The Cafeteria of Chelsea , The “Mean Girls” of NYC Eateries – Eye Opening Culinary Experience


Lets face it, I am not Rhianna, Brad Pitt, or even Micheal Musto. I am a quirky fashionista/hippy/spiritual advicer/ all-around-having -fun-type of guy, and I always felt people in NYC excepted that. New York City is a ‘melting pot’ of  extremes. From the uber wealthy on Park Avenue, to the hip-chic (but many times poor) urbanites in the East Village, we also walk the same sidewalks, go to the same theaters, and et at the same fabled restaurants, many times sharing the same wonderful moments and experiences. My “creation day”, ( I REFUSE to say “birthday”, it sounds so 1950-ish), was April 6, and I hit the big,….( im not telling you, but I look AMAZING for my advanced age), and I took to NYC to celebrate my special day. I am from the south, Louisiana, and Texas, and being in NYC has always been a ‘gift’ to me, a place where I can walk anywhere in this city, and no that I somehow ‘fit-in’. The disapproving stares that I would get in Louisiana, for my long dreadlocks, and particular style, here in NYC, are assets to be flaunted to show how special I am as an individual. I am a boni-fide “foodie”, and New York is full of restaurants for your every mood,desire,palette, and or spiritual craving, many of them I have eaten in and enjoyed myself. Many of my friends call me the “UN-official Zagat critic” as I can list a number of restaurants depending on your desire, within seconds, down to the best time to go, and or the best table stations ,waiters,bartenders,etc. Its kind of scary, this particular gift of mine, kind of like being the “Rainman of Eateries”, but it helps my friends, and I enjoy giving the occasional tourist my information, as to make their stay in my city more enjoyable. One restaurant I WILL NOT be recommending is The Cafeteria in Chelsea. I have eaten at this hip restaurant many times, gotten many a fashion connections, have had some wonderful conversations with would be celeb spotters. The atmosphere has always been chic-downtown, very hip,but never taking themselves too seriously. I am to guess that this famous eatery has either changed management, personel , or personalities, akin to Linda Blair in The Excorcist, just before she becomes Satan’s play-thing. What was once an enjoyable experience, has now become an overly pretentious, what was once welcoming, has become just plain mean. Back to the night at hand, I walked in my favorite hang-out, around 11:30 pm on a Friday evening. I had money to burn, and a comfortable beer buzz from my last hangout , “The Moment”, also in Chelsea, where I was treated  wonderfully,…hey it’s my special day, we all have one, and this crowd REALLY knew how to make a guy feel welcomed!

I am going to keep this short, cause the memories ACTUALLY make me angry, but a little sad. I ordered a vegan burger, was sent a meat burger after a 30 minute wait. Was excused and escorted out the resturant, when I asked for my order to be corrected,(how dare I, this is the Cafeteria, and they are the GODS of celeb junk-food hangouts!!!,……pfttt,…:::::deep eye roll:::::give me a break.) When I BOTHERED to explain to the bouncer what happen, he said,……….and I quote,…”Get the fuck out of my face, I don’t give a fuck”. Thats right kiddies,…..I was heart-broken, but its cool, this IS NYC, where your libel to get cursed out on every corner. I politely called the next day to explain the situation to the manager, (thats who they said they were ), and after a 1:34 minute convo, I was rushed off the phone. No resolution, no apology,…just a really weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I called again this morning, and the same gentleman was ushered to the phone, (to my dismay), and the same “snotty,rushed,I have better things to do” attitude was portrayed once again, this time,my dealings where not hurt, cause it had happen before. I think what effected me the most was this statement, “Well sir, what happen was not noted my any of my managers,so apparently it was not a big deal”. I was excused from a restaurant that holds many wonderful memories, and  intimidated by harsh language,sure,…I guess it was business as usual at the O.K. Corral. Usually, I wouldn’t say anything,..( this IS NYC,..and anything goes), but I decided to chirp a little bit. So, needless to say, If your not famous, or at least have an entourage of 12, stay away form the Cafeteria, she has become too important to deal with us “little people”. Id like to add, I went to the site, very chic, and many of the people you first encounter in the flash presentation look just like me, Im black,  an artist , an activist,,..but most of all, a human being.


About Seaki Fashion Designer / Illustrator

Seaki Nelson is owner and founder of Seaki Creative Services, a freelance design company based out of NYC. With over 19 years in the international fashion community, Seaki is a fashion industry veteran, working with companies such as , such as Calvin Klien, Baby Phat,Phat Farm,Sean John,Marithe Francious Girbaud, Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. His enormous product design talent, and eye for detail and trend-spotting has garnered Seaki a dedicated following of some of the world's most powerful fashion industry professionals. Thank you for your support Thank You :)

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