first date since the pandemic
Saturday, June 20 2020
We had our Saturday morning coffee out on the east deck and the New York Times Spelling Bee panagram wasn't obvious. [A day later we would give up and find that it had been "inhibitive."]
I had a bit of a hangover today that put a layer of dysphoria over the day. I could do things like tinker with my hummingbird cam and make some initial efforts at building a custom bluetooth speaker box out of some salvaged speakers and cabinet plywood, but I couldn't really bring myself to do any of the things I've been procrastinating. I've been using beer bottlecaps to disable faux flowers on the hummingbird feeder so as to force them to "flowers" that my telescope-camera can see.
This evening, Gretchen wanted to go on our first date since the pandemic. When I expressed concerns about the dogs breaking out and causing trouble in the neighborhood, she suggested having Powerful babysit them. He was happy to do this, so off we went. Gretchen's vision was to dine somewhere in Rosendale, so that was our destination.
The last time we had a meal at the Rosendale Café, it had been pretty bad. But the people working there are comprised of a self-replenishing crop of young stoners, so there's no telling how the food is there now. Soon after parking at the Rosendale Café, though, we saw that it had closed at 6:00pm. It was a pity, because they'd gone out of their way to make a nice outdoor dining area. So we walked up the block to Garden House, an overpriced Middle Eastern place we'd been to once before. Though the place was a mess and there clearly weren't enough employees to service the five or six active tables, they were open for outdoor dining. The menu was a bit overwhelming and a lot of things seemed to contain egg, but Gretchen found us some things. All I really wanted was a falafel sandwich, though I knew it would disappoint given how spoiled Aba's Falafel has made me. It took awhile to get service from the one woman working as a waitress. It was hard to tell what she was saying through her mask in her Isræli accent, but eventually we had our food: some delicious foul and a not-too-great red pepper thing. My falafel sandwich was okay, but I was almost full by the time it arrived, so I only ate a third of it. I also drank two Lagunitas IPAs. As dining experience go, it wasn't great, but it was nice to finally be out in public. Being that the nearest table was more than six feet away, and people were usually putting on their masks before interacting with the waitress, I felt like sufficient precautions were being taken. In any case, test results in New York State show that less than one percent of the population has the coronavirus.
There is an electric car charging station in the big parking lot behind Garden House, but unfortunately both plugs were taken.
After dinner, Gretchen and I walked along the levee protecting the billage from Rondout Creek (which, due to drought, was full of large dry spots of riverbed). At some point we came upon a rabbit, who hopped casually in front of us for awhile before taking a sidepath.
Next Gretchen drove us to the south end of the Rosendale railroad trestle, which has been a pedestrian path for years now. It was well after 9:00pm and the sun had set, but, it being the longest day of the year, there was still plenty of light in the western sky. The flooring of the trestle was a kind of vinyl plank that, even in summer conditions, managed to build up a static charge on our bodies as we walked across it. This would then result in a shock whenever we touched the metal railing. A few people passed us on the trestle, some on bikes, some wearing masks, some doing both. The air was moving so quickly up there that it seemed an unlikely place for a superspreader event.
It being date night, Gretchen had thought we should have a drink at bar with outdoor service. But the bar at the 1850 House had closed at 8:00pm. So on the drive back home, we went through High Falls in hopes of finding an open establishment, but the pandemic had completely killed all night life there. Even the Hurley Mountain (which, lacking outdoor dining space, is still only doing carry-out) had closed, meaning we couldn't bring Powerful back the order of french fries Gretchen had promised him.
Powerful seemed exhausted when we came through the door. He was in the dining room keeping an eagle-eye on the dogs, who had apparently been trying to push through the pet door multiple times in our absence. We took them for a brief walk down the Farm Road and they didn't have much interest in breaking out after that. Powerful acted like babysitting the dogs hadn't been too hard, but we felt bad that he'd had to watch them so closely.
Later, up in the bed, I read reports from Donald Trump's big rally scheduled in Tulsa for this evening. Apparently it had been something of a bust, with Trump proving incapable of filling the 19,000 person venue as he had promised to do. Nevetheless, many of the attendees were seen crowded together, few of them wearing masks. The peer pressure at a Trump rally is definitely not to wear masks; apparently Republicans collude with the coronavirus nearly as much as they do with the Russians.
Gretchen checking out a very old-school barbershop in downtown Rosendale. It probably hasn't had business since March.
A "Bernie" sign hidden in the tree-of-heaven in downtown Rosendale.
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