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 Watercolor cards of coffee and a doughnut – 140 #arches coldpress scraps glued to a pre-made card 

Every morning I stop by my local coffee cart run by John and Mohammed, immigrants from Afghanistan who run this cart like a well oiled machine.  John sees me coming down the street from the subway and if there are no other customers he immediately prepares my coffee.  I told him once what I wanted and I never had to tell him again.

Sometimes Mohammed has to sit in the van until alternate-side-of-the-street parking goes off at 8:00 am.  But if he’s in the cart too then the coffee and doughnut serving ballet really begins.  John gets the coffee, Mohammed bags it with the requisite baked good that the person ordered, takes the money and makes change while John is on to the next customer.   If only the City could run that smoothly.

For a while I tried not to get a doughnut with my coffee, but either John or Mohammed would put it in the bag anyway.  One day they ran out of chocolate frosted so they gave me a whole wheat.  I eventually gave up fighting with them and just accepted the whole wheat doughnut with my coffee.  Hey, it’s whole wheat. Ergo, it must be healthy.

Tomorrow, April 1st will be my last day of work.  I will have retired. And it’s not an April Fool’s joke even though some people in my office may think it is.  It’s a very strange feeling.  Clearly, I’m happy about it, but my daily routine, starting with John and Mohammed will now be over.  I’ll have to create new routines.  Unless of course I decide to take the subway every morning to get coffee from John and Mohammed’s cart, chat with them, and then come home.  Yes, I will miss these guys.  But that would just be silly.


Shadows of Jupiter

Today while walking from the subway to work I saw a corner coffee cart with a flat screen TV affixed to its side so customers can watch TV while they wait for their coffee.  WHAT?  I had to look back to make sure what I was seeing was real.  SERIOUSLY?  Now you can watch TV while waiting the 5 seconds it takes the guy to give you a coffee and a bagel?   After thinking about this, I thought it would actually take LONGER than 5 seconds to get your coffee in the morning because of the extra time it would take to look at the screen, take in the information, get distracted and then having the guy say to you.  AHEM, HERE’S YOUR COFFEE.   This is New York.  If after giving your order at a cart more than twice the guy does not have your order memorized and ready for you as you walk towards the cart you should stop going there. 

Iconic Coffee Cup

I go to a coffee cart every morning and get coffee from John and Mohammed.  We say hello, John usually has my coffee made before I step up to the cart window.   Mohammed waves his arm and asks if I want something sweet.   We exchange pleasantries either about the day (TGIF) the weather (it’s gonna be a hot one) and then I am on my way.  It CANNOT take more than 4 minutes.   And I’m being generous. 

Also during said walk from the subway to my office I was handed three menus, had to listen to the never-ending construction across the street from my building. Since 9/11 I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t seen a crane, heard a pile driver or jack hammer, or seen men in hard hats and Skanska vests, 5 of whom stand around and watch while one person digs. Just as I got to my building I watched while a woman actually punched the hood of a car because it failed to stop at a stop sign.   (I was with the puncher all the way.)

The above painting is an image from the complex my Aunt Gail moved to in Jupiter, Florida.  I was attracted to the light pink stucco, the green shutters and the palm tree bending in the breeze and shading the home.   It’s quiet there.  And hot.  And there is very little noise.  You don’t see people outside. (Where are all the people?)   I am not a big Florida fan (too hot) but on a morning like this one, I certainly could enjoy some of Jupiter’s peace and quiet.

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