On the last dayof vacation before returning to work, the world outside my windows looked raw, blustery and wet after a frost-covered morning. Hibernating sounded good, but I was feeling uninspired and blah and could tell if I stayed home I was just going to mope around. Since I needed to pick up my my sunglasses from the optometrist, I decided to walk up there.
I almost turned back after the first couple of blocks. My ears were cold and my feet were complaining. But I kept going and eventually began to perk up and enjoy myself. By the time I got to Peets Coffee (a mile later and across the street from my eye doctor’s office in El Cerrito Plaza) I was feeling enthusiastic and cheerful. With a hot latte in my hand, I sat at a cafe table outside Peets and sketched this odd chain restaurant across the street.
I ate there once when it first opened (I was curious about the new restaurant in my neighborhood) and enjoyed it, but have never been able to get anyone to go back there with me. With so many unique and trendy restaurants in the Berkeley area, I suppose there’s really no reason to go to a “big box” version of an Italian restaurant, though people do seem to pack the place on weekends.
But I’ve always had an aversion to stupid business names, and the name “Macaroni Grill” irks me. I keep picturing the chef trying to grill slippery macaroni and cheese, with all the noodles falling through the grill grates. When I was a kid I remember being annoyed by a hair salon named “Lipstick Beauty Parlor,” which I thought made no sense.
While I was waiting at the optometris’ts office, I started sketching a stand that holds many pairs of eye glasses. There were too many tiny, overlapping details and I wasn’t really interested. Fortunately the optician arrived with my glasses so I stopped. When I got home, instead of leaving a partially messed up page I turned the page 90 degrees and added a quick sketch of my sunglasses (from memory) and then stuck myself in them.
7 replies on “A Cold Walk by Macaroni Grill, El Cerrito”
You do realise that it was going for the SUNGLASSES which made it cold!
I agree – such an odd name for a restaurant
I had a very cold but very sunny walk yesterday – everywhere was frozen – quite literally! Two canals, a big lake and four ponds!
Ha! Funny. I’m glad everything isn’t frozen here! The sunglasses had actually been ordered and received back in June, but they weren’t quite right. Since I didn’t want to part with them while I was using them for plein air painting I waited until December to have the lenses corrected. Now I can not only see with them, I can also read!
I’ve enjoy these cold morning for walking! But the winds are a blowin’ today so I’m going to be a shut-in! I so enjoy your sketch posts one day, an oil painting on another and surprises here and there. I feel that way about Macaroni Grill too…blah… and just love my new sunglasses too! I’ve mentioned you in my last post about the sketchcrawl tomorrow!
I enjoy your stories so much, I always get lost in them for a couple of minutes, floating along with you in thought. I would be hard prssed to say if I liked your art or your stories better, I love the combination.
Great sketch day, Jana. And I’m a bit picky about dumb names, too. Would you want to have your hair done at a place called “Saltwater Hair”? Do they have a hose connected to the ocean?
There was a Macaroni Grill in Middleton, just outside Madison, in my neck of the country. I liked the food, and got a kick out of the Italian lessons that played in the women’s lav, but alas, the joint closed. Maybe it was another canary in the coal mine, a harbinger of bad economic times.
Sunglasses and icy weather don’t seem to go together! We’ve had a coolish summer – should be nearly 40 but it’s only 20. Anyway, Macaroni Grill does sound rather silly and the building looks odd as well – I don’t mean your picture of it though.