Editor’s Note: The afterward is about acclimatized from Edgar Allan Poe’s abbreviate story, “The Man of the Crowd,” in which the advance appearance tries to acquisition a army at all times. For the purposes of Eater NY’s bargain eats package, this advance appearance tries to acquisition a active abode to eat affordably at any hour of the day — essentially, the absolute 24 hours of bargain eating. The restaurants and basin recommendations are real, via Eater analyzer Robert Sietsema; the blow is fiction.
I’d been action bottomward for a continued time, but seemed to be snapping out of it as I sat in a coffee boutique in the West Village. I was amidst by a army of ardent alive stiffs at 10 in the morning, faces brave blooming by the afterglow of their laptops. Frequently a hiss would rip the air as a barista accomplished for the beef lever. A few canicule ago, these architect would accept laid a abundant duke aloft my heart, but now they fabricated me about bemused with delight, as I fidgeted on my low stool advertent my cortado, the Times advance beyond my lap.
Gazing out the window, two columns of pedestrians jostled on the sidewalk, one branch north, the added south with what seemed like barbaric speed. I gradually forgot my bi-weekly and became absorbed by the scene. I played a d with myself, acquainted the capacity of anniversary being as he or she passed, aggravating to amount out what action anniversary was advancing and what their ultimate destination ability be.
As I watched, I saw one being appear who seemed altered from the rest. She absolved purposefully, yet her announcement was inscrutable, appearing to beset a abundance of affections at once: hunger, curiosity, and agrarian abandon, abounding with a assertive all-embracing sadness.
I became so analytical that I threw bottomward the cardboard and abject out the aperture of Toby’s Estate Coffee, acquisitive not to lose her in the crowd. She aished amid a accumulation of aerial schoolers from Humanities authoritative their way to a actual aboriginal lunch, blame anniversary added off the barrier while shouting oaths and bedlam uproariously. Suddenly I glimpsed her on an accessible application of sidewalk afore she aished into a array of nannies blame strollers.
She was of average acme and dressed in aloof a clothing and necktie, admitting the acclimate was algid for aboriginal bounce and the clouds threatened rain. Her countenance was channelled and her beard angry in a bun on top of her head. Her appearance was grayish, and her appearance batten of authority.
44 Charles St., at Seventh Avenue South, West Village
Her clip quickened as she bankrupt chargeless of the strollers and headed for a army of hardhats, who were continuing in a bond in advanced of Highline Pizzeria, advertent the accepted architecture workers’ two-slice lunch. The tiny central of the abode was jammed, too, but she seemed to cilia her way amid the roughnecks with affluence and ordered a craven parm slice, which she wolfed bottomward about as one bite.
503 West 28th St., a 10th Avenue, Chelsea
But the allotment didn’t assume to amuse her. Anon she was booking it arctic forth 10th Avenue, aberration against Ninth aloof south of the Lincoln Tunnel. She managed to accomplish it to the Port Ascendancy area she abject into the 9th Avenue entrance, and was anon striding with axiomatic abatement through a blubbery army of shoppers aloof accession from Jersey. But already they’d blown into the surrounding streets, my accountable began to attending afraid again, and anon darted out the aperture assimilate Eighth Avenue, area she maneuvered through the cartage like a skateboarder.
She concluded up at Larb U, a Thai café with some of the spiciest aliment in the city, area the cafeteria blitz was already activity abounding blast. Not deterred, she was anon built-in at a fabric-covered berth in the rear of the room, sucking bottomward a basin of avoid larb, while bed-making her countenance with a applique handkerchief.
480 Ninth Ave., at 37th Street, Hell’s Kitchen
Before I knew it her buzz was out and she was summoning an Uber. I accomplished a moment of panic, but knew I charge jump in a craven cab to chase her. She was already advanced of me by two blocks as her atramentous SUV attempt bottomward the West Ancillary Highway to the Holland Tunnel. Thirty-five account afterwards we were careening through Ironbound, Newark, affairs up in advanced of a bend alehouse on a residential ancillary street.
Somehow she knew McWhorter’s Barbecue would be awash with accompaniment troopers and bounded cops at this hour. That she’d be able to blooper advanced of parties cat-and-mouse for tables in the awash dining allowance because there was alone one of her. She affective a baby table aing to the rotisserie, a hand-cranked activity that austere charcoal. As I looked incredulously she gobbled her third abundant meal in as abounding hours, tucking into a broiled craven and compact pork ribs, sided with fries, rice, and Portuguese alloyed pickles.
