I Didn’t Ask You

Sitting, as is my custom, on a stool at the counter of Power Coffeeworks, watching the caffeinophiles of the area come in and out, I have developed a sense of admiration and empathy for the young men and women who work part time as baristas. I have been A.D.D. before anyone thought to so classify some of us. (Not A.D.H.D. I never hung by my ankles off a Lower East Side fire escape the way my uncle Dan did over a century ago, taking a decade or more off the life of his mother – before he went out west to become a Jewish cowboy.) I simply have difficulty keeping track of more than one thing at a time.

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You Must Know Ira, Don’t You?

Do they (‘they’ being Brandon and Stephanie of Power Coffeeworks) know their customers, or do they know their customers???!!! I was a little behind schedule reaching their premises this past Thursday. First I had to help Lazer bring up an a/c unit for my office. (I wasn’t going to make him carry the 30+ kilo compressor unit up two flights of stairs by himself.) Then I headed into Jerusalem, getting off the Light Rail at the center of town to drop into Sefer Ve Sefel, the go-to place for gently used English language books. I struck up a lively conversation with the owner, Michael Rose, about the virtues of Raymond Chandler and the differences in quality between him and all the detective story wannabes who have been imitating him over the years. Sure enough, the bookstore had maybe 50 examples of the genre by Michael Connelly and not one – not one! – by Chandler. Vey iz mir. Continue reading

Feeling Em-Power-ed

It’s not just the coffee.  Readers who have been paying attention over the years will be aware that I’m usually at the Mahane Yehuda shuk Thursday mornings and that I always begin my excursion with a stop at Power Coffeeworks. Those few minutes may turn out to be one of the highlights of my week. You see, it’s not just the coffee; it’s the conversation. There are establishments where you go in alone, you eat and drink alone, you leave alone, and you feel alone. Not so my favorite spot.  There, while you’re indulging in your favorite caffeinated brew, you’re free to start a conversation or to join in on someone else’s, and, suddenly, you’re no longer alone! A few of my favorite chats over the last few months: Continue reading