Oases are quite welcome during the long days of wandering I engage in. But there are rules.
Of course, the coffee or tea or food that is offered should be of quality – carelessness as a host is unforgivable. Simple is more desirable than elaborate, fresh more than fast.
But even more critical is the integrity of the place. I don’t mean ‘integrity’ in the moralistic use of that word, but rather in in the structural sense: all of the parts should fit together well. The environment, the workers, the music if there is any, the seating: all should fit with each other in a natural way, as a unified expression of a common identity, a common conversation with the world.
The mysticism of the Victory Luncheonette was hidden in its ordinariness – which is to say that it was revealed in its ordinariness. (Cousin James)