Friday, June 8, 2018

Kinks – "Tired of Waiting for You" (1965)

So tired 
Tired of waiting 
Tired of waiting for you

In the previous 2 or 3 lines, we learned about Spoken English, a new restaurant that’s the talk of tout le Washington, DC – even though it doesn’t take reservations, has room for only 15 diners at a time, and doesn’t have seats.  (You have to eat standing up.)

This restaurant’s most popular dish features the durian fruit, which you’ve probably never heard of:

The durian fruit
According to the Washington Post, “Durian are just about synonymous with their repulsive odor, which has whiffs of sweetness that are immediately overwhelmed by notes of corrosion and rancid egg.”  A Smithsonian food writer described the fruit as smelling like “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.” 

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Spoken English is far from being the only restaurant in DC that young foodies have lost their minds over.  Maydān – a “trendsetting eatery [that] showcases Caucasian, North African and middle Eastern cuisines” – is another such place.  (By the way, “Caucasian” in this context refers to the region located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea – not to white people.)

From the Washington Post:

As soon as Claire Prichard heard about Maydān, she knew she wanted to go.  The 23-year-old graduate student likes trying new places, and its Middle Eastern menu sounded intriguing.  She’s a huge fan of Maydān’s sister restaurant, Compass Rose.  Plus, unlike other gushed-over names around Washington, Maydān — which recently made both Food & Wine and GQ Magazine ’s lists of the best new restaurants in America — actually takes reservations, albeit for no more than two weeks in advance.

Maydān's ghastly-looking beet borani
Bernie Sanders would have us believe that we need to make college free because most young Americans either can’t afford to go at all, or can afford to go only if by borrowing more money than they can pay back.  Yet this 23-year-old graduate student seems to be spending most of her time eating out at pricey eateries.

Back to the Post article:

Determined, Prichard logged on to OpenTable — Maydān’s only method to score a table — at 6:10 a.m. on a Saturday, hoping to find a slot 14 days out.  Only 5:00 pm and 10:15 pm were available.

“I was like, ‘This is not worth it’,” she says.

There’s no room at the ‘in’ restaurants in D.C
Our graduate student should consider herself fortunate.  As the Post article goes on to point out, many of Washington’s trendiest restaurants are too snooty to bother taking reservations – it’s strictly first-come, first-served at those joints:

In recent years, when Washington restaurant-goers have complained about reservations, it’s because many of the city’s top places didn’t take them. The only way to get a seat at the hottest young restaurants, such as Rose’s Luxury, Bad Saint, Little Serow and Himitsu, meant waiting in lines. When these places began racking up awards, queues grew even longer.

Click here to read about Skip the Line, a company that will supply someone to wait in line for you for a mere $30 an hour.  (Skip the Line line-waiters typically wait two hours to get into one of the aforementioned restaurants.)

They should have called Skip the Line!
A new generation of buzzy spots, sometimes from the same owners as the ones with lines, are going the opposite direction.  They offer online reservations, opening books 14 days, 28 days or more in advance.  On the surface, it sounds like a way to allay stress from planning a night out.  Instead, it’s added anxiety.  The conversation among foodies has shifted from “How long did you have to wait to get in?” to “How long ago did you try to make a reservation?”

Consider the case of Ellē, recently ranked by The Washington Post as the best new restaurant in the city.  Getting a table there at prime time can be an impossible feat, even if you’re looking to dine on a Monday.  

(Only losers would go to Ellē on a Monday.)

Then there’s Fancy Radish, the new, raved-about vegetable-focused restaurant on H Street NE from the owners of Philadelphia’s Vedge and V Street.  On April 23, the next available 7:00 pm reservation for two was two months and four days away.  If you had your heart set on that time on a weekend, you’d have to wait 81 days — Friday, July 13.  That’s a long time for the chance to dig into wood-roasted carrots or dan dan noodles.

I bet she didn’t need a reservation
I would never eat at a restaurant named Fancy Radish even if you didn’t have to wait 81 days to get a weekend reservation for 7:00 pm.  (The only positive thing I can think of to say about that name is that its owners resisted the temptations to add a macron or two to it – unlike the owners of Maydān and Ellē.  Obviously the macron has replaced the umlaut as the hip diacritical mark.)

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In the next 2 or 3 lines, we’ll learn about a very expensive Washington restaurant that is sans merci when it comes to its customers.  

After that, I will find a new topic to rant about.

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Ray Davies wrote “Tired of Waiting for You” when he was a Hornsey School of Art student.  A couple of years later, he decided that the Kinks should record the song for their second album.  But there was a problem: Ray had forgotten the lyrics he had written.  So he wrote new lyrics while riding the train to the recording studio.

No Kinks song ever charted higher in the U.S. than “Tired of Waiting for You,” which made it all the way to the #6 spot on the Billboard “Hot 100.”  (It was a #1 hit in the UK.)

Ray Davies was knighted by Prince Charles 52 years after “Tired of Waiting for You” was released on the Kinda Kinks album.

Click here to watch a video of the Kinks lip-synching to “Tired of Waiting for You” on Shindig!

Use the link below to buy the song from Amazon:

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