Day 265: 316 Words About Tom’s Restaurant

Hey, alright, it’s Thursday already! My favorite gimmick writing day of the week where I ask YOU, the reader, what I should write. This week, I sought counsel from my cousin Zach, who told me to write 316 words about Tom’s Restaurant. For those unaware, the exterior of Monk’s Diner in Seinfeld still exists. But inside, Tom’s Restaurant looks nothing like Monks, as Monks was just a soundstage in LA. And it’s not one of those places that profits off its popularity. Tom’s is just a normal-ass diner patronized by old crocodiles and Columbia students. So here’s a 316 word story about the time I took my Dad there:

If I’ve ever had one constant, it’s that I never wanted to disappoint my dad. It’s not that he was ever rough on me or I was a fuckup. He busted his ass to ensure that I had a comfortable middle class childhood and he deserves the best. So when he told me that he was coming to visit, I panicked. I had only lived in New York for 6 months at that point. Living a destitute life, the only places I knew where to go were cheap bars. But I did have one single ace up my sleeve.

Any transplant will tell you that if you’re trying to entertain guests on a budget, finding a destination on the other end of the city is the perfect time killer. So I told him we were going to lunch and then rode that train for over an hour to get there. But when we finally got to Tom’s Restaurant, I was absolutely glowing. For once, I was actually able to show him something genuinely cool. The little hidden slice of New York that a lot of people don’t even know still exists. It was one of those moments where I finally felt like an adult. I finally had my own life and for some reason, showing him the Seinfeld restaurant was my way of saying it.

We had a quick, standard lunch, cut over to Central Park and then started walking south. And we walked and walked on that mild December afternoon. Before we knew it we had walked the entire length of the park. After that, I didn’t have much to show him. And because of his stoic nature, I couldn’t tell if he was disappointed or not.

I raised those concerns to my Mom a week later. She said simply, “Your Dad didn’t want to ‘visit New York’. He wanted to hang out with his son”.

– TeeCoZee