Drunk And Poetic Encounters At Appletree Deli

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Imagine getting drunk in this beautiful apple orchard

For the average Barnard student, Appletree Deli becomes a crutch that carries them through the highs and lows of college living. Eventually, you might even find yourself on the deli line, trying to choose between a Jack Jack and a Tex Mex. A Barnard Bwogger discusses some of her experiences inside of Appletree.

After walking eleven blocks from 1020, my body starts to really feel the chilling breeze that wraps around the shadowy buildings. I cross my arms to keep the heat inside my jean jacket, regretting my clothing decision. As I walk past a pile of leaves, I refrain from saying, “fall aesthetic” and continue walking toward Plimpton Hall. Before I roll into bed and accept the fact that nursing a hangover will be a part of my morning routine, my eyes dance in the lights that illuminate the hidden gem of Morningside Heights: Appletree Deli.

I nearly trip on myself as I step into the store. I try to play off the fact that I am ridiculously drunk by warmly greeting the person behind the counter making sandwiches. I look up to see the abundant options before me: subs, grilled cheeses, and cheese burgers to help tend to my hungry stomach. I stand behind a guy that appears to be waiting for his order. He turns to look at me, and I attempt to keep my shit together. He strikes up a conversation, talking about this Halloween party he went to with his law school buds: you know, like one of those parties where you have to have facts on-hand for protection. I ask him what his costume is as I try to make sense of a black smudge on his face. He gave me a law school explanation. Figures.

Before I could understand why I found him so unbelievably charming, I hear a slap and I look back at the counter. My eyes meet with one of those beautiful sandwiches wrapped neatly, sitting on the shiny metallic surface like a Christmas present. The worker hands the law student the sandwich and looks to smile at me, as if we share a secret. The law student turns to me, shakes my hand, grabs his sandwich, and leaves before I could properly say goodbye. I am left waiting by myself, realizing that I wasn’t hungry anymore.

Everyone that has been waiting on the Appletree Deli line late at night seems to have some story worth telling. I’ve bonded with two police officers, danced to 80s pop, and spoke with other Columbia students as if we knew each other for years. All of the best nights seem to end at that very deli, and not even because of the greasy sandwich that finds its way into your checking account. Enemies become friends, strangers are neighbors, and it becomes easy to ignore that guy that sits on a crate outside and sings, “yeah yeah” while asking for money. “Have a good one” casually rolls off the tongue, and I suddenly become okay with the fact that I’ll probably never see “that guy I met at the deli” again. It’s like those fleeting smiles with strangers on the 1 train that find their way deep down inside of you. The nights that end with the unwrapping of an Appletree sandwich are often accompanied by a sudden understanding of the poetic nature of anonymity. The loud crinkling of the aluminum foil and paper becomes my lullaby.

Apples galore via pixabay

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  1. Anonymous

    Go out to a farm and pick some famous NYS apples

  2. Annie Canning

    Love your articles, Bwog!!!

  3. Everybody needs to sober up and find god.

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