Sunday, March 14, 2004

Cybele's Cafe

When I moved back home to Buffalo the first time (1993; post-Seattle), everyone I knew was talking about Cybele's. (At first I thought they meant Sibley's, a downtown department store which closed soon after, ending the confusion.) I was 23, an age where I might easily spend a weekend pinging between the three Allentown hotspots--The Topic (long gone), The Old Pink (now older yet), and this funky restaurant named in honor of a goddess with no more than 6 tables and very, very strong coffee. I found their homefries to be the best in town.

Lo, these 11 years later, across two locations kitty-corner apart, I can easily say Cybele's has consistently been one of the organizing points in my life and my community. I can think of a no single occasion where I went there--for a little quiche & salad, a PMS-curing brownie, a large coffee before a drive to NYC, late night bread and wine and herb butter, a lush meal in celebration of darn near anytihng--and didn't met a friend. Indeed, I made many friends there, the staff the closest of all.

Cybele's closes tonight, an enormous loss for me and my community, which truly became a community through its being.

A few memories....

* Jazz at Cybele's Lounge on Thursday Nights....John Allen, Edgar Henderson and Emile Latimer.
* New Year's Eve 1998, when I dj'd
* My 30th birthday party was held there, an amazing night
* The afternoon Joseph and I broke up, after the tears & watercolors, we called several friends and spent the rest of the day drinking wine in the courtyard
* When I was working full time, I always went to breakfast there the Monday of any three-day weekend. I remember writing there, dreaming, and hearing Doug's sax solos emitting from the apartment above
* Doug's chile rellenos
* Mary's potato pancakes
* creamy parmesan dressing
* crepes with Cliff
* hungover lunch with Sean when he visited
* My 34th birthday dinner, 10 around the table....


In slightly more upbeat happenings, I checked out the Celtic Seishuns at Nietzsche's yesterday afternoon and found it wonderful. My dark, arty bar felt like a pub ("O'Nietzsche's!" Bill Fenzel dubbed it, in his green tie and Irish eyes, pouring Guinness after slow Guinness, each with a flawless shamrock on the foam), filled with musicians playing the prettiest, quiet Irish music ever. Instruments I don't even know the names of. This loveliness occurs each Saturday at 4 and I will surely go again.