Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Do the Loup

By awoodall
Wednesday, December 12th, 2007 at 9:01 am in Uncategorized.

The Owl has been silent too long. Actually, I’ve been running around New York again. Or, rather, hobbling. Still on crutches but the impediment has only slowed me down. This time I’m noticing how many wheelchairs and crutches and canes grace these streets. It was Monday when a day of wandering around the Village tired me out, fortunately right near a little bistro called Cafe Loup on West 13th Street. I was beat and needed a place to rest for a half hour. And there it was. French fries and a martini were beckoning at a most reasonable price (the rest of the menu might be another matter). The barmaid was a lovely, weathered gal from Ohio (my birthplace, btw). I had started with a snack at the Union Square greenmarket (what we call a farmers market) and traveled on from there. When I wandered in to Cafe Loup, the barmaid and a 30-something Australian were chatting. Turns out, I gathered from the conversation, he — he being “h.r. king” according to his business card — was a  singer who used to work at the bistro. The barmaid was an actress and who knows what else everyone else did in those hours before and after the Loup. I get the feeling New Yorkers pull a veil over their daily lives. Peek behind the veil and there’s a whole parallel world to be uncovered.

Speaking of lives on the side, Jazz is on the menu Sundays during brunch. So I asked one of the wait staff if the framed photo of Woody Allen looking down on the bar hung there because he played at Cafe Loup (he plays jazz — clarinet — and was once busted in Venice for trespassing on the grounds of the torched out Fenice opera hall where he was to give a benefit concert. It was a farcical incident. I can imagine his face). Nope. It just fit, the waiter told me.  Simple as that. 

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