March 9, 2008

What the iPhone saw at a posh East Side restaurant...

I paid $40 for lunch at Payard, where iPhone took a cockroach's-eye view...


... and gazed at the ceiling...


(No, I'm not saying there were any cockroaches! It's just a description of the camera angle, like "bird's-eye view." Why do people get squeamish at mere idea of seeing the world from the perspective of an insect? Insects matter too.)


Ron said...

Did you enjoy Payard?

PatCA said...

Here's a teacher who is going to change all that squeamishness.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah. It was fine. I had a nice seat on the banquette where there was a lot of good eavesdropping. I wasn't looking for a fancy meal, just a decent lunch and a way out of the rain. It was fine: soup, salad with chicken, and a very nice dessert (an "opera"). Very crowded in the middle of the afternoon. It was nice. Beautiful display cases in front with lots of pastry and candies.

john said...
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john said...


It's that brutal Sunday "I'll have your head on a plate" brunch. Now I remember why I always get squeamish when I go to New York.

J. Cricket said...

I'm squeamish about people who live to eavesdrop and who take pictures of strangers and post them on the web.

john said...

Mr. Doe,

Then don't wear shorts and walk the streets around NY or Madison.

Chip Ahoy said...

You might have said a ladybug's view, but that would have been less interestingly blogable.

Our friends went out to brunch a few weeks ago. Our table conversation was by no means loud but was entirely, how should I say, frank and open. One member of our group informed us a woman at the next table was more interested in our conversation than she was with her own. I asked how he knew. He goes, "Well look for yourself, her whole head turned into one gigantic ear like a satellite dish oriented toward our table." This caused me to edit what I said more carefully, but I did think that was funny.

Is $40.00 for brunch a lot? I've completely lost track. My date two nights ago, a sushi dinner cost $90.00. That included a bottle of wine my date drank by herself, man she can put it away, me, a Pepsi. With tip that came to $118.00, but we had a great time and it was worth certainly it. Because of you, I took along my camera, snapped a single picture but I didn't remember to do that until half way through. It came out a bit out of focus so I trashed it. Lesson learned: take more than one picture. I was concerned about the flash. I'll add, with my camera sitting on the chair next to me, we had the most attentive service I can recall in a long time, a bit annoying actually. Two waiters kept interrupting our conversation, checking to reassure every little thing was still fine.

Chip Ahoy said...

Apologies for dyslexia.

Ann Althouse said...

It wasn't brunch. It was lunch. More like dinner than breakfast and at that time of day: mid afternoon (my favorite time for a substantial meal). And no $40 wasn't a lot. That was just for me, not for 2. The other night I had a dinner that was well over $100 per person, but that included wine.

Ann Althouse said...

(I only drank coffee and free water.)

rhhardin said...

It sounds like a lot to me. I don't remember the last time I ate out though. It would be years ago.

Time to make rice and chick peas! Put salsa on it.

The rice steamer heats and humidifies the house, too.

SGT Ted said...


I'm sure the blogging cockroach will be pleased at the personal perspective you have provided.

Kirby Olson said...

Here's a link to where Obama says he's going to disarm America. His idea seems to be that if we disarm then Kim Il-Jung, Ahminajad and all the other unspellables will follow suit. He doesn't realize that when he says Simon Says it's just America's young that follow.

Oh, I know that it doesn't fit the thread, but when I look at posh places like this I wonder how much they owe to the military's ability to defend our endless appetite for luxury.

blogging cockroach said...
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blogging cockroach said...
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blogging cockroach said...

ta daaa...

here i am more or less on cue
although im having a bad time with edits sorry

i may be a bit fashionably late sorry for that too
i was over at st eulalias looking for some irish soda bread crumbs
st patricks day is too near palm sunday this year
theres lots of green all around but palms win over shamrocks every time
so they decided to have the annual st paddys day bash this sunday
complete with soda bread yum and step dancers ouch
nothing makes a cockroach more nervous than 16 slightly overfed
teenage girls in clunky shoes stomping around
ah surin its a grand day fer squashin bugs
to hell with sodabread i was outta there

anyway great pictures though i must say i avoid tabletops in busy restaurants during lunch
its a darwinian thing you know
a little like dodging the luvly lasses in weird outfits clomping in those shoes
...those shoes...
...those shoes...
im going to have nightmares for weeks now

but back to restaurants
there used to be one next door to where i live
but mom here at the house is french and messy
with lots of smelly cheese crumbs and sauce spatters behind the stove
a bit of heaven on earth
so i think restaurants are overrated
plus they sprayed the place with the i-word once and i was sick for weeks
damn near killed me which i guess was the idea

the problem with the restaurant was that customers took our reserved parking place
which in cambridge mass where i live is a very big problem
i think i told this story before
but what with the cockroach eye restaurant theme and all here it goes again...

