Backstage at the Café Orlin

Friend of IT Julia Obermiller, a beauty intern and blogger for CosmoGirl in New York, moonlights at the Café Orlin on St. Marks Place in the East Village.  Do you think New Yorkers are unfriendly, we asked this young transplant from genteel Virginia?  Julia finds the opposite is true:

Working in a New York City restaurant is like so many other things in life: If you find the right fit, you’ll love it. I managed to find a small café in the East Village that seems to fit me to a tee. It’s casual, comfortable and brings new meaning to the industry’s word “regulars,” as it’s not unusual for customers to come in twice a day for our beloved hummus or flourless chocolate cake. In one of the world’s most bustling cities, it’s comforting to find a place full of familiar faces at any given time. The café has been around since 1981 – it’s older than I am – and the kind of character that accompanies such history is impossible to fake. People tend to think of New York City as such a cold, unfeeling place; I’m constantly asked by outsiders how I’m faring. “Aren’t the people rude? Don’t you get lonely?” And my answer is always “No!” These people I see everyday, both the patrons and my coworkers, have become exactly that – the people I see everyday, the people who know about me, about my life.

In a review by New York magazine, the employees of Café Orlin are summed up as “tall, skinny…wait staff,” but we actually come in all shapes and sizes from places all over the world. I’ve found a place to work, a restaurant at that, which embodies everything I love most about Manhattan – diversity, creativity, and authenticity.

She neglected to mention that the New York review also described the wait staff as “cute,” which is true in Julia’s case.

Photo: Susan NYC via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool

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