Tasteless jokes aside, last night my boyfriend and I were lucky to make it to By Chloe on 60 West 22nd Street in flatiron about 15 minutes before a bomb exploded a block away. He wanted to try something different for dinner, instead of ordering in, and I didn’t want to stray too far from our new vegan diet. I suggested we try By Chloe, a vegan burger restaurant I discovered on Instagram through @fashionablyfit. We chose the one in Chelsea from fear the Soho location would be packed on a Saturday night.
As we got off the train on 23rd street we walked south in search of the hotspot, (these adjectives are accidentally so cliché.) A group of excited little girls in various party dresses were loudly telling their mom how much fun they just had at a birthday party they attended. Aw, babies who brunch! Their pink paper gift bags in hand were probably stuffed with Barbie dolls — or iPad cases? What do metropolitan 8 year olds play with these days anyways? As we walked behind them I thought aloud how I could definitely gel into a cool mom who has multiple talkative daughters, like these, with abundant social lives. My boyfriend gave me a look that basically said politely, “Shut the fuck up.”
The giggling girls spotted By Chloe before we had. As they began gushing to their mommy chaperone about the various legendary cupcakes which won Chef Chloe first place in the television show Cupcake Wars, I thought oh hell naw we gotta get in line before they do. I put the kind of mph on my pace beta males do when they spot a lady searching for a seat on the train. You know the pettiness in their demeanor when they slide their weaselly bodies into the last available seat and with a false sense of accomplishment because they’re actually lame and this move proves it. That was me. Cute kids and all, I was on the verge of becoming hungry while wearing my favorite Givenchy FW 2013 runway boots. I needed several seats.
Once inside, we were relieved to find there wasn’t a line at all despite the place being packed. Perfect timing, we thought as we eyed the menu. We both ordered a classic hamburger and two Found cucumber and mint bottle waters. We decided to split a half and half fry combo (sweet potato and regular friends mixed together) and I ordered self-indulgent cinnamon bun.
As we approached our table we heard the BOOM! The window shook and the entire restaurant naturally turned and looked at us. I hate being the center of attention so embarrassed, I turned to my boyfriend and ask what was that in an accusatory manner. Perhaps he’d accidentally kicked the table, I don’t know. But then we all felt the blast. Growing up in Missouri I’ve been through earthquakes. The ground shook beneath us! Construction was going on around the corner so I thought nothing of it, excited to try my food. But a pack of 12 curious diners got up and ran out the door in unison to see the commotion. What the hell.
A girl dining next to us turned to me and asked, “do you think we’ll be ok?”
“Yeah, sure,” I replied, though unsure myself.
“Okay,” she said to her friend, “she said we’ll be ok so we’ll be ok.”
Strangely other diners nodded in agreement and went back to eating. I felt like Caty Heron in Mean Girls when she becomes the queen bee over Regina George and her clique couldn’t think for themselves.
“I love your makeup,” another girl says on the opposite side of me. “Are you two models?” She asked as I stuffed my face with a cinnamon, hoping it was gluten-free.
“Not at all.”
This exchange was probably the funniest part of the meal because huh? I’m thin but not that skinny and I’m eating this huge ass pastry, burger, and fries. Now I felt like Mariah must feel when her wardrobe stylist lies to her face about how great her body looks right now so she keeps eating carbs. Sorry Mimi.
I caught an emancipated girl staring at me across the room with evil eyes that said she gave up refined sugar a long time ago, so why are you eating that?
Once we left, police cars were everywhere and a “Ghetto bird” aka news helicopters were flying above. The journalist in me had to see what the hell was going on, but far away from the actual scene of the crime. I’m a blogger now, not a journalist. No one is paying me to be on a crime beat. Instead I beat my feet down the pavement in the opposite direction and googled “bomb in Chelsea.” Here’s what I found:
New York bomb attack injures 29.