Odradeks - 82-60 Austin St.
I find myself at the beginning of several hours that i’ll be spending at the Austin Street coffee shop, Odradeks. The name is based on the Odradek of Kafka’s The Cares of a Family Man. My decision to come here is based on a desire to get out of my apartment and a suggestion from the Village Voice food blog, Fork in the Road. I feel a little guilty that I’m not here as a part of the emerging Queens literary scene that is mentioned in the article. I’m here to write content, never mind what for.
Two things alleviate my guilt. The first thing is the knowledge that before crafting characters like Matilda, James of James & the Giant Peach, Willie Wonka, or Charlie What’sHisName, Roald Dahl was writing for Playboy. The other is the crowd here at the coffee shop. There’s a couple who I suspect may be writers, or the proprietors of a home run kombucha company, other than that there’s a studying college student, a young businessman having a craft beer and Saratoga Springs water (great choice!), and what appears to be an awkward coworker date, perhaps they’re graduate students. The literary crowd, however, seem to be oblivious that this is the place for them.
Sitting in this prime position to scope out the coffee shop, I realize that to the left of me is outdoor seating, something I may have to take advantage of a little later. The music playing over the shop’s speakers is by Coldplay, but my headphones are in and I’m listening to Amy Winehouse’s Frank album. I have ordered a large house coffee; the coffee is reasonably priced and the flavor could be easily improved upon with creamer of any sort. You have to ask the barista for soy, and what I assume was agave was in an unmarked squeeze bottle near a marked squeeze bottle of honey. Croissants and pastries are served here, the all inclusively bearded staff is nice but not in your face about it, and the table and chair layout works well for the space, which features four plush chairs with tables; I am sitting at a table situated between the plush chairs and in front of an outlet.
Directly behind me are colorful paintings. All oil on canvas. The building is mostly glass, giving the added perk of natural light and alleviating feelings of claustrophobia. I do believe i’ll be coming here again.