I just spent a weekend in New York with my son, Joseph. He works nights at a unique and delicious spot in Brooklyn called Pok Pok, a restaurant specializing in Thai street food, so we had days together. The first morning we were up early, not wanting to waste a second. By the time we walked to the subway station, the need for coffee was acute; fortunately, there was a Starbucks on one corner (and a Dunkin’ Donuts on the other).
Starbucks is nostalgic for me – I paid my way through college working at one of the original shops in Seattle, well before it colonized the international café world. The coffee is too roasted for my taste, but for old times’ sake I headed in its direction.
“Mom, wait, we’re going to Dunkin’ Donuts,” Joseph said.
“Pardon?” I countered.
“Mom, trust me,” he said. “You’ll see, it’s just as good as Starbucks, and half the price.”
Every cell in my body protested, but I try not to dominate my children and this, after all, was his territory. So I humbly followed. We entered the steamy shop, whose shelves were lined with the doughnuts of my childhood, and whose coffee choices included my usual – a double, short latte. I tried not to let my skepticism show, but Joseph was on to me. “Mom, relax,” he said as he ordered.
We grabbed our coffees and dashed to catch the subway, which involved flying up two flights of stairs, negotiating the turnstile, up more stairs, and our final arrival at the outdoor platform. We’d just missed the train, but it didn’t matter since it was a gorgeous autumn day and we had a view of all Manhattan. I took my first sip of a Dunkin’ Donuts double short latte and to my complete amazement, it was as Joseph had said.
“See mom,” Joseph said with a glint of amusement. “I told you so.”
He whipped out a couple of pumpkin donuts, and I had to admit they were sublime, dunked into that coffee while we waited in the crisp air for the train. To each culture its delights.