The coordinates for the next tagalong come in from Woody: “We’re at Radegast. N3rd.”
Do I really want brunch in Williamsburg? (And is apple horseradish relish necessary?) No — but there are worse things out there on a Sunday afternoon that had been originally slated for tax preparation.
"Fifteen minutes," I confirm.
The first time I went to an address on North Third was back in 2010 — the day I met the musician, actually. I remember it being an ugly deserted day in October. Today it feels like the Williamsburg State Fair. Sunny and money, with tourists.
I take my seat at the communal table with Woody, the Driver, and Her Beau. They are already halfway through their meals and their shandygaffs. Woody’s phone is passed to me with a rather graphic photo showing in the display.
"So, this disease afflicts only one in every 5.5 million people," the Driver explains to me.
"Uh, I see."
I hand the phone back to her, and she continues: “I sort of want to see the guy’s face. Otherwise how am I supposed to figure out if this is a turn on or not?”
The waitress brings over my eggs and potato pancakes.
"Me and Woody are still hungry," says the Driver. "I think we’re gonna get another brunch order for dessert."
The jazz trio starts up on my left. The Django bit is nice, but it sounds out of place with all the yelling and clanging tableware in the background. I remember a sax player once telling me he couldn’t stand brunch gigs. The tip jar here looks noticeably green, at least…
The Driver is still looking at the photo. “I don’t think this would work for me,” she says. “I mean, if they were stacked on top of one another, then maybe. But side by side, this would not be comfortable.”
The “Gypsy Toast” with pomegranate syrup arrives at the table, and the Driver carves it up into twenty or so little pieces.
"Dig in," she tells us, and we do.
Her Beau advises us to save room for ice cream. “There’s this awesome place around the corner, man. They’ve got burnt marshmallow today.”
An hour later, as we are waiting in line for the ice cream, the Driver starts acting strange. She sits down, then she stands up again and leans against the wall, then against her Beau. I watch her walk across the room and mention something to Woody, and they enter the bathroom together.
Back at the counter, her Beau orders a burnt marshmallow milkshake, while I get a root beer float. We snag a table and wait. Eventually they emerge from the bathroom, and the Driver sits down, holding her head. Woody goes to the counter and returns with a cone of rocky road.
"Oh my god I thought I was gonna faint," the Driver says. "But I really had to pee, so I made Woody come into the bathroom with me."
"Awwwwwwwwkward," Woody says, and everyone laughs.
"What — if I fainted in there alone with the door locked, you would never be able to get me out!"
"You’re probably dehydrated," Woody says to her.
"Did I ever tell you one time I fainted at PS1 while I was waiting in line for the ladies’ room, and the whole line collapses around me, trying to wake me up. And then after I woke up I still had to wait in line to go to the fucking bathroom!"
"Yeah, that’s New York," says her Beau.
Woody holds up his ice cream cone. “Damn, this thing was five bucks! It’s expensive.”
The Beau points out that it’s small-batch ice cream of the highest artisanal quality.
The Driver laughs. “Yeah, we know it’s good. But you know what else is good? When they sell those tubs of Turkey Hill ice cream, two for five dollars. That’s fucking good, too.”