Cafe Reggio, in the Village. I first came here as a college student in the mid 1980's. I'm fairly certain it was my friend Lynn who brought me here. I can recall her voice, and her telling me, "They have the most beautiful Italian boys waiting tables there. Trust me." Sure enough, she was right, though I became enamored of it more for the good, cheap food on the menu. I spent 4 years in art school Hungry All The Time.
Currently, most weekends I try to spend one day (or a good portion of it) walking around the city. This serves two purposes: the first is exercise, which I don't get enough of on a daily basis working from my home, and second, the opportunity to "map" more of the city on my frontal cortex (or wherever the brain stores navigational info). I have no sense of direction whatsoever. I read once that, like under-eye circles (another burden I shoulder), a sense of direction is a genetic thing. You're either born with one or not. I most decidedly was not. In the first letter I wrote to the woman who, in fact, turned out to be my biological mother, I inquired as to whether she had any problems in this area. I wouldn't have held it against her, of course, but as it happens, she can find her way around the world just fine. So maybe it skips a generation, like baldness?
Anyway. I took myself into Greenwich Village for my weekend perambulation with the express purpose of revisiting Cafe Reggio. It is mostly unchanged, though it feels even smaller and more claustrophobic than in my memory. But, no, it is the same as it ever was, with the tiny phone booth bathroom in the room center, that always made you feel like you were basically peeing in full public view. I had the stuffed croissant. It came with pickles and potato salad and I enjoyed it while reading a several-weeks-old New Yorker. And an excellent cafe latte. Though I sat by myself, I was only inches away from my fellow patrons. It's the sort of place you can go to if you are alone, but don't necessarily want to feel that way.