The Best Way to Feel You're still in New York

Moe's Books. As a patron since 1965, I find the combination of competence and rudeness that you find at Moe's impossible to resist. (The typical California style is, of course, incompetence and niceness). Although I've been a regular customer for 22 years, no one in the store has ever recognized me (including one clerk who I'd met at a party the previous night). In Moe's I'm as anonymous as a New Yorker. (A few years ago, a couple of guys who worked at Moe's started their own bookstore, Black Oak Books. I was shocked when I first went to Black Oak and one of them acknowledged me. For years at Moe's, this guy had never spoken to me -- now, suddenly, he smiled and said, "Don't I know you?")

John Boe

From the East Bay Express "Best Of" issue, 1984