All these men were picking up pots and putting down pans and talking that fierce kind of talk that involves business and money and making deals and doing it fast.
I knew the place by its TV screens at the bar with every sports game on it and its outdoor seating where the whole neighborhood hung out during the summer with baby strollers and tons of hopeful little dogs under the tables.
I would pass by, looking for one of my favorite friends who often ate there during summer weeknights. But I never ate there myself.
Perhaps it was fear of the onion rings. Or the noise of the street. Or getting too involved with the game, or the little dogs.
Or the onion rings.
But just the other day, I looked at those tables outside (the upside of global warming) and thought, why not! The Mariner and I should have dinner there some night!
Lo. It is not to be.
Mumbles, after 22 years in the neighborhood, is packing up and another restaurant is moving in. Lots of reasons, they told Town and Village, including rent and not enough people supporting family-owned/run neighborhood spots.
Well, the Mariner and I do, just below 14th Street. Perhaps it was time to expand the territory.
I watched more stuff get picked up and piled high and more men talk fiercely the way they do when they are making deals and talking money. Then I spied the plants.
Are you taking them, I asked one of the busier guys making piles and deals.
"Oh yes, definitely," he said laughing.
So. I did walk by too many times, never stopping by. But who knows? Perhaps one of those pots or the plants will begin a new life in a neighborhood restaurant. And perhaps this time I'll stop by.
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.