Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Café retrouvé: Patti Smith's 'M Train' (2015)

Patti Smith, M Train. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
A writer's life: Patti Smith's 
Time Regained/Le Temps retrouvé

El café veracruzano fue pionero para tener una denominación de origen en México

Inamorato, mother, son. "I made my coffee in her pot and sat and wrote at a card table in the kitchen by the screen door. A photograph of Albert Camus hung next to the light switch . . . My son, seeing him every day, got the idea that Camus was an uncle who lived far away . . . "(pages [71-72]). 

A quarter-mile from the canal house, coffee at the 7-11. The one at 25000 Jefferson Avenue, or the one at 23019 near the Kroger at Nine Mile, both in St. Clair Shores, Michigan? 

Confusingly, Patti Smith mentions the St. Clair River, but I think of it more as Lake St. Clair.  

I remember early morning runs, when it was cold outside, to pick up coffee at both of these 7-11 stores. And, when it was warmer out, an abandoned fish-and-tackle shop just off Jefferson.

"To me it looked like Tangier, though I had never been there. I sat on the ground in the corner surrounded by low white walls, shelving real time, free to rove the smooth bridge connecting past and present. My Morocco. I followed whatever train I wanted" (page [72]).

I remember all the people I met or knew around there. And social spaces. Steve's Back Room. Fishbones. Golden Chopsticks. Andiamo's. Pat O'Brien's. The public library and to the north, the Blue Goose. To the west, Shores Inn. Cedar Garden. The US Post Office. Hallmark's. El Charro. Grecian Table. The Bowling Alley and Linda's attached. Tim Horton. A connection with Van Morrison's father. Ice on the lake.

Snap! Ding the bell. You don't need to go home, but you can't stay here forever. 

My favorite coffee for some time, Peet's out of San Francisco, celebrates fifty years, or fifty-one this year, of making coffee. There's something about their blend and roasting process that makes me love the taste of their French, House and Major Dickason's Blend in particular.  

The best single coffee I ever tasted was in Italy -- espresso. The worst and weakest, in Pan Handle Texas and in Oklahoma. 

When I was growing up, my parents made coffee often, let's not forget.  On special occasions, a big percolator was set up to keep it flowing. 

Haven't missed a cup of coffee for more than a day since I was seventeen. Something to look forward to every morning, sort of like a little daily miracle of life, resumed. 

Today's Rune: Defense. Veracruz coffee: see El Universal Veracruz (9/9/2011), link here.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I was amused, when I read M Train, just how much coffee Patti Smith seems to drink, yet always with respect, whether it was from her favourite cafe or from the 7-11. You obviously take your coffee just as seriously. Bravo!

Charles Gramlich said...

I may have to check this out. Always like to read about writers