Saturday, August 30, 2008

Village Stories IV: A Gem on St. Mark's Place

Just waiting to be sipped

----A Postcards from New York Encore----

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Remember the last time you had a "real" New York Egg cream.

As soon as the clerk started pumping the vanilla syrup into the old school Coca-Cola glass, I was transported back to the late 1970s.

I was 8 or 9 years old, sitting on a red vinyl stool, the kind that sticks to your legs when you wear shorts on a hot, humid summer day, at the lunch counter, at a Woolworth's, in the Bronx. My grandmother, who we called Oma, was sitting next to me. We waited in silent anticipation for the soda jerk to present us with our order.

Ohh, the first foamy sip! We never used the straw to begin, so we could laugh at our cream soda mustaches; we always laughed, big belly laughs, and then Oma would kiss my mustache off. How I miss her; Oma always said that she thought clouds must taste like this and someday when we were in heaven, we'd be sipping up all those egg cream soda clouds.

Luckily, you don't have to wait until heaven. A small piece of it is at St Mark's Place and 2nd Avenue at Gem Spa, a tiny 24/7 newsstand. Just think, you can get one any time of day or night! To make the experience extra special, I recommend ordering your vanilla or chocolate egg cream soda in a Coca-Cola glass, not a take away cup. This way, you are forced to take a few minutes to really cherish one of life's simple joys.


Joseph Knight
For Postcards from New York

Address to remember: Gem Spa, 131 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, 212-995-1866. Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Directions: From Times Square MTA N, R and W to 8th Street, walk across Astor Place to St. Mark's Place walk two blocks to 2nd Avenue. From Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street take MTA 1 Bus to 8th Street.

    Photo by Joseph Knight

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