Jeff Pearlman

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Everyone needs a Vinnie

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The above photo was taken this morning inside the Brooklyn Bagel Co. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.

The man at the counter is Vinnie.

And I friggin’ love him.

We’ve been in South Florida for about 10 days—coming home tomorrow. And on most of those mornings I’ve driven down to Brooklyn Bagel for my ritual XL iced coffee. There’s something about Brooklyn Bagel iced coffee that just nails it. Maybe it’s the coffee ice cubes. Maybe it’s the six flavor options. Whatever the case, it’s absolutely delicious.

But, truly, the best part about the experience is Vinnie.

If you’re from New York or New Jersey, you know guys like Vinnie. Hey, what’s up chief? and How’s it goin’? They make you feel comfortable and familiar and welcomed. They don’t care how many bagels you buy and never feel pushy, annoying, aggressive. No, they’re just happy to see you because they’re happy to see you. They’ll talk about the Yankees getting Stanton, about the weather turning frigid, about the new Star Wars.

In California, we have precious few Vinnie-esque folks. You enter the local bagel shop (where the bagels suck) and it’s, “Hello. How are you?” Robotic. Lame.

I hope Brooklyn Bagel knows the gem it employs.

He’s invaluable.

  • Nunno Yourbizness

    Same. There’s a couple of folks at a regular coffee shop that I stop in at (albeit chain coffee but it is convenient). But of all the other stores, I always remember my experience in the one franchise and the people are real gems. They know their regulars by name, their orders, and as you say non-robotic, genuinely care about the people type of servers. Glad to run into folks like that, wherever they are.

  • tenn tom

    It’s always good to be around happy people.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life