Friday, May 19, 2006

New York Joe

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Double Espresso and The Board That Wishes To Remain Anonymous.

I can't decide if I've degenerated to this level or if this is a symbiotic symbol of my newfound enthusiasm for coffee. I didn't grow up liking coffee. I grew up liking tea. Coffee was just nasty.

Anyway, I'm in New York City for a couple of days hanging out with friends from all over the nation. They called, and since I didn't go to Switzerland, I thought I might as well get out for a little bit.

It's a grey and dreary morning in Manhattan and since I'm stuck in one of those hip, pretentious, expensive and compromising hotels in midtown, I decided to escape the concrete jungle of the theatre district for the comfy environs of my old stomping grounds in Greenwich Village and have some drinks at Joe The Art of Coffee.

I lived on Washington Square back in 1991. It was a great time. Giuliano had yet to become mayor. New York was a wild place. Ganja was being sold openly by Rastafarians in Washington Square on the way to classes at NYU. People were really rude. The meat-packing district still had meat. You could literally be killed in Alphabet City and Canal Jean was still bohemian.

From the entrance to my building on Washington Square West, you could see the twin towers of the World Trade Center. In my own odd sense of morbidity, I wondered how far the quarter mile high building would fall if you tipped them over. Little did I know that fifteen years later those towers would be gone and a generation of people would be growing up without them. Odd.

But I'm digressing into my own world of youthful remembrace...

So, I'm camped out here at Joe. A steady rain is falling and this place is ticking along nicely. I've already had an Americano, a cinnamon bun and a double-shot espresso. It's all good. My cousin just called, incredulous that I would venture so far for a coffee - I hate coffee, I remind him. For me to go out for coffee, it has to be good. I can't just drink coffee for the sake of drinking coffee. It's too nasty and why should I subject myself to self-induced nastiness?

The coffee here at Joe is anything but. The crema is deep reddish brown with serious flecking - gotta love that. The staff is friendly.

Did I just hear the barista call out that they just ran out of latte?

I don't understand.

Is he kidding?

Oh well, milk is nasty anyway so I'm not worrying about it. I'm too tired to worry about it. It was a long night that got me back to the hotel around 3am and then I was up again at 6:30am. This damn "gotta open the shop" bio-schedule that my body is used to has me waiking because I think I'm late to work no matter what time I went to bed. Spent the previous day/night sarging DJ Un-G's co-workers at, eating gourmet hot dogs, listening to live bossanova at Laila in Williamsburg, drinking at some French bar on Ludlow - just too much partying for this old soul.

And tonight is Friday Night and it's going to be worse.

For now, I'm just enjoying the quiet respite here in The Village.