…I stepped out of John Dory onto Broadway, looked south, and heard a voice behind me “nice hair!” I turned to find two cougars finishing their cigarettes. I thanked them, they smiled and stepped back into the bar.
After which, Sasha introduced me to his friend Tom, who’d taken his first Square transaction earlier in the day—a wholesale batch of his artisanal tonic.
Remarkable territory, this “mid-town.”
Walking to the Muni last night before the party, I tried to reconcile the evening’s plans with a nagging sense of post-30 bedroom DJs suffering from Peter Pan syndrome. Was I judging them or myself?
12 years ago a friend offered me a DJ gig at his bar in the lower east side. With no turntables of my own, it was trial by fire—I ended up learning how to spin right there. Practice before the bar opened, play my Sunday set, then spend the meager proceeds around the corner at the record store on more vinyl for next week. Every mistake, trainwreck and serendipitous mix was there for anyone who was listening.
Last night I relived some of that—learning on the fly how to DJ with Ableton Live in a very public way. Simultaneously frightening and thrilling, my train of thought was something like this: “Look, jump, if I fall I fall.”
In the end it worked out. There were no major screwups—that anyone noticed—and my friends came out to dance. <3 to everyone for their support yesterday!
Reaping the benefits of the Boingo WiFi tax, battling back curmudgeonly instincts while the woman at the AA desk seeming less convinced as each successive assigned takeoff time expires under the boot of repairs on the lavatories.
I could have taken the subway to Manhattan by now, instead opting to decompress at a cafe before the gate, writing—and reading—the backlog of email, curate ~2000 photos from France, and kitting a plan for the weekend.
Speaking of which, looking forward to Jay’s birthday party + he and Jen’s housewarming, riding with Jenny Oh & co in Oakland on Friday before East Bay BBQing, a Tam loop on Saturday, followed by Wanted with Krissy and then We Are Scientists on Sunday. So much for lying low.
Congratulations to Jamie for his win:
Forest of links to my favorite NYC coffee kiosk:
Spotted at the Strand a couple days ago on the aging/self-help table near the front.
One morning at my local, Piccino, I inquired where Jamie was. “He moved to New York,” was the reply. I was dismayed, SF had lost a prodigal barista and a good soul. Fast-forward a year, and by complete chance I walk into this tiny place, Abraço Espresso (7th street @ 1st Ave) and there was my friend! He and his business partners (also San Francisco expats) have brought ristretto perfection to the East Village.
We were greeted like old friends, crowded into the tiny space between the door and the bar; which evoked the Linden kiosk in Hayes Valley with its combination of walnut and fogged plexiglass, stainless steel and the hulking Marzocco.
We stayed for an hour and a half, chatting with Jamie’s business partners, sampling the food (and of course the divine espresso). Took photos and met new friends, got directions to a haberdashery and enjoyed the warmth of the space.
Abraço doesn’t have decaf or soy milk (they make their own almond milk from scratch for the dairy-averse). There’s no wi-fi or MP3s being pumped into the air. The music comes from an LP, the turntable perched atop a cage shelf already crammed into the impossibly tiny, but well-laid out space. Nothing feels out of place, object, patron or otherwise.
The neon sign that’s visible through the window from 1st ave: