The first block of Bleecker is becoming civilized. For decades it was home to the Yippie Party, and summer evenings you could get a contact high from the clouds of pot smoke issuing from the headquarters at 9 Bleecker Street. Gradually, upscale bars and restaurants squeezed in, but a feeling of anarchy still remains in the block's scarred and graffitied facades. As you enter Bianca at 5 Bleecker, a framed portrait of a woman in white confronts you; she's wearing a wedding dress that billows onto the floor as she sits with a mysterious expression. Does she regret her betrothal, or is she afraid a stink bomb is about to be lobbed in the door? As soon as we sat down in the relentlessly white room—lined with matching china plates, hung with teacups on little hooks, and lit with darling artichoke sconces, my companion exclaimed, "This is pretty—it looks like an English cottage." And then, a split second later: "This is a girl restaurant." And indeed, most of the tables were... More >>>