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January 1, 2009
From journal Puerto Rico
Bayside, New York
December 14, 2001
It was fairly crowded when we entered and we were dispatchd to the upper floor which is the non-smoking section. As customary, there is
memorabilia all over the walls, but in the center atrium is a huge wall with a rendition of Elvis Presley when he was thin.
Our server's name was Rafael, and we found out later that he used to live in Astoria, New York. He returned to Puerto Rico because he missed his roots. He indicated that his girlfriend bought him a ticket to visit her in San Francisco, but he was too scared to fly after the events of 9/11.
We ordered a platter of cheese nachos with beans , tomatoes and jalapeños which we carefully avoided and 2 cokes. Rafael brought us a boxed Hard Rock Glass/San Juan to take as a souvenir. As we ate, Rafael sat with us and was happy to loosen his tongue with English. This particular Hard Rock has been here for nine years.
The cool air here was a welcome respite from the sweltering heat outside. In addition to the A/C, they have ceiling fans.
Rafael and Chuck got chummy, and I took a picture of them both. Rafael asked us if New Yorkers were friendlier since 9/11. Not many diners here right now, but the TV's overhead were screeching. I saw Don Henley of the Eagles and some of his music by the ladies' room and Elton John's guitar and one of his earlier wacky costumes. Our lunch was wonderful because we had great conversation with Rafael.
From journal Puerto Rico - Isle in Style