Mr. Levine’s eating itinerary was impressive, if not shocking. Before I met up with him in the late afternoon, he had already managed to conquer three restaurants in the few hours since his arrival. I accompanied him to two restaurants before leaving him, briefly, to have dinner with a friend, with whom I had already made plans. After dinner, I met up with Ed again, who, in the meantime, visited two more restaurants. We ended the evening by watching the Yankees beat the Rangers over plates of fried and otherwise well-greased food. I believe that was his eighth and my fourth dinner of the night.
One of the places we visited was a tiny shack consisting of little more than a counter, a small icebox full of pies, a griddle, and a jukebox. A local institution, that restaurant has occupied the same patch of pavement in downtown Kansas City for decades. Frozen in time, its neon sign now glows as a vintage fixture among its more modern neighbors.
Just as we were leaving, a kid walked in, unaccompanied. He couldn’t have been more than ten years-old. He sat down at the counter and ordered a burger.
Exiting, we discovered the kid’s skateboard parked in the little alcove entrance outside. We both stopped in our tracks. My heart melted just a bit.
Maybe our world hasn’t changed that much.