Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Maine Men

In October 2009, two twenty-something guys opened up Luke’s Lobster— a seafood shack in New York’s East Village. Less than a year later, they expanded, setting up a second, larger Luke’s on the city’s the Upper East Side. Here, in a new GQ blog series, Ben Conniff reveals why he and Luke Holden quit their day jobs to dive into the shark-infested waters of the N.Y.C. restaurant business—and how they’re scrapping their way to the top of the heap

from GQ, July 29, 2010

One afternoon in July of 2009, my cell phone started buzzing. I had recently sent an article to a popular food magazine, and my editor’s name was blinking on my screen. I’d been freelance writing for some decent publications in New York, but money was still tight. My editor was writing to say she loved the story. She was even going to pay me this time. As soon as the story ran. Sometime in 2010. Exactly one year ago today, I opened my laptop and turned to the place where everyone goes when they discover something missing in their lives: Craigslist.

I was ready to stop writing about food and start making it. But no restaurants were looking to hire an Ivy League keyboard pecker whose only food-service experience was seven teenage years spent eating the merchandise at a Connecticut doughnut shop. Surfing Craigslist was a real Hail Mary, and that day it paid off: I came across an ad for a nascent lobster-roll business looking for someone smart, talented, and hardworking to help create something special. I was none of those things. But I was sure I could learn.

lobster-roll-in-hands.jpg

Luke’s Lobster roll

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The Morning After

My transition from senior to citizen

Smithsonian magazine, April 2008

By Ben Conniff

At Yale’s commencement, graduates traditionally smoke clay pipes and then trample them to suggest that the pleasures of college life are ended. I participated in this tradition not long ago, but the symbolism didn’t hit me with full force until the next morning. At 7 a.m., I punched a time clock and entered the working world. While my peers were off to grand pursuits—backpacking trips through Europe, banking in New York City—I was beginning a two-week stint as a Yale custodian. Thus it came to pass that I was paid to haul out the pleasures of my college life with the trash.

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