Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cafe Faith

I stumbled upon Two Moon Art House & Cafe while waiting for my oil to be changed across the crowded expanse of Fourth Ave.

It seemed like a casual place, with a man painting a red wall along the back. The lovely girl who served me had a bright smile and nearly forgot to charge me for my Americano. The money seemed an afterthought. It almost felt like I shouldn't pay,  like I was more a guest in a private home. It felt good, comfortable, easy.

I picked up a flyer about an "Americana Passover." With just a glance, I knew. It was an attempt at creating The New Religion, the meaningful one, the alternative to the customs we grew up with that seemed hollow, the one that would give those of us searchers the community we were searching for.

As I clutched the flyer, I shared a look with the bright-smiled girl, a mutual understanding: we were in the same boat.

"Are you Jewish?" I asked, imagining she was a defector from my same group, looking for some new twist on old traditions.

She shook her head no.

"I was raised Catholic by atheist parents." She shrugged. I laughed.

"Hmmm...faith is tough," I said, in sympathy with her and with her parents, trying to give their child something they couldn't buy themselves. It would be so much easier, wouldn't it?

I looked around and gestured to the space, "Is this place yours?"

"Yes," she said, nodding. "I'm one of the owners."

I'd figured, having heard her address the painter and someone who walked in to talk about practicing for a show. From the look of it, Two Moon housed a little bit of everything from music to films to food and wine, even a new religio-political movement called Organs of State that was behind the Americana Passover to inspire like-minded engaged people to gather around food.

Their slogan, "Come Dine and Remake America" was hopeful and proactive, a seeming solution in itself unlike so many other modern movements.

"I'm impressed with what you've done here," I said. "It looks like you've already created a azzeo, community."

"Thank you!" she said, "We're trying..."

"I can see that," I said, and handed Joyce Pisarello a star. She and her co-owner, Danielle Mazzeo, are filling their space with artists and actors and thinkers and doers. They are creating faith in the most modern way: cafe-style.