On a recent Friday night, my lovely fiancée came home and said he’d like to take me to dinner. “Great!” I said. Let’s go someplace new, he said. “Great great!” I said. “You’ve never been to that Indian place in Basemar,” he said. “No,” I said, excited. I love Indian food. I once ate Indian food for 21 days straight, and I could have kept going.
I was so distracted by my excitement about the Indian food that I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that “Basemar” was the location he had mentioned. Basemar is a strip mall. I suppose the correct term is “shopping plaza.” Basemar Shopping Plaza is one of many, many shopping plazas around Boulder. People go to them for groceries, shoes, flowers, bread, wine, baby clothes, pharmacies, and costumes. Those are things people should go to shopping plazas for. However, restaurants should be in magically converted Brooklyn backyards, full of great wine, great people-watching, and the gaping industrial skyline in the background. They should not be in shopping plazas, and I should not be asked to be excited about a new restaurant opening up in town if it is in a shopping plaza.
Yes, you’re still in the middle of the mountains. Yes, some of the restaurants are great. But this Indian restaurant in Basemar Shopping Plaza was the breaking point for me. It felt like defeat. Like taking plastic bags at the store or using Styrofoam cups because you’re at a conference—the defeat of consumerism.
We ate a delicious Indian meal looking out on the parking lot. We had a great conversation, and a great date. Yet the scenic view of a million car hoods below us, as well as the neon lights of dry cleaners, bagel store, and hardware place next door, left me uneasy. I missed New York.