Once upon a time, JR and I went in search of a notary. We had an affidavit to get notarized, and this being NYC, we figured it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone within a reasonable radius of Hell's Kitchen.
First try: the UPS store. Fortunately, we called before we went, a call that revealed our notary did not exist. On to Plan B: some quick googling revealed that, lo and behold, there was a combination tax preparer/notary right across the street from me. We went in, and about 15 minutes later, we emerged having experienced one of the weirdest 15 minutes of our lives. It's not even possible to describe in words-- just suffice it to say that we took our "notarized" document, marched right up to my apartment, and commenced Round 2 of preparing a new version, finding a new notary, and getting it done legitimately. There ain't no chance that the New York Bar Association was going to accept Round 1.
A few more calls later, I finally spoke to someone at the local Capital One bank. Did they have a notary? Yes! Could we just walk in and get something notarized? Yes! So walk we did, straight over to that branch, and announced that we were in search of the notary. Tough luck, us: She just left on her lunch break. For an hour.
And so, dear readers, that's how JR and I ended up at El Centro in the middle of the afternoon, having burritos, chips and salsa, and a sangria-ita (JR) and a Diet Coke (me). The other patrons of the restaurant included a trio of roaringly drunk youngsters-- hey guys, more power to you. Perhaps they, too, had ordered the sangria-ita, a combination of margarita and sangria. It was potent and tasted kind of like a sweetened, refreshing, fruity margarita.
As for the food, it got a thumbs up from JR. He got the burro hellicioso--no, I have no idea what that means, but it involved chicken, guac, chipotles, rice, and beans. It also came with a little mesclun side salad coated in a spicy dressing. Nice!
Despite our best efforts, lunch only took a half hour or so. So on we pressed to the farmer's market on Ninth between 56th and 57th. We browsed. I bought vegetables and one apple. Then JR bought a black and white cookie from Meredith's Bread, and we sat in the corner of the park, soaking up the sun (me) and eating a cookie (JR).
And then, readers, we finally made it to Capital One, where the notary was alive and well and in attendance. We encountered a fetching coconut sculpture in the waiting area, which was a plus. And then we left, with a legitimate-looking notarized document.
Yes, I returned to my apartment two and a half hours after leaving. But it was actually a lovely afternoon. Good luck, JR!
824 Ninth Avenue