wanting to keep the family happy here so mom will feel good about being a messy cook
i got some friends together and we marched over to the restaurant for a little direct action
we formed a flying wedge and charged
across the main dining room floor on sat nite
let me tell you people were screaming and everybody left
we had an escape plan and we all made it out except poor jeremy
somebody spilled their plate and jeremy just had to try the bernaise sauce
he always said you can tell the quality of a restaurant
by how well they do their classic sauces
waiter squashed him--fitting end i guess

anyway the restaurant closed and a nail salon is going in
so theres one less temptation and i can say along with dorthy
theres no place like home i remember her with those shoes really going to have nightmares

finally if you want cockroach literary links
id like to recommend this book
havent read it yet but it sounds like a more contemporary take on
spending at least part of your life as an insect
which seems to be popular these days among candidates for president
but i will leave it to you to decide who is really the stink bug

blogging cockroach said...

i misspelled 'dorothy' in my comment
see what i mean about bad luck with edits today...
haste makes waste
i mean althouse practically hands me
an engraved invitation and im in a big hurry
to get something up and you see the result
well at least i dont call myself 'editing cockroach'

Trooper York said...

"My date two nights ago, a sushi dinner cost $90.00. That included a bottle of wine my date drank by herself, man she can put it away, me... but we had a great time and it was worth certainly it."

All right my man. Good show. See what happens when you leave the Keebler elves back in the treehouse. Sweet!

Anthony said...

Not bad for an iPhone. If only the bugs could push the shutter!

We need more of that Nikon 10.5.

MadisonMan said...

Is there a difference in food served at a Sunday lunch vs. a brunch? The distinction seems odd to me.

Mr. Doe: When dining in a restaurant, I'm also alert to interesting snippets of conversation at other tables. There should be no expectation of privacy at a public restaurant. If I'm dining alone, eavesdropping is a great way to pass the time.

blogging cockroach said...

hi anthony

i bet if i got a high enough jump i could work that iphone
after all i can manage a macpro keyboard
although i make lots of mistakes as you may have seen
anyway im not sure apple needs a cockroach to endorse its hardware
its bad enough they have steve jobs

whats needed is a mini cockroach cam that i could carry around
and take pictures just like althouse
only instead of across new york harbor
it would be across the kitchen floor
althouse gives you a view of the sun thru a tree
ill give you a view of the overhead pantry light thru a towel rack

hey the technology's there for really mini mini cams
but im afraid instead of something creative for us insects
theyve come up with something to spy on us
im telling you this is exactly what i was afraid of
from george bush and his c i a
thats the cockroach intelligence agency
it looks like the only way we could dodge this
is to agree to become informants and spy on termites
this is not only unfair
its unamerican i tell you

rcocean said...

"That was just for me, not for 2. The other night I had a dinner that was well over $100 per person, but that included wine."

Glad to know your ratings allow you to live so high on the hog.

Sadly, tonight I could only afford a Big Mac with Fries and my date and I had to share s Supersize Coke. However, I did splurge and buy her a cookie.

XWL said...

The view from the cockroach perspective got me thinking about what they actually would see given how different their eye structure is from ours.

I made a guess, applied those guesses to some GIMP filters, and uploaded the results to flickr (and made a blogpost of it, too).

In other words, I was really bored this evening, thanks for giving me something to do.

blogging cockroach said...

hi xwl

nice work
although the iphone field of view is too narrow
and it just doesnt have that fish- or bug-eye thing
that althouse paid a lot of money to do on her nikon slr
which would be closer to my way of seeing things

anyway its hard to test cockroach vision
i mean there arent too many cockroaches who are going to sit there
and tell the optometrist which way the letter e is pointing
and what they can read in 9 pt type in that little mirror

but us cockroaches do see in color
yes we do
just not the colors you see
our vision goes from what you call green
into the ultraviolet
so i can see at least three colors
of ultraviolet light
ha ha you cant see them
and what you call green looks pretty grey to me
thats your basic night vision perfect for kitchen floors at 2 in the morning
plus--and here is where it gets weird--
i can tell which way light is polarized too
thats so i can tell direct light from light reflected off water
extremely handy to keep from falling into a toilet bowl
or a sink full of water
when what im really looking for
are the crumbs on the cutting board
plus i would never be fooled by a mirage in the desert
i mean how many cockroaches in little foreign legion uniforms
have you seen in movies dragging themselves over the sand
going 'water water i see water...'
never has happened for good reason

anyway its all a matter of perspective
you think you see the world the way it is
let me tell you there are alternative views
but this comment is getting too long
and although i live near harvard u
im not getting paid to teach cockroach epistemology
not to mention metaphysics
which has been in a bad odor for a long time anyway
speaking of which
something tells me me
theres a piece of foil with camembert stuck to it
that slipped off the counter last night
which really deserves a little visit
adieu mes amis
je vais a la gloire