Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dare To Be Urban

Here is something that has become an occasional weekend morning routine for us: after everyone rolls out of bed, Maya and I take our two girls and walk a mile and a half to Intelligentsia.

Once there, we outmaneuver everyone for a spot outside, where we drink our coffee and feed the kids breakfast. I listen to Maya fret and quip about how we make too big a deal about going to Intelligentsia. The place is not even that great, she says. The Wi-Fi isn't free, the wait is interminable, and worst of all, inexplicably, they do not stock bagels.

I heard it all before, but yesterday it was different - with our daughter jumping up and down clamoring for more food, I had to think on my feet. So, in a moment of clarity, I got up, walked the 50 feet to The Bagel, and brought back a wonderful, life-affirming sesame bagel, slathered thick with cream cheese. Smiles all around ensued.

That was some urban ingenuity, wouldn't you say? Not really, considering we've been privately bitching about the bagel situation for years. Nonetheless, dense as we are, we are pretty good at making the city serve as our surrogate back yard.

For the privilege, we give up an actual backyard, and also some square footage. Our apartment is becoming increasingly Japanese, where soon in order to buy something we will need to throw something else out, and we often rue the lack of a rabu hoteru industry in this country. Still, when we are sitting in our back yard and realize that we are out of bagels, we don't need to drive to the supermarket to get them. Wherever you are, everything is just a dart across the street away.

And so, time and again, we find a table under a tree, and as we watch the world go by, we can see wayward Cubs fans as they are making their way back to their car. Their faces always betray discomfort, as if they'd been caught on their front lawn wearing nothing but a towel. It has something to do with their not knowing how to find a public bathroom in the city, but also with feeling naked without their cars. Either way, we don't envy them. We feel smug and superior, because we dare to be urban.


Anonymous said...

Will you embrace the 'stroller' crowd? Lots of new moms and dads in the area who could use a good cup of coffee and pastry.

Pavel Yusim said...

Hey, I am 'stroller crowd' myself, so I can't very well shun my own kind, can I now?

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