February 21, 2017
My weekend morning routine has evolved into something really nice. Comforting. I get to take part in an old-fashioned, small-town, everyone knows everyone, neighborhoody experience even though I live in the big city. I absolutely love it. These are a few of my favorite things.
I wake at 6, get showered and dressed, put on a warm jacket, grab something food-enthusiast to read and walk two blocks to my favorite neighborhood diner for breakfast. The walk – or should I say stroll – takes all of three minutes. I get there right before or just after opening, sit in my favorite seat at the counter (if someone happens to be in it, I get twanged for a second because of a very mild case of OCD, and choose a different seat at the counter). Same time, same seat, same breakfast.
Most of all, as soon as I enter the cafe, I get greeted with several people saying “Morning, Tom!”
Cheers. Where everyone knows your name. I love that. Coffee gets poured, creamer gets pulled from the fridge and I get asked “One or two?” I get the same breakfast order each time (2-egg California Scramble with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and cheddar and a side of fresh fruit). Hence, one means just me, two means getting one to go for Dan, who’s likely still sleeping. Often I just hold up one or two fingers.
Depending on who’s there, sometimes I get to set next to a kind man named David, a Boomer like me. We share stories of our week, of daring-do and memories of remember when. We connect and laugh. Chef Stanley, who took over the cafe from his parents, stops by between orders and we chat and joke about cooking, new recipes, cool techniques, and foodie events. We’re both chefs and have done twenty or so cooking events together. My tribe. Steve, Stanley’s biz partner and cousin regales me with stories of ocean fishing and whiskey tastings. Tyler pours me more coffee and talks of finishing college and his engineering team that’s building a formula race car. Kind, friendly, chatty, connective. So fulfilling.
In addition, there are times when I just get to sit quietly and read my food enthusiast something: a new cookbook, my next cooking class recipes or one of my very favorites, the food section of the Wednesday NY Times. I am so lucky. My mother-in-law has been collecting and sending me the food sections of the Times every few weeks for the last twenty years. Some of the best reading ever.
This all takes place in about an hour, sometimes longer depending on my daily schedule. And repeats weekly. Sometimes twice every week. Sometimes more.
Take a look: click here (sound on)