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“all be happy” my laughing man blog post

October 1, 2013

Dear Laughing Man,

The sun is strong. A few picture perfect clouds punctuate the crisp blue sky. There’s an early autumn chill in the air but I’m holding on to the last days of summer. As I walk through the door I see Lex has already started my jasmine iced tea.

It’s now officially one year since we made our big move. Downsizing and life-changing, We moved from our 5000 sq. foot photography studio/loft in Chelsea to Jay St. in TriBeCa with our yellow lab, Rufus. As any New Yorker knows, changing neighborhoods is as dramatic as moving to another state.

Our daughter had just graduated from college and found an apt of her own and our nest was now empty. At the same time we lost our beloved pup, Milo, (16 years old) so it was with some sadness that my husband and I prepared for our new chapter. We were looking forward to finishing a few minor “repairs” on the new place and then settling in. Every morning when the construction crew would show up I would take Rufus and head over to Laughing Man for my morning coffee.

Weeks turned into months as we discovered one thing after another that wasn’t working properly. We resigned ourselves to life in a construction site. Hurricane Sandy came and we ground our Laughing Man coffee beans by candle light with a mortar and pestle.

Although the basement flooded and we had no electricity for a week, we were among the lucky ones who escaped with little damage. Our HVAC hadn’t worked properly since we moved in, so there wasn’t that much of an adjustment. During the blackout, I could walk over to Laughing Man to grab an afternoon coffee and feel comforted knowing I was not alone.

By now there were familiar faces and smells and it was starting to feel like I belonged. Rufus would wait for me while I got my coffee and we would sit outside the shop and absorb the sights and sounds on Duane Street.

The electricity came back on but our place remained cold throughout the winter as the construction continued. My afternoon biscotti and coffee became a beloved guilty pleasure.

On mornings when I would be running out for a shoot i would switch it up and have a scone for breakfast. And at holiday time I bought lots of beautiful chocolates as holiday treats for clients.

Spring came and we welcomed our new Havanese pup, Cosmo, into our lives. Things were still unsettled and we still had paper on the floors so why not get a puppy?

Now when I came for coffee, Cosmo joined the group. On the weekends, Rufus, Cosmo, my husband and I sat on the chairs and enjoyed our coffees. We met David and his family. Barry shared stories from the Cupping Room and the evolution of Laughing Man and TriBeCa.

Children and their parents stopped to meet the dogs and by summer, we had a new HVAC system and a new life. Cosmo has morphed into a dog and both boys look forward to our visits to Laughing Man. When it’s not too busy, they get ice cube treats while I enjoy my jasmine iced tea which has also become my daughter’s favorite treat when she comes down from the village.

I watched the Laughing Man sign go up and caught a glimpse of Hugh and Russell.

Throughout the year we’ve had family and friends check out our new neighborhood. Of course we walk across Staple St. to Duane for a coffee. So as the last paint can is packed up, we are happy to settle in.

The thing about a great cup of coffee is that it brings back all the smells and tastes of all the coffees that came before. It brings you home.

Thank you Laughing Man. Maybe I’ll try the flat white soon.

Sharon Schuster



3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sharon permalink
    June 11, 2014 12:39 am

    So glad you’re more settled now. I miss you. We’re heading to Boulder in July for the year. Why not find a gig in the area?? xoSharon


  2. October 1, 2013 10:14 pm

    Great saga, Sharon. I love the ironic parallel with Laughing Man through your trying times. Brings a smile to my face.


    • January 2, 2014 4:25 pm

      thanks for your comments!! hope you are having a great time in the woods and that i see you soon. happy new year.


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