The to do list

During the post-divorce year when I lived in Brooklyn, a lot of rituals took shape. That’s just me. I’m a creature of habit and ceremony. If I could have figured out a way to be religious (and celibate), I would have absolutely been a nun. In fact, I read this book twice. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you might pick it up.

I didn’t become a nun, of course, so I had to create my own rituals, and the year following my divorce was filled with them. I woke up every morning, rolled out of bed and into my running clothes, and went directly to Prospect Park. On the way back from my run, I bought coffee and had sometimes my only face-to-face conversation of the day at Blue Marble, across the street from my apartment. I celebrated long runs with something delightful from Joyce Bakeshop or pancakes with the lovely people at The Usual.

But I wasn’t always alone – KT and Evan wouldn’t have it – and so a whole other set of friend rituals began. KT and I had a whole long list of them, because she enjoys a ceremony just as much as I do. Hooky Fridays was a big one: on Fridays when we had both miraculously finished our work, we would knock off early (or totally), have a cheap pedicure (one of the great miracles of super-overpriced NYC is the prevalence of inexpensive nail shops), wander through a few shops (we love Teddy, Goldy + Mac and Lululemon) and then hit happy hour (Alchemy was my favorite).


But one of my favorite rituals and favorite New York experiences in general was a trip to Milon.

Milon is both inexpensive and BYOB, making it the perfect place for full-time writers like myself. The food (Indian) is dependably yummy, and the waitstaff is enthusiastic and friendly. But what’s really wonderful about Milon is the decorative atmosphere.


When she first took me there, KT described it as “a restaurant where you feel like you’re sitting inside a Christmas tree.” It’s exactly like that, in both the way that every surface is ornament-and-light-festooned, AND they way that you can’t move without making physical contact with every person in the room, just as you would be if you actually WERE all shoved inside a Christmas tree. And when there’s a birthday – and people come here specifically for their birthdays so this will happen at least four times during dinner – they turn OFF the overhead lights, turn ON the disco ball lights and play this marvelously joyful Indian birthday song. You clap, you sing. You eat and drink yourself silly, and all for about $12.


Thanks, KT.

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3 thoughts on “The to do list

  1. They HAVE added decorations. We talked about that at dinner, and about how frustrating and challenging it must be … I think they must throw them out and start over. I mean, for heaven’s sake.

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