Tim and Jeremy are both waiters at a restaurant in downtown New York City. During slow times at work, to stave off boredom when it is slow, the two young men draw pictures. These pictures are made using ink and what is called the "Triple Dupe Pad," a book of paper used to place orders in the kitchen. The drawings usually take about a week to make, all the while also being used by fellow employees to take orders; this sometimes leads to other collaborators or in a couple cases, to the loss of the work. The drawings are then scanned and colored in Photoshop where they come to life in stunning technicolor! The subject matter varies from piece to piece, as they are made over a long course of time and under various moods and states of mind. They all retain a playfulness that serves as a coping mechanism after spending a night catering to the endless needs of hungry patrons.

Monday, November 14, 2011

#28 "Halloween or In Loving Memory to the Loup's Departed" February 5, 2011 in Color!

(Click on the image to see a larger version)

Wow. Color. What a great thing. I'm glad I'm not color blind. Or maybe I am and that's why these are so crazy. At any rate, this one looks pretty sweet in color. However, we should take this time to remember our friends who have moved on to the next realm. Tim and I decided the day that we finished this one that we would dedicate it to Cafe Loup customers who we were fond of who have died. There is one pictured here who was not a customer, but was a friend of Tim's, and I don't know his story, but all the other ones I will tell you about. Some of them, I don't know their last names right off the bat since the only interaction I ever had with them was in the restaurant. Also, I will go in what I remember as being chronological order of their passing. Seymour gets the biggest gravestone in this one. He was a legend at the Cafe Loup. Once a famed food critic for the Times, he was old when I met him and he would sit at the last stool on the bar and talk with Jay for hours on end. He may or may not have had an affair with one of the waitresses before my time who would have been 30 years his younger. Legend. My favorite story is once, early on in my career at the Loup, a bunch of my friends were in and we stayed really late. Long story short; when I asked Jay how much we owed him, Seymour says, "If you do a human pyramid, you don't have to pay anything." And like that, we made the pyramid, Seymour took a picture of us and we were free to go. It was awesome. Next was Ruby. She was a flamboyant woman with a taste for red wine. She would come in and drink bottles of it, her teeth turning a reddish gray and she would tell some crazy stories about the good old days. Every one loved her, even though some times she could be a bit long winded. She had a great heart though and was a dancer right up until the end. Next was Malcolm. He was great. He was about 90 when he passed, so he had a pretty good run. He and his friend would come in every Saturday night and I would wait on them. He was very gay, and even at 90 wasn't afraid to hit on me, 70 years his younger. He thought I looked like Billy Elliot from the broadway play and would call me Billy. We had great conversations though, as we had both spent a lot of time on Cape Cod in our days and both loved New York and culture in general. Last winter, or the one before, he slipped leaving the Loup and never really recovered. I wasn't working Saturdays anymore, so he kind of just faded away. I miss his style, it was so right. Next was Mort Stone. He was also a famous writer and editor of the Times, I believe. He was very particular about his food and drink, but when you got it right, he was the happiest old dude around. You really felt great when you would get all of his demands correct and he would praise you. He had some problems at the end with dementia. He told Tim right near his last days that he was hearing and seeing some strange things, and actually confessed to Tim that he wasn't his normal self. That must have been bizarre. He was a good one. Finally, there was Dora, probably the saddest of all. She worked down at St. Vincent's when it was still open. She would come over after work and have a couple of drinks alone or with friends and simply unwind from the stressful day at the hospital. We were neighbors at one point when I lived on 17th Street and we would see each other almost every day. We were never that close, but she was one of those people in your life that is always there. She got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer one day when she went to work with neck pain. She went to Chemo and eventually, the cancer went into remission. And then like a snap of the fingers, she was gone in a month. It was pretty sad. They were all sad losses to the Cafe Loup community. I am not sure if some or all of them would be happy to be remembered in a strange Halloween type drawing by Tim and I, but we both sincerely hope that they would get a kick out of it. The Loup, after all, is a strange and weird place where all sorts of people and stories come together in a seemingly random fashion. To all the good ones who have passed on, we salute you!

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