Food Blues

Getting lunch is becoming harder and harder in Manhattan these days. No, not because there aren't enough places to eat or not enough variety. Far from it. A new deli, restaurant or take-out place opens practically every other week. It is far more insidious, far more real. It has to do with the ever-increasing inefficiency of your everyday deli, coffee place, eatery, you name it. Less than half the time I am getting my order wrong. If I ask for cheese on my veggie-burger I usually discover later, back at my desk in the office, that I did not get any. If I ask for butter I end up with cream cheese on my bagel. I ask for toasted bagel and half the time I get toast. And this is when you actually can get your order. Every place is so crowded that if you get there during popular times (8.45-9.15 for breakfast, 12.30-1.30 for lunch) you stand in huge lines, you scream your order over a bunch of heads and you have to repeat it multiple times and you generally fail to communicate what is it you exactly want. That is if you can order at all. Half the time you will be cut off by folks who don't understand how a line works, don't care or don't see. Then you get charged wrong, or too much (or even too little at times.) Overall, it is a mess; an unpleasant experience at best. Don't even get me started about the quality or the cost of the food. A funky soy-chai nonsense for $5, give me a break!

There was a time when there was joy in the idea of discovering new foods everyday. Now, it is simply a chore. It probably has to do with aging but my guess is that it also has to do with just a general sense of collapse that I am beginning to observe. A slow, but sure decline in quality of life as the pressure of population starts to weigh a society down.