Wayne Koestenbaum on shame and humiliation. (Courtesy of Dave Lull!)
David Bromwich on Obama's mental bookkeeping.
Dinner last night was infinitely better than the play! I was curious to see this production of Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not For Burning; I read it (I think from the Friends Free Library) as a teenager, as part of a general interest in the Eliot-Auden-London-in-the-1940s sort of nexus of stuff, but had not really thought of it as viable for contemporary staging. And it is not! The actors were doing a stalwart job, and the theater at 46 Walker Street is a lovely little place, but the play is pretty dreadful: pastichey, longwinded, clever locally in ways that do not at all contribute to one's enjoyment of the THREE-HOUR whole!
So we weren't out of there till 11pm, and had to stop in at a bunch of places before we could find a restaurant whose kitchen was still open - we were very happy to find Cercle Rouge very much still open. It is an attractive and welcoming space, with very pleasant staff, but I also note that the food is much better than it needs to be. They had a lot of off-menu specials: I had the fluke ceviche to start (interestingly quite different from Aureole's last week - that was an obvious crowd-pleaser, definitely delicious and with avocado and citrus, but this one was much more unusual and striking, and the fish was lovely: in long thin slices, with thinly sliced radish layered between them and red peppercorns and an unusual light vinaigrette), G. had a rabbit-and-pork pate that looked very good too (the sort that is baked in a crust), and then we both had the Dover sole, which was (as the waiter had promised) exquisite. Two special desserts were on offer as well as the regular menu, and I simply had to order the bicycle-themed Paris-Brest, described by the waiter as the performance-enhancing drug of the early stage cyclists!