The Dude Says: “Chill.”

February 14, 2005

Dan Wilson and I went out to Jackson Heights, Queens, for a pre-Valentine’s feast.

Dan Wilson, his wife Diane, and their daughter, the luminous boddhisattva Coco, came to New York for the MoMA and the Gates, and we and my nameless friend trekked out to Jackson Heights, to this place called the Delhi Palace, on 74th Street, to bask in the ecstasy of their lunch buffet.
There is a particular passive-aggressive New Yorker’s joy to the Delhi Palace, which is that it’s literally one door down from the Jackson Diner, a famed Indian food place which is the preferred joint for most Manhattanites who are to hip for 6th Street, and ride the 7 train out to Jackson Heights for Indian food. Delhi Palace whups the bejesus out of the Jackson Diner, and one passes by the Jackson Diner, chock full of Manhattanites, and laughs, HA! You fools! en route to the superior joint.
The food rendered me in such a state of numbed, exhausted bliss that my dining companions referred to me as being paneered, after the Indian cheese dish, which the Delhi Palace cooks up in such tremendous depth of flavor that it makes you feel dirty.
We all stopped by a religious goods store en route back to the elevated tracks. There were numerous depictions of this Sikh guru:
My nameless friend and I, who incidentally has Punjabi Sikh roots, refer to this guru as The Dude. His right palm is always held up in that serene gesture. Whenever we see his picture we say the same thing. “The Dude,” we say, “says: Chill.”