Morning Coffee

More

One of the things I love about Chicago is the sheer space. I see this in the openness of Lake Shore Drive or the way the South Side just seems to sprawl into forever, for instance. I know that's not a polite thing for me to say as I imagine it violates all sorts of important notions about density. But there really is something beautiful in the sheer openness of the city. And you don't just see this in the landscape but in the eateries.


In my younger years  an evening stop at The Violet Hour a pretty regular point on any itinerary. (Have I mentioned that Chicago is my favorite city to report from?) The speakeasies in New York tend to be pretty small and cramped. That has its appeal. But The Violet Hour has a breathability which I loved. I tried to make a stop out there on this go round. But the joint is a little too hot now.

Anyway, that same evening I was lucky enough to find myself in Nightwood. Better people than me can describe what they are doing food-wise. What I can tell you is that spit-roasted chicken was magic--almost as magic as the glazed carrots and char roe. Again, this was the sort of quasi-hipster spot that is just jammed with people in New York. I don't necessarily prefer one over the other. I've come to like the claustrophobia of New York. It forces contact and intimacy.

But sometimes another flavor is nice. Especially when it means your waitress bringing over free dessert courtesy of all "Atlantic readers in the house." Listen. Writers are not musicians or actors. Especially writers like me.  I don't do too much TV. And my ADHD style (Look it's X-Men! Look it's General Grant! Look it's Earl Campbell! Regarde-moi!) is, uhm, an acquired taste. 

So free desert made my evening. As did the person working the iPod. This is Beach House. I'd never heard them. Evidently, they do work.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In