Friday, June 25, 2004

Seattle Coffee Co, Hyde Park

Friday, June 25, 2004

Service: * * *
Food: * * *
Ambience: * * * *
Babe Count: * * * * *

Mandy and I meet over lunchtime for a fantastically expensive sandwich and some super coffee. One thing I don't enjoy about Seattle is the price of the food. It's about fifteen bucks for a sandwich which costs about eight bucks elsewhere.

I've changed my mind about the best Seattle in Joburg. I once held the opinion that the Sandton branch was best, since it's in the middle of the bookshop, with a great view from each table.

But Hyde Park must be the true winner. That's because there are many more different sources of customer in Hyde Park, besides book buyers. So, babes who like the Hyde park salons also do their coffee here. (The coffee shop adjoins Exclusive Books, so it's easy for passing trade to pop in for a cup.)

"Scuse me," says Mandy. Her cellphone's ringing. "Hullo!" she says. "Yeah. I'm at Seattle... Ye-es!... Of course!... Ya. Okay. Bye."

"Your boyfriend?" I say.


Bleep bleep. It's an sms.

She says, "Sorry," and looks at the sms. Blushes a bit. "He's so sweet."

Bleep bleep. Another sms. More blushes.

In between the three calls and fourteen smss from him, we manage to catch up on each others' lives. And then she's off, back to work.

I head for the sale tables, waiting for Damon Berry to join me.

Hmmm. A must buy: ZEN AND THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE by Charlotte Kasl. And here's WONDER BOYS by Michael Chabon. It was made into a film, and it's by the same dude who wrote THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, a book I've bought, but haven't gotten to yet.

There's Damon. He's been shooting a movie written and directed by one of his buddies. And there's Ian Henderson. Brilliant! Triple trouble when the three of us get together.

Back to the coffee shop.

Two older babes sit at the table beside us. My eyes are riveted to the one. She's exactly my type. Gorgeous dark hair down past her shoulders, wide, open, smiling face. Obvious intelligence behind her eyes. Confident voice. Lushly built. No wedding ring.

And because I keep monitoring her, she notices, and starts monitoring me. Not that anything comes of this sort of mutual glance thing. Sigh.

Damon regales us with war stories from his shoot. It was an intense, no-budget thang, done in eight days. A forty-minute film. Several night shoots, with only a few hours sleep before the day shoots. He pops his new digital stills camera out of his bag and shows us pics from the shoot. Looks like they had a gorgeous setting, and lovely actresses. It's a story about two dudes who meet two babes. Stuff happens, apparently. But Damon's being very cagey with the story. "You'll have to see the movie," he says.

Eventually, the babes at the next table get up. "Excuse me," I say to the one I've had my eye surgically attached to. "I just have to recommend this book to you." I smile as dazzlingly as I know how, and present her with ZEN AND THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE. She takes it, and my hand brushes hers.

"Hmmm," she says, "Zen and the art of falling in love. Hmmm." She looks at me. Smiles. "I'll look for it now." Smiles again. Hands it back. Walks away.

Ian's eyes are wider than a Fiat Uno's hubcap. "Damon, did Roy just do what I think he did?"

"That's Roy," says Damon.

"That's completely commendable," says Ian. "Wow. I wouldn't have the courage."

"Well, where did it get me?" I say.

"Still," he says. "Wow."

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