If I had "the place," then I too could participate in dance competitions.

Ever since I was young, I always longed for “a place.” “Seinfeld” had Monk’s Coffee Shop, “Friends” had Central Perk, and “Doug” had Honker Burger in the Nickelodeon series, then Swirly’s in the Disney series.

I blame part of this obsession on growing up in a rural area where you could not just walk to a restaurant. It blew my mind, and I remember thinking “wow, I cannot wait for high school when our friends meet up at the place every day.” (I did not really have too lofty of goals as a child.  I remember watching “Saved by the Bell,” when I was younger and yearning for a spot at The Max. What was the deal with The Max anyway? Did Bayside High own it? If not then why did they always have school functions there? I also do not feel like anyone ever paid to eat there, they just got their food from the wise cracking, problem-solving magician, without actually ordering. It was a horrible business plan.

I have always been captivated by the possibilities of meeting up at “the place,” with my core constituents, getting in our usual booth or couch (everyone mentioned above ALWAYS got their preferred booth or couch) and discussing the minutiae of our day. We would discuss pressing issues, like if my friend was finally going to get the nerve to ask out Patty Mayonnaise, or if Jerry’s date went well with “man hands.” Ah freck, I blurred television and reality again.


The point is, I want “a place,” I want there to be a certain place that I could walk in at most times of the day and my group will be there in the usual booth. I want to be able to refer to “the place,” as “the place,” and no questions would be asked as to which place. Right now I am far from my goal, every time we are going to go dine somewhere, I have to call a few friends and say “let’s go eat,” then they say “where do you want to go?” Then I will be all like “I don’t care, where do you want to go?” and they’re like “I don’t care, I am up for anywhere.” Despite their apathy toward the location they shoot down five of my suggestions before settling. No more of that please, I want to establish a base and use that base often, variety is overrated anyway.

I am currently scouting out a few locations to make “the place.” This morning I had breakfast at what could be a top contender. Sydne’s Café and Catering located at 234 North 12th Street filled many of my criteria for being my holy grail. It is a very comfortable place, aesthetically pleasing and warm. Sydne’s had a full breakfast and lunch menu, and turned out to be very good. I recommend the potatoes O’Brien. Although the waitress did not appear to be a magician, she was very friendly and attentive. The next step is to bring friends here for multiple meals, until it becomes a habit, then my sad little dream will come true. Try out Sydne’s Café, it’s very good, but I call dibs on my preferred table, after all, it is “the place.”

Jacob McGuire