It’s an exciting day for me. One of my favorite bloggers, Jessie Rosen of 20-Nothings is guest posting on New York Cliché. 20-Nothings was one of the first blogs I ever read. It will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s the first blog I ever read and though This. This is what I want my blog to be like. Jessie’s writing has inspired me since 2008. Now as exciting as this is for me, it’s a much more exciting day Jessie! Today my favorite blogger became a published novelist. Her book Dead Ringer dropped on 11/11 and is now available for digital purchase. Is there anything better than watching people you admire achieve their creative goals? Especially when you’ve watched their journey through hundreds of blog posts? I don’t think so!
Now before you run off to read her thriller, described as Gone Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, read this guest post!
Every New York creative has a coffee shop. A place we sit for hours and actually get shit done. Here’s a love letter to one of those cafés.
Dearest V Bar + Café,
It’s been awhile. Five and a half years to be exact.
Do you remember me?
I was the one with the half-wet hair that came in every morning from 8 to 9:17am, because 9:17 was the absolute latest I could stay and still make it to my job by 9:30. Around that time I was rocking a 2005 Macbook that needed to be plugged in to work, but I tried to off set it with an incredibly cute fuschia case.
I sat up in the far corner of the high farm table opposite the bar – the one wedged against your old lead paned windows that let the cold and warm and smelly air in. It was the perfect view down Sullivan Street. I would look out at all my neighbors rushing by with their work totes and morning faces. I would wonder if any of them saw me writing, cup of coffee with whole milk in mug (because this was long before my do you have soy or almond? days), and felt jealous. Little did they know this was not my full-time spot. I had to leave to go exactly where they were going, usually before I got much of anything done.
Anyway, I’m writing because I realize that I owe you a thank you. You probably didn’t know that you are where my writing career officially began. One day I decided that if I was ever going to become a real writer (real meaning full-time and paid), I needed to work more, and more often. That same day I walked around Greenwich Village – our neighborhood – looking for a coffee shop that would be open before I headed into my marketing job. I found two, but you felt right. You had poorly painted purply walls, a chalk-written menu, wild flower weeds in milk jars and this thing called the “Karma Board” that had names and dollar amounts written on masking tape. To this day I have no idea what that Karma Board was all about.
I remember our weekday mornings together fondly, but it was the weekends I cherished. I didn’t have to start at the crack of New York City dawn (yes, 8am for a 25-year-old), and I didn’t have to leave. On Sundays I would treat myself to one of your life changing almond croissants, but only if I finished the work I promised myself I would finish by the end of the week. I had to share my table-by-the-window with other writers on those days, but I like it. They were colleagues. I wonder if any of them are still sitting up at the high farm table. I hope so.
I didn’t stop coming because I found another spot, just so you know. I left New York for Los Angeles in the Summer of 2010 because my writing career was taking off. Our morning relationship worked – sort of. It took another three years of writing at far less perfect coffee shops to reach full-time writer status, but mornings were the key then too, and we invented those.
But I came back two years ago for a session in my old spot. I was staying with my friend in the village. When she left for work at 8AM, I left for you. I sat at the farm table and smelled the flowers and stared at that “Karma Board.” I had an almond croissant to celebrate the reunion, even though it wasn’t Sunday.
And then I spent the next three hours editing a book proposal that – as of today – is a book, officially available for purchase. Next time I’m in New York I’ll stop by to show you, but for now I just wanted to say thanks. You were a perfect partner, even when the coffee was too bitter.
If you’ve ever looked for the perfect writing cafe in NYC, now you know! Find V Bar + Café just a block from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.
Here’s what began as that book proposal back at V Bar + Café.
Thanks so much for sharing this on New York Cliché, Jessie. All the best with your book!