Was a week day morning and Jerry and I were down on Valencia and 22nd Streets for what reason I cannot remember, but we stopped in a little coffee shop restaurant sometimes called a luncheonette in those days. This was before the present-day Starbucks and local steam squeed coffee cafes on every corner. The European-style coffee house was strictly relegated to North Beach and not many at that. This was late forties early fifties kind of place of which the Mission District had a plethora. It had a counter to the south wall of about ten stools. To the right, as you sat at the counter was a big window with the reverse painted widow sign and busy Valencia Street outside. The door was next and then another big window and a small dining room. The place couldn't have been more than about fifty feet deep with maybe seven small tables.
The place was packed - maybe thirty people in there, unfamiliar character types to me, not being from the city myself. We got a couple of adjoining stools, middle of the counter and ordered coffee. The crowd was older forties and fifties, probably getting a quick breakfast, roll or coffee before going to work in the local nearby shops. They were cheaply but well dressed in suits and dresses and this was not a trades-man's place. It was crowded, noisy and smoky with some people sitting at the tables and some standing. Everyone seemed to know each other and there was a lot of laughing.
We got our coffee in those tan industrial coffee cups and saucers with typical American cafe coffee. I of course have to have milk, no cream except in the more expensive eateries, out of one of those sliver pots with the hinged lid and sugar from those glass sugar pourers with the silver top and tiny hinged lid.
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