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Jared Stein_Cafe Front2

Through a Coffee Shop Window

By Jared Stein

_signature interview_Jared SteinThere is no reason I should be in a coffee shop on a Tuesday night at nine o’clock. But I suppose its less taboo than sitting in a bar alone. I should be in my bed, hidden away from this city for a few hours.

There is no real reason for to be here, but I come here anyway. I come with the habitual cravings of any wannabe artist – desires for an exotic meal and a quiet cafe that might offset the discomfort of having roommates in back alleys of Soho. At Café Krister food and quiet are guaranteed to me. It is where I go to in a search for solace, a place free of computers and televisions.

In place of TVs I stare out the window at the snowy rain. And outside in the snowy rain a dwarfish black woman sits on a bench, calling to the people who rush home in the rain. Her back is to me, but when she turns her head I can see her lit like an actress on a Broadway stage.  The ware on her skin is hidden in the accents of purple and red coming from a glowing pair of fluorescent eyeglasses, an advertisement in an across the street window. The soft yellow glow of the coffee shop light highlights her facial features and causes some of the misty snow rain on her face to twinkle. The moisture may also be tears. It may be both.

Trendy people on the street continue to pass her in the slush. I watch them pass from my seat in the coffee shop. Some people look down as they walk by. Others pretend to notice the giant eyeglasses. All of the people pretend not to hear the woman calling to them.

Like the people in the rain I also do not hear what the woman is saying. Her voice is muted by the glass which frames her like a television screen. She is a documentary on city life and her soundtrack is whatever classic rock is currently playing over the coffee shop speakers.

When no one passes her, the woman sits alone. She looks to the left and right as if she is expecting a friend to arrive. She sits with no one and I sit with no one. She is in the rain and I am in the coffee shop. The metallic odor of a cigarette she lights somehow passes through the window. he is a woman. A homeless woman. Another beggar on the street. And this person, she wipes some rain off her face, because that is what people do.

I had given her two dollars on my way in to make myself feel better. And I know that the woman, who I began to ruminate on as I watched her through the window, will be on that bench when I decide to leave. I could give her more money, but most likely will not. I will become another person who passes her in the rain on my way home. I think I will pretend to look at the fluorescent glasses as I pass.

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 7:51 PM, Jared Stein <> wrote:
There is no reason I should be in a coffee shop on a Tuesday night at nine o’clock. I should be in my bed, hidden away from this city for a few hours. Maybe it’s because I’d feel bad sitting in a bar.

There is no real reason for to be here, but I come here anyway. I come with the habitual cravings of any wannabe artist – desires for an exotic meal and a quiet cafe that might offset the discomfort of having roommates in back alleys of Soho. At Café Krister food and quiet are guaranteed to me. It is where I go to in a search for solace, a place free of computers and televisions.

In place of TVs I stare out the window at the snowy rain. And outside in the snowy rain a dwarfish black woman sits on a bench, calling to the people who rush home in the rain. Her back is to me, but when she turns her head I can see her lit like an actress on a Broadway stage.  The ware on her skin is hidden in the accents of purple and red coming from a glowing pair of fluorescent eyeglasses, an advertisement in an across the street window. The soft yellow glow of the coffee shop light highlights her facial features and causes some of the misty snow rain on her face to twinkle. The moisture may also be tears. It may be both.

Trendy people on the street continue to pass her in the slush. I watch them pass from my seat in the coffee shop. Some people look down as they walk by. Others pretend to notice the giant eyeglasses. All of the people pretend not to hear the woman calling to them.

Like the people in the rain I also do not hear what the woman is saying. Her voice is muted by the glass which frames her like a television screen. She is a documentary on city life and her soundtrack is whatever classic rock is currently playing over the coffee shop speakers.

When no one passes her, the woman sits alone. She looks to the left and right as if she is expecting a friend to arrive. She sits with no one and I sit with no one. She is in the rain and I am in the coffee shop. The metallic odor of a cigarette she lights somehow passes through the window. he is a woman. A homeless woman. Another beggar on the street. And this person, she wipes some rain off her face, because that is what people do.

I had given her two dollars on my way in to make myself feel better. And I know that the woman, who I began to ruminate on as I watched her through the window, will be on that bench when I decide to leave. I could give her more money, but most likely will not. I will become another person who passes her in the rain on my way home. I think I will pretend to look at the fluorescent glasses as I pass.

 

Fun on the streets of New York
Dance Parade: May !6th

New York dance parade

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Hispanic Society of America

Músico de Teatro from the Siglo de Oro
The Executive Director of the Hispanic Society of America
cordially invites you to the Concert Series featuring

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Our program will be comprised of Zarzuela, music from the Spanish theater during the period known as the Siglo de Oro, or Spanish Golden Age. Hispanic Society of America 613 W 155th St New York, NY (212) 926-2234

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