One of the best things about my immediate neighbourhood – apart from the park, the museum, the library, the express subway stations, and the couple who launder my clothes for a ridiculously low price each week – is Cheryl’s Global Soul. This fabulous little cafe/restaurant, run by the eponymous chef Cheryl Smith, is the first cafe where I have been able to establish more than eye contact with the people who work there.
I never realised how much I valued that “Cheers” effect – having a regular place to drink coffee where someone, if not everyone, knows my name – until I had spent some time in Manhattan. (Evidently my friends at the Locantro Deli in Leichhardt had spoiled me.) After my first months on the Upper West Side, my most significant daily interactions were still with the parade of doormen at the Chatsworth building. I just couldn’t find a cafe that didn’t charge an arm and a leg for a latte, let alone welcomed me with a smile or – god forbid – a look of recognition.
So until Cheryl’s opened around the corner from me here in Prospect Heights, I had no coffee shop to call my own. Call me bourgeois, but this small thing has made a huge difference to my daily life, for which I’m grateful.