Image Source: Bridge and Tunnel Club
The first summer-feeling weekend of the year had arrived, and seemingly all of Brooklyn was out soaking it in. The lawns of Prospect Park were filled with picnickers, flying Frisbees and sun worshipers, and the paths of the Botanical Gardens were mobbed with promenaders spilling out to the farmers market on Grand Army Plaza. It was a glorious weekend to be alive in any corner of the borough.
On that Sunday, as always, the line outside Tom’s Restaurant snaked around the corner. The owner, as always, walked the line, handing out cookies and greeting his customers-to-be.
“My friends!” he said to Ray and Clem. “Thank you so much for coming on this beeuteeful day!” He handed them both cookies, clasped their hands and forearms and moved along the line. Ray gnawed off a cookie in one bite, adjusted his shades against the blinding sun and pointed up to the sign above the window.
“This isn’t it,” Ray said. “You know that, right?” He stood back a little, lit an American Spirit and waited for Clem to ask what he meant.
“What do you mean?” Clem asked.
“This isn’t the Tom’s Diner from the Suzanne Vega song,” Ray said. “Most people think it is, but nope. I know a guy knows someone that used to do publicity for her, and he got the real story. Her Tom’s Diner is the one on Broadway in Morningside Heights, by Columbia.”
Ray actually read that in an article somewhere, but close enough. Finally seated, he ordered a Chocolate Egg Cream and Clem ordered a Cherry Lime Rickey, both of which were the best in the world.
“Oh yeah, I know that one!” Clem said. “They used the exterior for the café on Seinfeld!”
Ray was slightly taken aback at having his command of the conversation breached, but he handled it deftly by changing the subject.
“Oh, have you seen the ‘Hipster Trap’ poster?” he said. “It was on Laughing Squid, I think. Hilarious. It’s a bear trap, with a PBR, a pair of Ray-Bans and a pack of American Spirits. Friggin’ riot.”
“That’s a scream,” Clem said. “Tools of the trade for tools, right?”
“Damn straight,” Ray said. “Buncha wankers. ‘Oh, look at me! I’m ever so hip and ironic!’”
“’Yeah, look at my seventy-five-dollar Pabst tee!’” Clem said. “It looks original!”
“Damn, that reminds me: we’re out of beer!” Ray said. “Let’s pick up some Brooklyn. And some PBRs, in case we score!”
They sippedd their drinks, ordered BLTs, got beer and smokes at the bodega and headed back out into a beautiful Sunday.
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