Paying ahead, the Good Luck Restaurant, and news from Shadi

Paying ahead, the Good Luck Restaurant, and news from Shadi

David Kramer and Shadi Kafi Good Luck Restaurant 6/29/16 [Photo: Devries, Good Luck hostess]

A couple of months ago, walking in Brighton near Monroe Avenue, on the curbside grass, I found a New York State Benefit Identification Card, leaving it there to be hopefully retrieved by its owner.snap

Then, just across the street, another Benefit card with the same family name. Deciding I ought do something, I followed the directions on the back of the card: If this card is found please drop in any mailbox. Only slightly altering my route, a U.S. postal mailbox was nearby. With little effort, I had been a bit of a good citizen.good luck


Dylan Thomas at White Horse Tavern by Bunny Adler

The very next day, in the same area, I saw another card. Not a Benefit card, but a $50 gift for the Good Luck Restaurant! Although the card was probably used up, I kept it.

The next day in the same area, I met a man observing the Jewish Sabbath walking to a nearby synagogue.  In case he knew the people, I told him about the Benefit cards. He didn’t, but said the mailbox was a good call.

The man added that he had earlier seen a card — not a Benefit card — but hadn’t looked closely. I showed him the Good Luck gift card. Yes, that was it!

big sur

“Big Sur: The Tropic of Henry Miller” by Hunter S. Thompson (Rogue Oct. 1961)

The man thought I had earned some good karma with my earlier good deed, mentioning he invariably picks up stray cards, but for some reason this time didn’t. My Good Luck.

At that point, needing to know if the card still had value, I went to the restaurant. The full $50 balance remained.

I was saving the card for a special occasion. Recently our cultural critic, Shadi, (who also dabbles in the education field) was on the job market. Given her passion, credentials and impressive accomplishments, Shadi quickly received offers from schools in San Francisco, New York and Denver. She also interviewed in Rochester.

While, of course, we hoped she would stay, we wished her the best. And we had a contingency plan. In San Francisco, Shadi would report back as the Talker Treat. In Denver, she would be our Smile High correspondent. In New York, Shadi would open Talker‘s downstate bureau.

She came to Good Luck to announce: SF, NYC, Denver or Talker. In California, she could make the pilgrimage — as had Hunter S. Thompson — to Big Sur where Henry Miller wrote novels that made sex into a four letter word. In Manhattan, she could amble into the White Horse Tavern where Dylan Thomas drank himself to death on wine and words. In Colorado, she could visit Neal Cassady’s grave, the Beat poet who grew up in Denver’s skid row Larimer Avenue.

Like LeBron James, time for The Decision. Shadi is taking her talents to  . . .  Talker !!!!!!!!!!!!

Neal Cassady, 1966

Neal Cassady, (right), 1966

James neal cassadyShadi received an offer in Rochester to be an assistant principal in a school that’s a great fit.

While Shadi is never one for office gossip, at the restaurant I did ask if there might be a young lad in Rochester also happy about her decision. She would neither confirm nor deny. I said it was best not.


Shadi delivering the story at Talker‘s off site headquarters, Twelve Corner’s Starbucks [Photo: Starbucks staff]

bruegersAs Shadi has had to give up a planned seminar at the American University of Paris’ Summer Writing Institute, instead this summer she will be worked to the bone covering her stories.  I reminded her the Talker life is a monastic one. And all staff members have taken a strict vow of celibacy.

POSTSCRIPT: The other day at the University of Rochester, I found a Bruegger’s Bagels Gift Card.  Alas, with a 3 cent balance, I could only buy a very, very small bagel.


Debut of “This Iranian-American Life” at Boulder Cafe

Orienteering Rochester from Houston with love

The Greek Fest wins over this Iranian-American girl by Shadi Kafi

Theatre visionary Gary D. Marshall bridging communities with affordable theatre in Rochester by Shadi Kafi

Porches: from Upper Monroe with Love

Shadi joins outpouring of support for Gilda’s Club; Talker gets thumbs down.

How Conservative Am I Really? Exploring experiences that heighten and empower female sexuality at the Rochester Erotic Arts Festival by Shadi Kafi

Letting dogs and humans step to the music which they hear at the Dog Rock Concert for Nuts for Muts

First Rochester flowers of Spring bloom at HAWT fashion show

Rochester urban youth answering opportunity knocking by Shadi Kafi

From Thurgood Marshall School of Law to Rochester Prep High School

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


Like what you see on our site? We’d appreciate your support. Please donate today.

Featured Posts