JEFF PEARLMAN

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

Everyone needs a Vinnie

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The above photo was taken this morning inside the Brooklyn Bagel Co. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.

The man at the counter is Vinnie.

And I friggin’ love him.

We’ve been in South Florida for about 10 days—coming home tomorrow. And on most of those mornings I’ve driven down to Brooklyn Bagel for my ritual XL iced coffee. There’s something about Brooklyn Bagel iced coffee that just nails it. Maybe it’s the coffee ice cubes. Maybe it’s the six flavor options. Whatever the case, it’s absolutely delicious.

But, truly, the best part about the experience is Vinnie.

If you’re from New York or New Jersey, you know guys like Vinnie. Hey, what’s up chief? and How’s it goin’? They make you feel comfortable and familiar and welcomed. They don’t care how many bagels you buy and never feel pushy, annoying, aggressive. No, they’re just happy to see you because they’re happy to see you. They’ll talk about the Yankees getting Stanton, about the weather turning frigid, about the new Star Wars.

In California, we have precious few Vinnie-esque folks. You enter the local bagel shop (where the bagels suck) and it’s, “Hello. How are you?” Robotic. Lame.

I hope Brooklyn Bagel knows the gem it employs.

He’s invaluable.