On the corner of Putnam and Franklin in Brooklyn, there's a Mexican bar that serves outstanding guacamole, tacos with fish, shrimp or pulled pork, and other tasty menu items. It's where I had my first Mezcalita which is a margarita that uses mezcal in addition to tequila; even better than the classic. Mezcal has a smokiness that mingles with lime perfectly.
Okay, it's not just the yummy food, it's the atmosphere, it's the hug from David, the owner, and the wave from Alex behind the bar that makes me feel like Norm on Cheers (if you've never heard of it just think of a bar "where everybody knows your name"). David makes everyone feel welcome. And do you see the beautiful old pane windows in the photo? When the weather is nice, they open those, and even though there's no drinks served on the sidewalk, there is still a crowd mingling while waiting for their tables. I know because I could see the place from my daughter and son-in law's third floor apartment across the street.
David told us that he moved to Brooklyn from Ecuador in 2011 and opened Calaca with his then-partner, Johnathan, and wife Patty in 2013. When he first found the place, he knew it would be perfect for a Mexican bar. There were no floors at the time and it was pretty much barren, but he knew this was "the place." The first thing that David bought was a great sound system. He makes a playlist daily for that night because he believes that music is essential to a "feel-good" environment. (I'm with you, David.)
(pictured above) David sitting with a couple Lakers fans, best guac, my favorite drink, a local couple having a toast, there's Alfredo and Patty in the kitchen whipping up the magic and last, but not least, some fixins' at the bar that may or may not be in my drink.
Goodbye, for now, Brooklyn.
Since these photos were taken, Molly, her husband Vester, cutie pie Gabby, Zuesy and Coco, have moved to Buffalo. Yay for me, they are less than two hours away, but plenty of things I'll miss about visiting Brooklyn. Top two - Calaca and Brooklyn bagels. I'll be sure to visit soon, David. I'm not going to try making that favorite drink, though. It won't be the same if I'm not listening to your tunes among the chatter of the locals.
Yes, I am a portrait photographer but, in one of my other lives I'm also a photo journalist. Creating photos that tell a story. When you think about it, a lot of our photos are journalistic. Your little boy riding his bike. Your grandfather blowing out the candles on his 75th birthday cake. All of these moments in time captured to tell a story. It's really kind of magical.
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