Never be afraid to get dirty, but be sufficiently sure-footed to avoid the abyss of contamination.

Old Jerusalem Cafe

I decided to walk to my lesson today and in the process discovered a new part of the Inner Sunset. There was a small music shop, where I picked up some guitar picks; a magic shop that featured a pair of professional magicians discussing the old days and informing me that Ricky Jay’s book and magazine were all out of print; and a cafe with an enticing view from the outside that I regretted having to skip to make my lesson.

After my lesson, I walked back to the cafe: Old Jerusalem Cafe, with a decorative hookah visible from the outside window along with a bunch of pencil-toting twenty-somethings staring pensively at their laptops. I walked inside and thought I might stay for a bit. I had stowed a copy of The New Yorker in my guitar case, which contained an article about the Volcker Rule that I wanted to finish.

The interior was more spectacular than the outside and surprisingly bright for such a foggy part of the city. A balcony overlooked the cafe counter, with some more laptop gazers, and a soothing melody played as I examined the menu. I had pretty much made up my mind after looking through the menu.

“The Arabic coffee,” I said, to which I noticed a smile forming on the young man at the opposite end of the counter.

While the coffee was being prepared, I found a seat, and continued from where I left off on the article. Volcker’s regulations had been weakened before passage, and he was disappointed. The coffee was ready, and I went back to pick it up.

“I hope you like it,” said the man, as I took the small cup and a coffee-filled copper pot with a wooden handle back to my table. I poured some coffee into the cup and sipped slowly, enjoying the rest of the article and getting some perspective on the differences between Volcker and Geithner’s schools of thought on the economy.

After finishing the article and the coffee, I bussed my items to where the others were. It was filled with large coffee mugs but no copper pots or small cups.

“How did you like it?” asked the man behind the counter.

“It was great,” I said, making a mental note to put a copy of The New Yorker into my guitar case next week.

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