When you meet another blogger on his home turf, it is a good idea to meet him in a establishment that mirrors the blogger’s unique personality.
Sophia and I met the sophisticated Tatyana at the Cafe Sabarsky. Housed within Museum Mile’s Neue Galerie, the restaurant is patterned after the old-style Viennese kaffeehaus. We talked about architecture, politics, and why Austrian cafes serve coffee with a glass of water and metal spoon on top of the glass.
(The answer: Viennese tradition bids to serve a glass of water together with the coffee, although this is coming out of use in our hectic days. Originally the water was served as an excuse for the customer to keep his seat even when he had finished his coffee, to be able to read the newspapers provided in the café, or to have lengthy discussions. The latter was important because the “Kaffeehaus” in Vienna was used as a meeting point for writers, artists, etc.)
The next night, we met the mysterious Retropolitan at the Cabana Cafe, a restaurant designed to look like a cafe in pre-Castro Havana. We talked about 1940’s radio shows, Retropolitan’s perfect radio voice, and the hardships of breaking up with a significant other.
The next day, I met the very professional and talented Amanda at a hip business-lunch cafe near Union Square. We talked about our blogging “styles,” writing, and relationships.
1) Tatyana gave her cellphone number to Sophia, but not to me.
2) Retropolitan, on leaving us, said, “It was a nice to meet you, Neil. It was ESPECIALLY wonderful to meet you, Sophia.”
3) Amanda, on hearing that I alone was coming to see her, “What a disappointment! I was hoping to meet Sophia.”
Do you see a trend here? Next time, maybe I’ll just send Sophia with a cardboard cut-out of myself.