a guy named Mo

a guy named Mo

getting to know your new neighborhood is always an interesting experience. besides the three schools that constantly vomit children out into the streets every 20 minutes, it’s relatively calm. there are a bunch of places that i keep passing by, looking through the windows. the licorice shop, the chinese take-away as empty and dour as a Hopper painting, the transvestite clothing store, the wine shop that’s only open for 2 hours a day.
and then there’s mo’s. mo’s imbiss. before i ventured in, i kept wondering why the neighborhood falafel place was called mo’s. that sounded so 1950’s diner, not syrian falafel imbiss. the consensus is that the sign was too small to fit all the letters of Mohammed in a legible way.
the first time i went to mo’s i probably had the same thought most people have on their virgin trip: damn, mo is slow. the falafel is evenly formed, dotted with sesame seeds and hopefully dipped into the fryer within seconds of your order. seconds is perhaps being too optimistic. each order is received as if it was the first time mo or his wife had ever made falafel. minutes tick by. each element is thoughtfully placed and questioned as if the dispersion of mint had a deeper meaning. his wife has a thing for shredded carrots. mo doesn’t mix falafel and carrots.
it’s an astoundingly methodical process to watch when you realize that they are making falafel all day long. the neighborhood folk are easily recognizable. they have lost that sense of awe. they bring thick reading material. if there’s more than two people in Mo’s, they  peer in from the sidewalk, frown and decide to go elsewhere. it may be an imbiss but it’s definitely not fast food. we all know it’s worth the wait but only if you’re first in line.
you gotta love mo’s. wonder what other treasures are hidden in my hood…

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