finding the restaurant on the block. We needn’t have been. It was a large two-story structure with CLYDE’S in large gold letters on it. I knew it was accessible from both the street and the mall it’s attached to, but it seemed almost as big as said mall. From the inside as well; there were corridors in that place. There was an elevator. I’m not sure where this elevator led to, but there was one.
The room in which we were holding the meeting was a fancy place, too. Quite sizable, of course, with a bar, and silver chandeliers on chains. The walls were lined with paintings and sculptures all of race horses, and with silver plates, and other silver objects behind glass panes. I got the impression of it trying to resemble some sort of old English club. It left me with the feeling that most people who meet in that room tended to be more wealthy groups than JASNA, especially because we’d had to pay quite a bit to RSVP for that meeting. I didn’t really like that feeling. I liked it even less when the food proved a choice between three very fancy dishes where I had to make a guess at which one might be edible. Unfortunately I guessed dead wrong, and so had no lunch today. It was a relief to get out of there.
I am wary of expensive restaurants in general for that, but I’ve been to ones where the food has been good, and sometimes I haven’t even felt out of place at all. The Babbo’s in Greenwich Village, for instance, where my family ate last August, where an ordinary family can splurge every once in a great while and not feel at all awkward. This, on the other hand, was the epitome of why so many of them aren’t worth it unless you’re a rich snob. Thankfully our office’s holiday party next week is being held somewhere else this year.