Monday, May 26, 2008
Elusive singer Will Travis can be found at the counter of the Reben Luncheonette nearly every weekday.
This tiny and welcoming lunch counter, located at 229 Havemeyer Street, near Broadway and the Marcy Ave JMZ stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, is a bustling Dominican place with inexpensive breakfast and lunch, and famous for the pale orange Morir Sonando drink, which Frankie Latina, who snapped the photo of the camera-shy Will Travis, noted, tasted like an Orange Julius. "You taste it, if you don't like it, don't pay" says an old, hand-painted sign advertising the drink, the name of which can be translated as: "To die dreaming." You won't find too many products that use death as a marketing tool. "Our mattress is so comfortable you'll die in your sleep!" "We deliver our subs so fast that you'll have a heart attack and drop dead!" Maybe this is why Will Travis likes the Reben Luncheonette so much. But then, he's been known to alter the course of a tour bus to hit a diary bar where they make that drink that is a mixture of orange slush and vanilla ice cream. (Though Travis actually prefers grape, and when available, blue raspberry.) At any rate, Morir Sonando can also be translated as: "To die in a dream" which avid Will Travis fanatics will recognize as a line from his considerable oeuvre. Some believe that if you die in a dream, you will actually die. While this may or may not be true, you must consider that all of what we think of as our existence is only a dream, and the brief visits we are able to make to what we think of as "life" are breakfasts and luncheons at places like the Reben Luncheonette.
** (two stars)