A Good Photograph in a Small Town Coffee Shop.

This is me showing off my new photography skills.  From yesterday when I was slightly off schedule, waiting for a friend client to arrive at the coffee shop that’s smack in the middle of the village where I live; the one that I could walk to if I wanted to.

And it would be a pleasant walk down tree shaded sidewalks past houses that are, for the most part, a 100 years old. Some more. Some less. Some with barns in the back yard instead of garages.

I am REALLY excited about this photograph.

What you can see in the background is part of the seating area for the Towpath Cafe. If you were me (yesterday) siting at the table where I took that photo, your view of the coffee shop/restaurant would look like this:

Don’t be fooled by the leather couch and the slouchy-looking you-can-sink-into-them-and-relax arm chairs. This is a bonafide restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and dinners along with an eclectic mix of entertainment.

And, it’s bigger than it looks.

Bigger than this.

There’s another seating area that you can’t see and, when the weather’s good, which in THIS corner of the world doesn’t usually happen until the end of April, but which is surprising all of us this month, there’s an outside deck where you can sit and watch the boat traffic on the barge Erie Canal.

It’s a bit early for that. The canal gates don’t open to raise the water level for another month. I think.

That’s a whole different story than the one I’m telling here. Part of the quaintness and charm of living in a village that grew up around the Erie Canal.

Like a lot of other small villages and towns, we have our share of everyday drama and ritual. This is still a town where some of the kids who live in the village can walk to school.  And, there’s a fair representation of senior citizens, young families, families who’ve been at the business of being families for longer and so have older kids, or kids that have grown up, gone to college and moved out on their own.

The village cops will wave at you as they drive by.

A lot of us know each other by the dogs we walk.

Which is the ritual that starts in the early morning hours and continues throughout the day until long after dark.

The more industrious dog walkers are out before 6AM. The moms who put kids onto school buses tend to walk, in pairs, between 7:30AM and 8:00AM.

The folks who retired and keep their own schedules, are out during what I like to call the sweet spot hours: that’s when all of the kids are in school and the neighborhoods are empty.

When you can walk your dog without the distractions of other walkers. And, you can make up stories about what might have taken place in all of those 100 year old houses that you walk past.

Houses that almost always have porches.  There are so many houses in this village that have porches that someone took photographs and created a calendar that got sold in some of the shops in the village.

I bought one when they came out. I’m a sucker for all of that architectural nostalgia.

We’ve got a train track that cuts through the village too.  It’s heavily trafficked because it’s part of a major transportation corridor. Some really long freight trains rumble through town at certain times during the day. And night.

During the spring and summer, traffic comes to a halt when the canal bridge is up for the boats passing underneath at the same time that one of those mile long freight trains are coming through.

If you want to test the character of your fellow man, Main Street is the place to be when all of this commercial coming and going is talking place.

We’re like a lot of other small villages spread out across America. We have our share of disagreements but, for the most part, we persevere. And strive to get along.  [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]



  1. says

    Kathy… thanks for introducing me to Neal and the Towpath Cafe! Love the atmosphere. Two highly strung out girls on caffeine can certainly get A LOT of work done there! Thanks again….

    • htkhp says

      I had a good time, too, Lisa! Maybe the next time, we can “meet even later in the day” and sit out on the deck … if we can get WiFi sitting outside, and if the ducks on the canal path behave themselves.

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