What are the chances? The new cafe in our cafe-less neighborhood is — to be expected — a smash success. A bright spot on a defunct shopping street that has been taken over by a chain of daycare centers for the aged, the first time I saw the welcoming woody storefront I thought it was a mirage. It took me several months to get up the courage to go inside. Something about the woody wainscotting inside must have triggered a hunch that the owner had her feet in both Japanese and American cultures.
My hunch was right. Tree House Cafe is run by Yoko Hayashi, who was pretty content living in Hicksville Long Island until her husband passed away suddenly. Yoko came back and opened up Tree House Cafe with her sister Reiko
. It turns out, my mother also lived for many years in the Hicksville area of Long Island and for all I know they could have been seat-mates on the Long Island Railroad heading into the City. Yoko offered me her wall space for an exhibition that will be up until the end of August. These paintings and drawings are all original, offered at very reasonable “neighborhood” prices. Yoko speaks great English and she’ll be happy to welcome you. Phone 090-4175-1596. A five minute walk from Kamimachi station.
I’ll be back on 8/20 in Japan and would be happy to welcome you there. Have a great summer!!