Contraband in Central Park

Last night I played host and tourist all at once, by having dinner at Tavern on the Green, a dining institution for more than 70 years, with friends of my parents who are visiting New York this week.

Located just inside Central Park at 67th Street, the entrance to the restaurant also happens to be the parking spot for the horses who dutifully pull carriages full of tourists. The consequent smell was not apparent for several hours, thankfully.

Although ours were the only Australian accents I heard, the venue is a wonderfully ornate tourist trap, complete with enormous chandeliers and gilt mirrors. We had the benefit of sitting al fresco in the topiary garden thanks to to the balmy weather and our early start (7pm, which to some New Yorkers constitutes a late lunch).

As I’ve said on these pages before, it’s great to “speak Australian” with people who undersand the language, and Lynn and Neville were great company. I can’t tell you their surname because they brought with them some precious contraband for me – a bottle of Vegemite, now considered an illegal substance by the Food & Drug Administration due to its high folate content.

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