Hey Joe!

Joe Coffee opened on my block yesterday. “So what?” you say it’s just a coffee shop.

I disagree.

New York City has always been and always will be a city comprised of a thousand different cities. Micro-cities if you will that fluctuate with rhythm and personality. The vibe of the city really does change from block to block. It’s remarkable. Which brings me to my point. “My New York City Micro-City” is Lincoln Center. I love my neighborhood (and actually like when people think they are teasing me saying I live in the suburbs of New York).

Though two things have been missing here for me:

First was a good, local coffee shop near me. Emphasis on good and local. You see, I have a Starbucks literally out my front door. I never go. A) I don’t care for their coffee. B) It’s just a reminder of how ‘Merica has become this giant, bland, homogenized, “BigCorp” landscape. I’m a mom and pop guy. They are the places I seek out.

Enter Joe. A delicious and local little coffee chain. Their shops are petite and stylish and the cups of coffee superb. I couldn’t be happier. Maybe that seems silly, but it’s true. I will be going often.

The second is a low-key, quality Italian restaurant. They are nowhere in my hood. But, not for long. Soon we’ll have one and my favorite one at that – Parm! I will be positively giddy when that joint opens. It was always one of my favorite spots when I worked in Nolita and I’m sure it will be a multi-day a week visit for me and the family once they peel back the curtain on her in a few months. I’m stoked. Related: It will also kill in our hood. Happy for them.

There is one more thing I need to point out why these two places will matter a lot to me. Familiarity. When I find a mom and pop shop in New York City that I really like, I go. Repeatedly. I get to know the owners, the staff, the patrons. It’s this warm feeling I get knowing I’m remembered and appreciated as a customer. That doesn’t happen much in New York City. It does if you find the right places though. I couldn’t live here without that dose of “small-town” vibe. And that’s exactly what a Joe and a Parm will bring to my hood. Again, I couldn’t be happier.

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