serendipitous adj. – lucky in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries. Lucky – having or bringing good fortune; “my lucky day”; “a lucky man”
I’ve heard for years about this place called Serendipity on New York’s Upper East Side. I knew of their famous frozen hot chocolate and reputation for desserts the likes from which childhood dreams are made. I had visions of a dining room filled with giggling girls going there after school to cram themselves into dimly lit booths. I don’t know where this vision came from. Who knows where any of my crazy visions come from. A reference from a novel perhaps? And the restaurant did not match my vision at all, but I understood that it couldn’t if it were to be successful. I read an article somewhere about bar and restaurant cycles, and that for something to become profitable, it must go mainstream. So yea, I kind of expected the requisite tourist trappings.
My visit was on one of those hot summer days where you feel like you need a shower after you’ve been outside for all of two minutes. I had my son in the city with me. We had just come from a client lunch and had taken the train uptown to 59th Street. We were hot when we arrived of course there was a wait and little to no AC. The entry hall is strategically cluttered with merchandise (frozen hot chocolate t-shirts and packets to take home and make it yourself) and dusty old trinkets in the glass cabinets. The sorts of things little girls would be attracted to like bedazzled barrettes and headbands with feathers on them. Okay, I was attracted to some of them, I’m not going to front. I did contemplate a turquoise Chinese figurine.
When he wasn’t asking “how much longer????” my son was actually really excited about this mystical frozen hot chocolate. I had pointed out that my client thought the concept was rather stupid. Mateo responds “well, he does have a point – how can it be frozen when it’s hot?”. I was a little intrigued as well. And also under the delusion that there would be something for me to eat at this joint. We were seated upstairs which was a bright, pastel pink dining room with a giant light fixture adorned with pearls necklaces and our own private silliness ensued.
The waiter was cheerful and the menu was gigantic and we cracked up reading the choices. Rather thrilling for a small child, I suppose. And no, there was no rice milk ice cream for me or vegan hot fudge but I didn’t really need it. This was all about him. I have to admit that part of my motivation was to get a cute shot of Mateo and his hot chocolate.
While it wasn’t a culinary highpoint for me, it was very exciting for my son. And if I looked at in through his eyes and not those of a hot and sweaty adult vegan, our date was a great time. He had perhaps a few bites of the ice cream and a few sips of the hot chocolate but that wasn’t the point at all, was it? My intention was to fill up his little brain with happy little memories like these…topped with whipped cream of course.