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This might be a thing where I log the places I eat alone at. I'm at Coral Tree Cafe in Encino. It's not near where I live, but like most places I feel comfortable eating alone at, it doesn't matter so much what the food's like or where it is. It's mostly important if it's not too trendy or depressing and I hate waitress service. I need the freedom to bolt when I'm done. And I hate when they come up to me when I'm chewing and ask how it is very ten seconds, but then when you want something or your check, they're nowhere to be found.  Also what matters is if the place has a low-stress parking lot, and isn't usually that crowded. Tonight there's some charity event and it's crowded so I'll leave. I suppose I log the places I feel comfortable eating alone at to share with others, and feel I have a mission. I saw this guy a few years older than me the other night eating alone, and I felt bad for the poor lonely guy. But I was alone, but that was different. I had a project! I had my laptop! It's like feeling bad you see someone at a porno store when you're there. (Before Internet reference) 
I may travel for the first time in awhile so I'm hoping others tell me places in their city that's good for eating alone at. There's a chapter about eating alone in my book, "Maybe We'll have You Back". It's coming out late April I think. Lots of people when I tell them I have a book, they say, "Self Published, right? It's just self published?" hoping whatever news I have is something that's not that good and for them to be envious about. When I say no, that in fact it's a real publisher, I can see the crushed look on their face. They don't want other people doing good. They can't hide that look, so they try to recover saying, "But I hear you don't make that much from a book unless you're famous or Stephen KIng, right?" I told this guy this other one was saying, "Self Published, right?" and he said, "So what it's self published? That's still a lot of work you did!" and I tried correcting him that it's not self published, but he didn't want to hear it. "Why does he have to put down it's self published? You still have an accomplishment." He just didn't want to hear it wasn't self published. Okay people are yelling and laughing. Gotta leave. Normally this is a cool low-key place for eating alone 
bob sacamano
3/10/2013 05:30:21 pm

there's a certain paradox at the heart of a person eating alone. while many will look at that person as sad and friendless, it also takes great courage to eat alone knowing others are making that very judgement. so eating alone is braver than going out with friends.

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Al
3/11/2013 04:12:59 am

You are 100% wrong. You may try to lie to yourself, but there is nothing brave about it.

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Christine
3/11/2013 05:40:27 am

bob's observations are his own and therefore can't be "100% wrong."

Spencer
3/12/2013 03:14:07 am

What are you talking about, Al

FRED STOLLER
3/10/2013 05:40:17 pm

I'm okay until I have a meal with others and see someone like me eating alone. I feel bad for him, though I am him most of the time. But I forget I'm him all the time.

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Christine
3/10/2013 06:18:43 pm

I am that single diner more often than not, and I don't give the slightest thought as to what anyone thinks of me for eating alone. I just don't.

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Bob Glouberman
3/10/2013 11:27:50 pm

What's awful is when you are at the pre-Internet porno section of the video store alone and then a married couple enters IRONICALLY and then they recognize you and you are not currently in a relationship and you have to make up a story fast and/or pretend you are there only ironically. "Can you believe some of these titles?" Not that that's ever happened to me.

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3/11/2013 12:14:37 am

Fred I enjoyed reading this! Write some more. Also don't worry about eating alone in a restaurant. It's an acquired skill and I'm very good at it. When you come to New York, we can go to lunch together, and I can teach you about being better at eating alone in a restaurant. Somehow.

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3/11/2013 03:36:55 am

Eating in restaurants with other people makes me nervous. I'm always worried they're going to be a jerk to the waitress and then not tip enough. If they want to sit there forever after the meal while the place is crazy busy, ugh! Stress. Can you tell I used to be a waitress and bartender for 13 years? - Can't wait for the new book!

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Jonas Polsky
3/11/2013 04:08:55 am

I couldn't relate to this more. I've spent my entire life alone, and only recently learned that people think it's strange to go places alone.

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AL
3/11/2013 04:19:24 am

5th sentence -"every" ten seconds, not "very" ten seconds.

Baltimore- there are almost no places you can eat alone without feeling like a schmuck.. You like pizza -go to Two Boots. They have slices named after weird people and tv characters like Tony Clifton and Larry Tate. They put the slices on white paper plates and help yourself to napkins. Locations in NYC too

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AL
3/11/2013 04:23:39 am

and you know they hate having a single diner take up a table or booth. If possible, they will sit you at that little table near the kitchen or restrooms.

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Christine
3/11/2013 05:14:20 am

That's only if you let them. I don't let them. Nor will I accept, "Would you like a seat at the bar?" No, I would like a table. I know where the bar is and would have sat there if I wanted to.

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Elaine
3/11/2013 05:31:10 am

Hi Fred,

I'm a big fan. I first found you when you were on Marc Maron's podcast. I could really relate to what you said and you also made me laugh. I started following you on Twitter. I also heard you on the Mental Illness Happy Hour. I thought that was a good interview. Your relationship with your mother reminds me of my relationship with my mother. They seem like similar people. I also read your Kindle single and watched your movie. Both were great. When I was watching the movie I thought that a blog would be perfect for your restaurant recommendations, so I am so happy to see you start this blog! Anyway, best of luck with the book promotion. I look forward to reading it.

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Fred Stoller
3/11/2013 06:46:19 am

Thanks, Elaine! And everyone. Please feel free to recommend restaurants in other cities. I'd assume NYC isn't so tough cause there's so many open so late.

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