So I was out most of last week visiting the family back home and was asked by a relative, “what’s it like being a Romeo?” Well, I am handsome but never chased after underage girls or tried to commit suicide over lost loves. My only heartache has been over the long hours spent at Ralph Wilson cheering for the Bills. Turns out I was wrong, she meant that I had moved into a new phase of my life; ”Romeo or Retired Old Man Eating Out.” You know those guys; the ones you see at the neighborhood coffee shop or corner market, where they sit all morning swapping stories and reliving their youth while refusing to vacate a booth in the middle of rush hour. At first, I was a little taken back, but once you get past the initial shock, is being a Romeo all that bad?
I’m not just talking about the joys of shopping in uncrowded stores or matinee movies, but having the time to think about what motivates you and explore new passions you never thought of before. Hasn’t there always been someplace you wanted to go but never had the time? Or a charity you wanted to volunteer for? For me, it’s been trying to put my passion for the markets into words and find new ways to approach and understand it. It took me a while to shake off the conceptions I had from my last position, but now I’m beginning to approach everything with an attitude of no pre-stated aims or morals. Remember what Frank Herbert said, “Knowledge gets in the way of learning. All learning begins with the simple statement, “I do not know.” By making assumptions about what you know and demanding the world become stationary to that knowledge, you deny the ability to learn, change and grow.
I knew that if I kept going the way I was going, I’d eventually burn out and probably take a serious trip into bad decision making village, where you wind up working at a B&N because you like the lack of responsibility or getting a master’s degree in ancient Egyptian fiction. Which is not a thing I discovered..along with running away to join the “Nightwatch.” Dream’s ruined.
And for all of those who travel to Pittsburgh, I have a new restaurant for you. Everyone raves about Pamela’s, but I wouldn’t know because of what I call the “jersey syndrome” where everyone continues to swamp one restaurant largely because that’s where the longest line is. Here’s an example of this; picture a small line outside a bakery in the city (I’m from NY so the city is always Manhattan but use your imagination.) If there were true Jersey people around, they’d all go “hey, there must be something cool going on here, let’s check it out.” They could seriously be handing out donuts made from soylent green and Snooki and the situation would eat them up like, well donuts. Same concept applies to the hometown favorite at Pamela’s. I’ve tried going to the downtown location at least three times but have never been able to eat there because of the long lines.
So forget that and head over to Robinson to check out the Central Grill and Diner. Great hours, great menu and fantastic service. Today I had a waffle that was so delicious that angels would have cried and Juliet would have woken up from the dead just to try their huevos rancheros. Close to the major shops in Robinson or the airport if you’re coming into town or looking for a great pit stop before leaving the Burgh. Best of all, no sweating in a long line while everyone talks about how great the pancakes are. Come by sometime and join me in the corner with the rest of the romeo’s.