Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

This past Saturday evening, Mrs. Robbo and I went out to dinner, just the two of us.

This is somewhat newsworthy in and of itself because I believe the last time we did it was some time early last winter.

Unfortunately, both because we didn’t get the idea until early Saturday afternoon, and because I am currently barred from establishments demanding vax papers, our options were necessarily limited. (I should note here that even after I get such papers foisted on me, I will not patronize such establishments. Uncle can force this biznay on me because of the hardship my family would suffer if I lose my job but I’m not going a single inch further than absolutely necessary.)

Aaaaanyway, we wound up at an “Italian” place in the new urban sprawl which is replacing the old suburban sprawl with frightening speed along the pike not far from Port Swiller Manor. What was once a succession of strip malls and car dealerships is rapidly transmogrifying into hip high-rises with posh shops and dining establishments on their ground floors. Indeed, Ol’ Robbo hates to venture over there because every time he does something else has changed the shape of the landscape and he gets discombobulated.

Mrs. R wanted to sit outside because it was such a lovely evening. I didn’t mind, but really, urban sidewalk dining isn’t Robbo’s thing. It would, of course, make a difference if I were looking out at, say, the dome of St. Paul’s, or the Louvre, or even Capitol Hill. But when the only thing across the street is another high-rise, with a fish taco restaurant and an eyeglasses place at street level, and a wall plastered with a piece of “urban art” of the sort I loathe, well……

Then, of course, there is the succession of cars endlessly circling past in search of parking spots. And from somewhere round the corner came a steady thumpa-thumpa-thumpa, which was either a street performance or somebody’s car stereo, I couldn’t tell which.

But what about the people-watching, you might ask? Well, again, urban hipster-doofus couture is not a big favorite of mine. Also, I guess it must have been homecoming weekend somewhere round here, because at one point a party of about a half-dozen high school girls hove into view wearing fancy dresses so short that if Ol’ Robbo were Emperor, I’d have had the lot of them arrested for public indecency.

As much as I enjoyed our dinner (the pizza was actually quite good), I definitely felt a sense of relief when we had left the concrete jungle and slid back into our quiet, leafy suburb.

I mentioned this to my brother yesterday. He said that he and his wife felt the same way, which was why they almost exclusively go with takeout from their favorite restaurants now. As he pointed out, not only is the ambiance quieter and the service better, the wine is always cheaper.

Sound reasoning.

(That said, Mrs. R and I have decided to make the effort to dine out once a month going forward, largely so that I don’t become completely moss-covered. With enough lead-time, we hopefully should be able to find more congenial venues.)