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Drawing exercise – Creamer – pencil

A recent study out of Sweden now shows that two cups of coffee a day helps to PREVENT strokes.  It wasn’t long ago that coffee wasn’t good for you.  Now it is.  I can’t keep up.  I’m still waiting for the day when they tell you cigarettes and french fries are good for you.   (I’ve quit the cigarettes and am trying to cut down on the fries.)

I remember one time many, many years ago when The Husband, The brother-in-law (the Husband’s brother) and I went to see an off, off Broadway show called “Smoking Newports and eating French Fries”.  We went to the show based on the title, cause really, how could it be bad?   It was so bad we walked out even before intermission.

The Husband drinks TONS of coffee.   He is the epitome of the cop drinking coffee stereotype.  He will make a pot of coffee in the morning, drink it all, go to work, drink more coffee and then come home and make coffee before he goes to bed.  I have MAYBE one cup of coffee in the morning.  Sometimes.

The best coffee EVER is to be found in the Caribbean, Central and South America.  Give me a cafe con leche any time!

I remember one time when the aforementioned brother-in-law was living in Seattle and came back for a visit.  He brought his own coffee.  It was right at the time when the whole West Coast coffee Starbucks snobbery was starting and I was HIGHLY insulted.  Really Jimmy!  I have never forgotten that!

So here’s to coffee!  I like mine with milk and sugar.  If I have a stroke I’m gonna be really pissed!

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.

ATM Grotto

Change is inevitable.

And as you get older you see more and more change. Some good, some bad. Some incomprehensible.

When I moved into my neighborhood there were bodegas on 5th Ave with bullet proof glass and guys playing dominoes all night long in the summer to the sounds of loud music. Crack was sold out of the apartment building a few doors down and sexual favors were sometimes performed in the lobby of a building a few doors up. But overall is was a nice block and as time marched on, the bullet proof glass enclosed bodegas moved out to make room for antique shops, restaurants, more restaurants and coffee houses. Apparently yuppies cannot get enough coffee.

Now gentrification is spreading to the outer reaches of the neighborhood to areas that I NEVER, EVER thought it would reach. What do I know? Recently, a car service store front closed, only to re-open as <shockingly> another coffee shop. This one is extra special because it has an ATM grotto. What is that you ask? I had no idea what it was either until I passed it one day. The alcove had been there for a few weeks and I wondered what would go in there. It looked like an alcove suitable for a statue of Mary, or perhaps a saint. Now there is an ATM there. I call it the ATM grotto. When I showed the picture to some of my friends, they all made the same comment…that people will be praying at the ATM that their card comes back out. Or their money comes out. Or they don’t get held up making a withdrawal. I guess the more things change, in some ways, the more things stay the same. Amen.

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