My mini-van and I go on little outings together, motoring along the winding roads of the Hudson River’s East Side. Occasionally, we find places of note (mostly, places involving food, but some not.)
One of my favorites is of course the “RollerMagic,” an apparently functioning roller-skating operation, although I’ve never seen evidence of its business. From the parking lot, we admire the chipped sign overhead; a surviving relic evoking nostalgic allusions of a simpler time.
After an unsettling moment of melancholy, Mini-Van and I continue north, passing old cemeteries and old mansions, in search of more palatable distractions.
We find Taste Budd’s. North of Poughkeepsie, north of Hyde Park, and north of Rhinebeck, there is Red Hook, a small town with a simple disposition, colorful little houses and cars that mind the cross-walk. It is also the home of Taste Budd’s, a coffee-shop/chocolate store/bakery/café amalgamation, with clear sense of character.
After scoping out the pleasantly unsystematic surroundings, I order a latté, a large assortment of chocolates, an egg and cheese on a bagel and plunk myself down on a large, garage-sale caliber couch. I sink deeply into my seat, grab one of the newspapers spread out over the coffee table and decide that I maybe wont ever leave this place. I will spend my life eating breakfast sandwiches and chocolate.
I started to wonder what the people surrounding me did for a living. Taste Budd’s is the type of place that makes you curious, or at least it does me. What could I find in life, beyond school, that would allow me the luxury to spend my days eating egg sandwiches in armchairs?
Alas, Mini-Van woke me from my day-dream and called me from the curbside. One, because we weren’t 100% sure we’d parked perfectly legally and anxieties of staying in our spot too long were building, and two, classes and responsibilities loomed back on campus. So, off we drove. Again, we passed by the cemeteries, the mansions, and the RollerMagic that we’d seen on our way, but this time in reverse and as markers of our escape coming closer and closer to its end.
I will go back to Taste Budd’s soon. And once again I’ll be reminded that there are places were people sit and read and think in towns were people stop for pedestrians and paint their houses.