JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Bliss and Java in Inwood

Yesterday afternoon I worked in my home office. It’s small, and smells a bit funky, and there are papers everywhere.

Tomorrow, I’ll be flying to Chicago at 6:30 am, then returning at 8:20 pm.

Today, I am in bliss.

The name of the coffee shop is the Indian Road Cafe. It’s located in Inwood, a neighborhood toward the upper tip of Manhattan. Aaron Handelman, a friend of mine (aka DJ White Owl—his music can be heard here) has repeatedly urged me to come here for the vibe, the food, the feel. “It’s a place where writers go,” he said. “You’ll love it—guaranteed.”

He was right.

I was once asked by Chris Jones how I get any work done in coffee shops. The answer, simply, is the comfort and casualness of the scene. I like feeling like I’m in a community, even if it’s 98 percent figment. I like smells and sounds; background noises. I love big, unfamiliar windows and funky, overpriced coffee drinks and the egg of the day. This place is too far from my home to ever make me a regular, but it is—truly—fantastic. No pressure to leave a table after an hour, no overbearing Starbucks smell, no commercialization, no ripped couches and loud managers (a la my local Cosi). Just chill comfort.

I’m home.