By Luke Constantino
Every time I go into Brooklyn Heights or Manhattan Iâ€™m surrounded by either a Starbucks or some little cafÃ© selling some foo foo Â venteâ€™ chai latte half calf with hazel nut moco garbage. I think I need â€œThe Idiots Guide on how to buy Coffee â€œhere. My friends seem to enjoy buying this stuff, and I always ask â€œWhat did you get?â€ They always give me some description of their coffee that is in 3 different languages and is topped with something that should be on ice cream. I always answer â€œYou didnâ€™t get sprinkles with that?â€ laugh, and walk away.
Iâ€™m sorry, Iâ€™m a real New Yorker, born and raised. My coffee comes in a paper cup that says â€œWe Are Happy To Serve Youâ€. "Coffee black", or â€œRegularâ€ which is universally known to be with a little sugar and cream. Since I was a child I remember seeing this cup, it is the only New York coffee cup I have ever known, but where did it come fromâ€¦ Ancient Greece?
New York has always been a diverse melting pot or in this case, a melting pot of coffee. Leslie Buck Â a New Yorker born in Czechoslovakia designed this â€œAnthoraâ€ cup in the early 60â€™s. Back then The Greeks ruled the greasy spoon diners throughout the 5 boroughs (which we all loved dearly). He wanted to appeal to this market with his cups. As we all know, Leslie did way better than that. Not only did the diners go crazy over these cups, so did a lot of street vendors. Now his â€œAthoraâ€ cup is synonymous with New York coffee.
Early morning Iâ€™m in lower Manhattan getting a coffee from the breakfast cart in front of the court buildings; â€œCoffee regularâ€, I yell as everyone behind me impatiently waits for their coffees, muffins, bagels etc. I look at the cup and I smile â€œThere is no place Iâ€™d rather beâ€.Â
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