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What do you think of when you think of Holland? Windmills, right? Tulips, clogs, spherical cheese clad in red wax. White plates with blue pictures on ’em involving windmills and tulips. Bored women in sculleries, sewing beneath lead-mullioned windows. Half-naked women from Bratislava, gyrating behind plate-glass windows. Unnaturally tall people, built sturdy to withstand high winds. Herring. Ice-skates. Cabbage. Sprinkles on toast, sausages in cans. Collecting discount stamps, sticking them in little books. Dentistry second only to Great Britain. Men wearing lots of hair-gel. Canals. Bicycles, an obsession with the colour orange, did somebody kill a skunk in that coffee shop? Thrift. Camping. Three kisses. Black-and-white cows. Blackface. Bizarre expressions involving monkeys, sunshine and not putting butter on your head.
Just when you thought it was all about mashing stuff into goop and spreading it thickly on bread, along come Dutch bookplates. Intricate woodcuts which combine astonishing attention to detail with rugged no-nonsense conviction; like the Dutch, really. Hailing mainly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were used to identify books as being the property of this, that or the other erudite Dutchman. The words Ex Libris (‘from the books of …’) are frequently followed by the initials and surname of the owner, sometimes accompanied by a pithy idiom. Y’know … ‘well, Gertrud, that just breaks my wooden shoe!’ … but in Latin.
In a subtle springtime rebranding, we turned to our flatland bookish heritage – and Mark Ohe (designer of many things Table) – for inspiration.
Henceforth, anything that sits still long enough at Table on Ten will find itself indelibly stamped. We’ve already capitalized upon Flemish diligence, putting Wilna and Eddie to work stamping all things flat and curvy, white and brown: paper bags, pizza and sandwich boxes, paper cups, wine-lists, letters to our Grannies. We now have our eyes on books, bags, buttocks, foreheads and children. Not to mention blimps, artisanal tattoos, grillz, lobe-stretching and scarification. Linger too long by the picnic tables, you risk Kathleen leaping from behind a bush like a banshee and branding you forever Table.
SUNDAY 22nd DECEMBER – 2 pm till 4 pm – OPEN HOUSE AT TABLE ON TEN
• Come see the rooms upstairs, including (but not limited to) the new one.
• Eat traditional English christmas pudding alongside a real, live puddingy Englishman.
• Embroider your pudding with lashings of strange brandy sauce coagulate.
• Guzzle effervescent afternoon Spritz like a Venetian with a designated Gondolier.
• Gaze with wonder at the Table on Ten tree as decorated by Dickensian Bloomville urchins.
• Use the lavatory at no charge whatsoever.
• Get 10% off everything in the Microshop. Assuage your guilt at having thus far ignored Christmas utterly.
• Meet people you’ve met before.
• Do De Vogeltjesdans like Aunt Geertje at Cousin Harald’s wedding.
• Peek inside the bodywork room. Enquire about Vicky’s yuletide Frankincense and Myrrh Full-Body Slapdown.
• Let steeple-bells be swungen.
• Compare your Muck boots to other people’s Muck boots.
• Wonder why somebody doesn’t change the music.
2 till 4. This Sunday – the last before Santa shimmies down your chimney with half a bottle of Creme de Menthe and some VHS tapes of classic Patrick Swayze movies. Please do come. It’s going to be in the near-tropical 50’s, but we’ll provide corners of palm-tree shade and bug repellant. And we promise nobody will look as bored as the Holy Parents (above) hanging out outside the Porta dei Fiori with the frankly enormous Baby Jesus, waiting for Melchior to turn up with the General Tso’s Chicken. Ding-dong merrily! On high! ©
Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear the thither.
Don and Barbara, forth they went,
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
We know; there’s time. But it doesn’t always feel like there is. You open your doors and ideas come at you like bees. So much stuff just itching to be done. There are people up every dirt road around here harbouring amazing skills, doing astonishing things; and more often than not, they do it quietly, without the narcissist’s acute yearning for applause. Perhaps that’s why they’re here, not in Brooklyn or Berkeley. It has been the singular most consistent reward of Table on Ten’s first year: the prodigious opportunities we are daily afforded to collaborate with people who really know what they are talking about.
The dilettante’s curse is to wax knowledgeable on a galaxy of matters without being steeped in any. There goes Renaissance Man, culling wisdom from half-digested morsels in The Guardian and New Yorker. Regurgitating it in well-turned phrases speaks to a erudition that turns out – after the third bottle of Rioja – to be a bit on the flimsy side. It’s when you wake up in the morning with the foggy remembrance of having confidently held forth on Netanyahu’s breathtaking performance in Parsifal that you reach for your forehead and feel the mark of the Impostor.
We opened the doors with baguettes and coffee. We hoped we were planting a flag for a bigger idea; but who knew? Then one-by-one people started turning up with stuff. The foraged chanterelles. The arcane understanding of how to make sausage from blood. The hand-turned porcelain pots. The heritage goat rearing, artisanal cheese-cave constructing, yellow-dock braid weaving, authentic kimchi fermenting, sourdough metabolizing, timber hewing, dulcimer plucking, kiln curing, ping pong playing, nettle ball sculpting. In the span of a season we found ourselves part of a kind of living tapestry, an ongoing narrative of what it means, minute-to-minute, to be alive and kicking in Delaware County.
And now, with the recent conversion of one of the second floor rooms to a bodywork studio, we’re presented with the unique opportunity of incorporating Victoria Lundell’s 20-years of modern dance training, 15-years of personal fitness experience into the expanding menu of services at Table on Ten; in the form of a bodywork adjunct – hands on work, yoga, Pilates, personal training. Vicky’s our neighbour and friend and one of the original Table on Ten community alumni, from the days when the café was barely a glint in its mother’s eye. Having Vicky practice her amazing amalgam of services further augments our efforts to expand the scope of Table on Ten – initially through the menu, specials, food-based collaborations, workshops, then through gallery and magazine projects and more recently by offering rooms upstairs for people to come, stay, be part of the community. With Vicky on board, we’ve added the following persuasive sheaf of arrows to our quiver.
– relaxing bodywork
– deep-muscle bodywork
– private/semi-private yoga
– private/semi-private mat-based Pilates
Bodywork can be tailored to specific needs, in terms of time, content and approach. The schedule is as follows:
– fridays – between 1.45 and 6.30
– saturdays – between 3 and 6.30
– sundays – between 11.15 and 5.15
– mondays – between 10 and 1.30
It’s $65 an hour. Or you can add a couple of disciplines and make an hour-and-a-half or more, at the same ratio.
Please email us at email@example.com and we can either start a conversation or simply book you in.
Another reason, we hope, to stop by, venture up, wander in, come on down.