After flinging thousands of sweaters and shirts in every color and fabric up against our faces to find the perfect one for only $4.99, cheaper if we had gone on Thursday Customer Appreciation Day 25% off, Mimi and I ended up at the one place that offered a real grilled cheese sandwich with cheese that might not have been so real, but we didn't care, they made them with tomatoes and they had Lipton's Tea. We were starving and sitting down was like coming home only better because everything always tasted good after tough shopping on a cold day. And besides, you didn't have to do the dishes, the plates were plastic.
No tables, just counters and fierce Greek between the guys behind the counter and a couple customers on the red stools. One after another kids came in asking for change of a dollar, they all needed four quarters for the parking meters outside.
Shake Shack just opened nearby and some of the nicer chains are moving in on the small, tough stores that weathered everything because when you are always living flat-broke, the economy never changes and your customers can just about afford you. Mimi thinks soon those grilled cheese and souvlaki joints will be a thing of the past, the kids of these guys having better things to do than flip cheese sandwiches and slice shwarma off the grill. I think the quarter-meters aren't going to last much longer either, my street now filled with computers that take electronic change.
Still, I pointed out we would have had to stand on line to Shake Shack which probably wouldn't have had a good cup of tea. And besides how can you beat a grilled cheese sandwich made on a real grill.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.