There’s a place I know…

An event and a place today conspire to remind me of my love of New York City:

Event first; this morning my daily my ride on the Q train was enlivened by a casual encounter. Some time after the train left Atlantic Avenue I looked up and noticed a woman seated across from me. She was about my age with cropped spiky hair beneath a straw fedora. the rest of the outfit: tan suede merrills with thin chocolate ankle socks, A loosely tailored mens jacket in periwinkle, carmel slacks. The impression of some sort of neck tie. The over all effect was old school bohemian with dash of butch chic. She chewed a twig. As I watched she stared intently at other passengers, sketching them in a small blank book even as the train bucked beneath us. My eyes returned to my book but a while later I felt the intensity of her scrutiny and looked up to lock eyes with her as she continued to draw. As her putative subject I contemplated whipping out my own black book from my bag and returning the compliment, but opted for returning to what was now my pose: head angled down, book agape. As we pulled into 14th street she seemed to be collecting herself for departure and I tried to catch sight of the page she had been working on and was rewarded with a fleeting glimpse of pairs of eyes. Mine? I was left with the memory of an urban intimacy and the satisfaction of having provided something for a fellow artist.

Place: I love businesses that succeed because they do something right, not simply because they are huge. Thus I love Porto Rico Coffee Importers. They operate two overcrowded and shockingly fragrant stores in manhattan and have coffee of a quality and price that other places can only pine for. The thing that clinches it for me though is a service they offer: they will keep your custom blend of beans on file, so that you can can come in and request it by name. This is the sort of thing that barely costs them anything but has made me a life long customer. Here’s a picture of a diffident employee holding up the card for “Nayland’s Blend”

0 Comments +

  1. i remeber when i was the person drawing folks on the bus.. i need to find him in me again

    thank you for reminding me of something that i miss as much as i would miss an arm

  2. I absolutely love the train story, Fella. Reading it, I felt sort of suspended in time, in a slowed cinematic moment. Wish I could get a sense of urban intimacy; even in this little burg, I manage to mostly feel nervous and alienated. Shrug. But cope marvelously! πŸ™‚

  3. i used to sit at this sleazy bar here .. drawing pictures while chattin the night away with my bartender friends..

    i have a small sketch book i used to use and will dig it back out tonight.. need ot start sketchin again as a friend of mine’s relative may eventually want to teach me how to sling ink .. but i gotta have a sketch book first

  4. Beats my train story. Travelling on the 7 this morning a special needs student from LaGuardia Community College came up to me and started asking me questions about my beard. Annoying questions. How long did it take to grow? How long have I had it? How often do I trim it? Did I know I look like Santa? Did I ever think to dress like Santa? He was thinking of growing his hair long; if he cut his hair on Sept 30, would it be as long as my beard?

  5. Submit to Metropolitan Diary

    Speaking of twigs: the one that was on the hood of my car on Sunday is still there, after a trip to Staten and two trips to Manhattan and Queens, respectively. Maybe Thor was right.

  6. Ah. There are local restaurants where, should I not wish to, I wouldn’t even actually have to order, because they know I always get the same thing. Depressing, that… πŸ˜‰

  7. Not Depressing at all – I love my local diner, Toomey’s where I know all the employees names and if I miss a week of attendance, everyone gets all worried for me. I have much more neighborhood connection here in NYC than I ever did in San Francisco.

  8. Not Depressing at all – I love my local diner, Toomey’s where I know all the employees names and if I miss a week of attendance, everyone gets all worried for me. I have much more neighborhood connection here in NYC than I ever did in San Francisco.

  9. Yes. I suppose it’s more depressing that I always order the same thing. Arne may have opened me up (my taste in food, you gutterbrains πŸ˜‰ ), but only so far (Arne being my snuggleogreotterpupboyfriendsweetheart). I’ve discovered I like a few exotic things my redneck stomach would never have tried on its own, but I’m still not very adventurous.

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