Ed Park
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John and Yoko at Cafe La Fortuna

Back when smoking was a thing people did in cafes.

ED PARK • I read the news today—oh boy: “A Beatles Haunt, Café La Fortuna, to Close Its Doors.”

And I thought: that’s sort of sad, I guess, but par for the course really, I used to go there now and again for coffee, dessert (honestly it wasn’t the best coffee, wasn’t the best dessert), usually after a movie, always liked the picture of John and Yoko, I’d forget about it and then see it and then feel that little distant connection…but really nothing to be sad about, right? Then I tried to remember: When was the last time I’d been there? Several years ago now….right….It was with my wife, our friends L. and P. (a fair bit older than us but young at heart), I think after some ridiculously long movie at the Walter Reade that seemed to have been played in slow motion (I’ve repressed the title). And I think it had been raining or otherwise inclement outside…..and suddenly—well, yes, it was time to be sad, of course, of course: This would be one of the last times I’d see P., who died unexpectedly about a year afterward.

[Cue: “In My Life”]