It is a complete coincidence that Junior’s vet is around the corner from my dot-com. But, when I picked him up from his Labor Day summer camp boarding adventure this morning, and drove past the big pink stucco building that “my dot-com”:http://web.archive.org/web/20010721233028/http://persistx.com/ was in — and the Washington Mutual, and the Indian restaurant, and the really good Italian restaurant — of course I thought about mornings of XML programming and afternoons of I-swear-to-god-it’s-client-research visits to teen dating sites. And of course I convinced the AIG to grab lunch with me at the “Palisades Garden Cafe”:http://www.yelp.com/biz/FUsBxw0-Dk62-fiE_S5cNg.
My first job was serious about their 8:30am start time, because so many of our clients were on the East Coast and, by 8:30, that was half of their day already gone. My last job had a putative 8am start time, but they never gave me trouble for showing up at 9 and working an hour late. Maybe it was because I did the work of two people. There wasn’t any start time at BigButtons, but, then, there were only three of us there at the beginning so I couldn’t much slip in late. And that meant breakfast.
Palisades Garden Cafe had incredible donuts, which I loved back when I could eat donuts and other delectable pastries. I’d start my days with a donut and some tea mixed with the office manager’s ever-present stash of “Coffee Bean vanilla powder”:http://coffeebean.com/French-Deluxe-Vanilla–P156C75.aspx?Page=1.
And then it was Palisades Garden Cafe again at lunch. If I felt like I could splurge a bit, I’d go for the turkeyburger, which was rich and delicious. I was young, so, if I felt cheap, I could go for the hamburger combo instead and not balloon up. Usually I’d have lunch on the Cafe’s patio, listening to the roar of the automatic car wash across the street and reading my LA Times. Since the Palisades Garden Cafe was right next door to the office, I never managed to take my full hour on those days.
Soon enough I traded lunches in the sun and options for my own shot at the start-up label. No more donuts, of course, and while nobody enforced an early start time, every night was a late night. And there was no sitting in the sun for a 45-minute break in the middle of the day, burger keeping me company as I pored over the front page. Sometimes I think maybe it’s time to bring that back now. The summer sun sure clears the mind, some days.
fn1. My two roommates at the time were working on starting a business, so my steady salary went to buying groceries for our whole three-male household. This did cut into my “lunch budget”:http://www.kayndaves.com/. My generosity always ends me up broke.