David Dodd 2:53 a.m., May 21
Café Noir: A Mystery Wrapped In a Conundrum
What the…? At the top of the black house, the letters I’ve missed for three long years. They're back on again.
This I’ll have to investigate. Remember Café Noir, built into the li’l ol’ 1886 wooden house that almost got ’dozed for the ballpark?
It had the cutest little downstairs and a muy romantica upstairs library room. And a deck out front and another out back, and yes, a tree house! You could have coffee and lunches in any of these places.
And then Café Noir (447 Ninth Avenue, between Island and J, East Village, near the ballpark) closed its doors and a child psychiatrist moved in. But I can see through the door that the little counter’s still there.
The front deck
So I start snooping around. Finally make contact with a gent who says he’s a P.I. Says someone resembling him owns this property. Can’t name names.
"I saw the little neon sign 'Café Noir' was on again," I say. "Does that mean it's open?"
“Cleaner accidentally flipped the switch,” he says. “But you never know. Do I make myself clear?”
“As a latte coffee,” I say. “But there's a lot of folk out there who want it back. Does it have a future? They’re not going to pull the house down?”
Laughing Buddha guards the back wall
“Pull it down?” he says. “After it has survived 125 years? Never. But the café? Let’s just call this a mystery wrapped in a conundrum enveloping not the word ‘if,’ but ‘when.’ A conspiracy for good. Do I make myself…?”
“Clear as a question-mark," I say. "I think you’re saying ‘stay tuned.’”
"I think I'm saying you never know," he says.
But I like the tone of his voice.