BOULEY’S STUDIO: After a long day’s walk, I happened upon Bouley’s Studio. A compact place located at 130 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013. The Studio serves pastries, burgers, sandwiches, desserts, and beverages. I bought a sizable oatmeal cookie and a coffee. The amiable gentlemen at the cashier totaled my purchase at $3.35. I saw no space for seating, but asked anyway, “Is there seating available?”
“Yes,” he said. “Upstairs.”
“Upstairs,” I replied. “Where?”
“Right—behind you,” he pointed. “Keep walking and you will see the stair case.”
“That’s great,” I then uttered. “What’s your name?”
“Jacques—like Jacques Cousteau.” He waved and smiled.
“Thank you, Jacques.” I wandered and found a much larger area compared to the small-sized studio below. The room–black tables, side chairs, wide windows, and an open kitchen—was spacious. I was the only customer on a Wednesday afternoon. There was one other person, a hearty chef cooking. Four tables held: platters of chicken, salad, soup, potatoes, and bread. As I snuggled into my seat, the atmosphere changed. One by one: men and women glided into the space, grabbed their plates, and found a chair.
They were the staff of the Bouley’s restaurant at 163 Duane Street. While I was engaged in my scrumptious cookie and rich coffee, I observed their quiet way. I thought to myself, “Do they ever run out of food? And if they do—everyone is so calm—would it even matter?”
On my right sat a young man. He spread butter on his baguette. I asked, “Are you all on your dinner break?”
“Yes,” he said. “It’s our family meal.”
“Family meal—how lovely,” I echoed.
Moments later, I asked another question. “What is your name?”
“Thank you,” I said.
When I finished my oatmeal delight, I left the Studio. I walked to the IRT subway station, and reflected: “I, too, have just experienced a lovely family meal.”
Catch it if you can at www.davidbouley.com