After a meeting with a fella from my department, I followed a craving for blueberry pancakes to Coffee in the West Village. This is one of the exceptions to my no blueberries except from New Jersey in July rule. I’ll eat a muffin with fresh-frozen blueberries too, if it looks delicious enough.
Coffee wasn’t the first place I stopped. I sat down at a place on 8th avenue, then walked out. I seldom ever do that. But the menu looked uninteresting; it couldn’t displace my craving, and the place was hardly full. Considering that particular strip of brunch spots are all overfloweth, I took as a bad sign of victuals to come.
I wanted blueberry pancakes so much so, I feel I might have willed the perfect short stack into being. I liked the sign hanging out front at Coffee. It’s small, raw, and folk-style in wood. The place is just off the main 8th avenue brunch drag. You wouldn’t know to look for it. The sign is just noticeable enough. I didn’t expect they would serve blueberry pancakes. Really, I just wanted to see the space inside and maybe order a beverage. I was thrilled when the folks behind the wood counter pointed to the hand written paper sign tacked up on the counter—short stack blueberry pancakes with maple syrup $4.00. Perfection. I ordered them and an apple juice.
When I sat at my little table, I noticed Malcom Gladwell sitting at a table near the window. He had a stack of papers he seemed to be editing. After a few minutes, he got up and moved from the table facing into the cafe, to a table near the wall, facing out the window. He was obviously not interested in being noticed that day. A woman who walked in noticed him too. She had a warm, smirky smile on her face when she looked over at him a couple times, almost schoolgirl-like. She must read the New Yorker.
I didn’t think it was fair he moved from his table. I planned to vibe him while I sat there, as sort of a revenge. I’ve seen him several times over the past year. Though we haven’t introduced ourselves yet. We will eventually. I think he’ll become my next new genius friend. I digress and won’t tap into that here.
The reason for revenge..
Last fall, I was in the research room at Bobst library searching information on GIS mapping software and CAFOs. Gladwell was sitting at the other end of the row of workstations. When the woman working next to me left, he gathered his things and took her seat. Then, he very obviously and intently watched my computer screen, or me, while I worked. It was a little discerning. I knew who he was. Though, in my brand of illiteracy, except for one article, haven’t read him. So in return, I very obviously ignored him. I was physically compelled to. At the time, I had nothing to say to him, and didn’t want to reinforce his behavior. As I writer, I give him something of a pass. Though, as a potential leering perve, tsk tsk. I finished my research and left without saying a word.
Returning to blueberry pancakes with maple syrup $4.00..
I got exactly what I craved and willed. The short stack was served in a five inch cast iron Lodge pan. Coffee is after this cast iron huntress’ heart. It’s not a Griswold, but then again, not all of my cast irons are either. My favourite happens to be a very generic sort with only the pan number stamped on the handle and ‘eight inch skillet’ on the bottom. That one is responsible for my tortillas and fried egg variations. The maple syrup was real, and the butter, well, it always makes it better.
On my way out, I did something, which until that day, have never done. Since my sorry attempt at a vibing revenge was foiled, I handed Gladwell one of my very professional business cards. It’s essentially a piece of paper from a mini lined composition notebook. The sheet is turned sideways with Daily Prandium (.com) handwritten on it. No phone number. I almost never give that out anymore. No e-mail. Just the site and my name. I’m sure he tossed it. I’m sure plenty of folks pass him their card. I’m sure he’d hate this site. I’m sure I’m too simple and plebian-minded for his reading tastes. But I did it. I figured at some point, I’ll have to begin promoting myself a bit more. This is Gotham. I didn’t date a blue chip art dick for nothing. I took notes during his lectures on nutshells and whatnots. Gladwell seemed the perfect Someone to pop my senseless self-promoting cherry on.