The Sights and Sounds of Beachwood #4: Guess for a Mitchell’s Gift Card!
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This is the fourth in a six-part series: the Sights and Sounds of the Beachwood Area. If you are the first to guess all six locations described in the articles, you could win a free $10 Mitchell’s gift card. So what do you have to lose? Drop a comment with your guesses below, and check back here every day for all the BHS News you’ll ever need. Note: some locations are outside the Beachwood city limits, but still in Northeast Ohio. Journalism students and Beachcomber staff are not eligible to win.
There was something lemony about the air. Kiss it and taste life-tangy and sweet , fresh, fragrant. It was just one of those Indian Summer days where each of your cells does the waltz, screams, and shouts-so thankful its alive. The zest wasn’t confined outside. You could still taste it walking into the red-walled eatery. Yet many don’t.
There’s a soul here, you just have to find. A careless observer will see the metal tables, red plastic baskets, and “Thank you, have a nice day m’am”s as landmarks of consumerism, commercialism, conformity. The reggae-tinged hip-hop and your-not cool-enough-to know indie all seem like costumes, cloaking the mega-chain in a laid-back, earth-loving guise.
The cashier sees the soul here. She laugh with the employees, brings spirit to a day filled with “more cheese” and “I said no sour cream.” There’s a twinkle in her eye when she tells the ravenous customer thank you.
But she’s among the few. Two “macho” men walk in-v-necks, loose-fitting jeans-the Ohio version of Jersey Shore. Their eyes are glued to the wall, the menu, their phones-anything but one another, as if they’ll pull a Medusa and turn into stone from one glance. They don’t see it.
A tall, athletic man with a short ponytail sits on one of the high stools against the window. Mr. Ponytail’s by himself and no one else dares to sit remotely near him; in fact, all of the stools are empty. With the bag the food came in, his food, and his monkey-like arm span, he occupies the length of thee stools. He arguably has the best seat in the house. He can watch the passerbys through the window on this lemony day, gulp freely at the life around him. He must want this spot all to himself, right?
But all Mr. Ponytail can look at his buzzing iPhone, and occasionally his lunch. He doesn’t see it.
A heavyset black man and his wife leave the line. He has a smile on his face, like he’s happy to be here. He scans for a place to sit-scattered around the midsize seating arrangement are all walks of life-teenage girls, anxious twenty-somethings, guys from Heinin’s taking a lunch break, a middle age couple. His wife brings the food down to a table near me, but they decide on a table in the corner.
On the way they pass Mr. Ponytail. He still can’t see his lunch destination for what it is-a gathering of young and old, rich and poor, able to sit down and eat, good, old-fashioned no-frills food-meat, cheese, and vegetables. He does’t see the equality of the metal tables, the harsh lighting, the conventional-urbane décor.
“How are you doing?,” the heavyset black man asks Mr. Ponytail, friendly as can be. Mr. Ponytail’s taken aback. His imperious bubble is shattered. They exchange a few words-Mr. Ponytail acts like he can’t be bothered. It isn’t ten minutes before Mr. Ponytail leaves, into the lemony air, into the inescapable reality.