104 Mc Whorter St., at Blooming Street, Newark, New Jersey
I was alpha to get the picture: The accountable of my concern was gluttonous out the dining venues best awash at any accustomed time if the day. Nearly an hour later, afterwards a expedition on the PATH and a circuitous alms ride, she was sitting in La Palapa, a Mexican restaurant not far from Tompkins Square. There amid several awash tables she cautiously ate an absolute basin of guac and chips afore assaying a brace of open-faced sandwiches of refried beans and chorizo alleged molletes, finishing up with flan.
77 St. Marks Pl., amid First and Second avenues, East Village
I looked at my pockech and it was 3:40 p.m. aback she larboard La Palapa, affective west on St. Mark’s through little knots of idlers basking in the afternoon sunshine, who didn’t assume to apprehension her as she anesthetized amid them. Spotting a band cat-and-mouse for octopus assurance at Otafuku, she aing in, and anon larboard with a little tray of them, dipping and bistro as she went.
220 East Ninth St., amid Second Avenue and Stuyvesant Street, East Village
Her aing destination was Veselka, area she took a bench in the aback allowance and anon ordered a basin of potato and onion pierogies, acerb chrism on the side. She looked nervously about her, as adolescent diners best up their backpacks and exited through the ancillary door, abrogation her in a half-empty dining allowance about 4:45 p.m.
144 Second Ave. at East Ninth Street, East Village
After a actual awash alms ride, I begin my quarry active in advanced of Peppa’s on the arctic bend of Flatbush, aloof as workers advancing home were endlessly in for carryout, and she aing the jostling assemblage inside. Aback she got to the counter, she ordered jerk chicken, two festivals (a beeline doughnut), and a acerbic escovitched fish. Was she bistro with addition else? Again she took the billowing bag aback to the tables in advanced of the Church Avenue Q and B stop, and ate the absolute bag calmly and methodically, as cartage streamed in and out of the base about her.
738 Flatbush Ave. at Clarkson Avenue, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
Though she’d spent the absolute day in consecutive eating, she seemed not the fuller for it. Her aing destination was Times Square, area she anesthetized by Red Lobster, Bubba Gump’s, and Sardi’s, maybe because they weren’t awash abundant at this hour. She seemed to adore bridge and recrossing the square, pausing at one point amid the Minnie Mouse, Spiderman, and Buzz Lightyear animal bobbleheads. Eventually she lined up at the blaze barbecue of Tad’s Steaks with a dozen others, and ordered a sirloin steak banquet with a broiled potato, garlic bread, and a salad. Her steak was done attenuate and she took a table absolutely at 7:20 p.m.
761 Seventh Ave #50 at West 50th Street, Midtown West
In the afterward hours my activity began to banderole but chastening didn’t. She went to an Egyptian restaurant in Ridgewood and scarfed a falafel sandwich aloof afore closing, thenventured up to the Hub in the Bronx for pizza and ate two Sicilian slices amid a rather bohemian crowd. I spotted her in Papaye, a Ghanaian café on the Grand Concourse, at 11 p.m., area men in apparel and skullcaps ate bowls of fufu and ablaze soup with their bald hands, again done them in the basin up front. She had a basin of lamb peanut soup and white yam fufu as I stood alfresco shivering.
2300 Grand Concourse at East 183rd Street, Bronx
I followed her bottomward to Hector’s, in the Meatpacking District, which opens at 2 a.m. abounding mornings to board aboriginal accession truckers. It’s the alone abode of its blazon larboard in Manhattan. I didn’t apprehension what she ordered, because I went home to ascend aback into my casket and booty a well-earned rest. How could I leave off my surveillance? Well, I was appealing abiding I knew area she’d appearance up aback the sun rose, and was absorbed on testing my theory.
44 Little West 12th St. at Washington Street, Meatpacking District
So ablaze and aboriginal at 8 a.m. I swept up to Dominique Ansel Bakery, the home of the Cronut, and like I suspected, a band had already formed. There she stood, a little afraid as always, but cutting the aforementioned clothes, acceptable me she hadn’t gone home in the interim.
189 Bounce St., amid Sullivan and Thompson streets, Soho
I accept to accept I was captivated to see her. You acquisition yourself unavoidably bonding with addition afterwards afterward them for 24 hours. Wondering if she’d admit me, I stepped up to acquaint myself, but was extemporaneous for her abashed acknowledgment aback I announced:
“Hi, my name is Virginia Clemm Poe, and I’ve been asleep 171 years. How about you?”
738 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226 (917) 673-6225
104 Mc Whorter Street, , NJ 07105 (973) 344-2633
503 West 28th Street, Manhattan, NY 10001 (212) 564-3330
44 Little West 12th Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 206-7592
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