Monday, February 20, 2012

Night Shift

I've been quiet on the blogging front the last few nights because I've been working on finishing a few longer writing jobs, two for the real world, and one for this blog. But I'd be remiss if I didn't post a brief note of appreciation for the existence of Village Yokocho on 8 Stuyvesant Street, just above St. Mark's Books in the Village.

My writing desk

I first walked into this wonderful establishment last Saturday when I was hungry and assumed they'd have something good and healthy. They certainly did -- their Yakitori is superb, especially the scallop, the asparagus, and the shrimp. It was brimming with a mix of Japanese speakers, college students, and quiet middle aged men reading at the counter. The music was a loud mix of 60s Asian pop and 70s big horn hustle disco. I pulled out my netbook to noodle with the piece I was composing, figuring they'd try to rush me out when I was done with my meal, but on the contrary, they kept refilling my green tea and were chuffed that I was writing there. One of the grill cooks, Yasu, was sad I wouldn't drink beer with him, but was really excited to learn I was writing about comics.

It's a really friendly place, and after 1 all the kitchen guys were guzzling beers and razzing each other in a kitchen language that oscillated between Japanese and Spanglish in a sincerely genial way. Earlier tonight the fellow below asked if I minded whether he put some plates on the counter above me. "Of course not," I said. He spied my computer and asked, "You writing?" "Yeah," I answered. He lit up and said, "Cool!"

The view from my writing desk.

This is one of those extremely rare gems that makes New York worthwhile. The food's cheap, and good, and honest; the staff is friendly; and the atmosphere is colorful and inviting.

Village Yokocho is located at 8 Stuyvesant Street in New York, just off of St. Marks & 3rd Ave.

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