A romantic alley in downtown Los Angeles? Or as I like to call it–Hell with a zip code. It is so dirty! I can’t find parking. “Just find street parking” my date tells me. This guy, Chris, has been in LA for three months and owns a motorcycle, doesn’t he know there is no such thing as street parking at lunchtime in Hell. ” Pull your car in. I’ll pay for parking.” At $20 per minute I think.
I always wanted a guy to take me to Europe on a date. This turned out to be a visit to New York while still in Los Angeles. It turned out to be an unexpected night in a romantic alley in downtown Los Angeles!
“Just find street parking” my date tells me.
This guy, Chris, has been in L.A. for three months and owns a motorcycle, doesn’t he know there is no such thing as street parking at lunchtime in Los Angeles. ” Pull your car in. I’ll pay for parking.” At $20 per minute I think.
He is rich and crazy and allowing him to park my car, makes me crazy. As he parks my car, pigeons scatter. They fly in an arc over my car, into the sky. When the pigeons are gone, I look at the alley. The warmth of the sun covers my back. My mouth drops open.
I stand at the opening of the alley. A human size Statue of liberty is one door down from Gigi’s Coffee, across from Casa Del Pizza. He brought me to New York while still in Los Angeles. I watch, as Chris walks down the alley to me. Together we smile.
I am caught by voices growing. Inside St.Vincents Deli, beneath a blue and white awning with Greek key edges, people line up to order. The more people enter, the faster the Deli men move, and speak. Coffee, pizza, and fast talking people – the best parts of New York- my heart leaps a little.
I look down at the cobblestone brick below my feet in an arc shaped rows that move in a small upward slant to the back of the court. We pass a Chinese wall painting, then gothic arched French doors, beneath a suit of Armor. I always wanted a guy to take me to Europe on a date. I turn away not wanting to expose my glee. I am in love with him just for bringing me here.
“Is this ok?”.
“Yes ” I shrug my shoulders and give a half smile.
The spices in the air drop me right in the Mediterranean. One of the men at the other table, absorbed in deep discussion, abruptly stops talking. He looks me in the eye, looks to my date nods and smiles. A smile comes across my body I lean back. I see the gothic arc French doors, a balcony of 18 century renaissance columns centered around a tall long winged Angel. Chris sets down a plate of falafel, tahini sauce and babaganoush. Silence and spices pass between us.
The aroma, from ‘Le Bon Café’, of French style coffee with fresh eclairs smells so delicious, I can taste them. A man speaks with sharp short words to a woman in a camel sweater. She cleans her glasses, shrugs her shoulders, and rolls her eyes at me as he speaks.
“Well?” My date says to me.
Dessert sounds good. How is it he brought me here, this place; a little New York, Italy, France and Greece? Yet I’m still in Los Angeles. Chris gives me an eye-hug as I decide on dessert.
St.Vincent’s Court is located on 7th street and Broadway and Hill, Downtown Los Angeles, 90014. In old European Style there are contact numbers, no email.
What & Where
Le Café Bonjour; 213-670-0100
St.Vincent Deli; 213-629-3345
Sunrise Café; 213-623-7775