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Coffee with Avner


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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Coffee with Avner

So I'm making my way through the Marais toward the Left Bank for the Zucca fashion show when I come across this very elegant gentleman, Avner Gruzow, 83 years young.

I ask to take his photo and he agrees on one condition: I sit and have a coffee with him, and tell him about New York (although I knew I would really be the one asking the questions).

Now, I wanted to go to the Zucca show, but how do you pass up a chance to sit and hear a little about the life of a gentleman like this?

Guess what he did? Deep-sea diving! "I was mad for diving," he said, more than once.

The years have not been so kind to Avner's ablity to communicate and he had trouble remembering certain words, but from what I could make out, he spent some time living in the Middle East with the bedouins, he owned a camel, he and his wife own a country house in the South of France but currently live on the Left Bank. He travels every year to Antwerp to visit the area where he grew up.

Before we said good-bye, he gave me his address and promised that when I return to Paris he will show me photos of when he was young in the Middle East riding camels and of his diving adventures.

His handshake is still strong (stronger than I expected) so my guess is that although he is 83, we will still have quite a few more coffees together, hopefully soon.

Comments on "Coffee with Avner"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:40 PM) : 

what an adorable man :D and a lovely story, indeed


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:47 PM) : 

Scott, you are a truly nice person. That was such sweet thing you did!


Blogger Pargolo said ... (3:02 PM) : 

this was a lovely story. I enjoy it when I meet someone new unexpectedly, and they have interesting stories to share.

On another note, I just got the weirdest sense of deja vu, reading this post. Did you meet another elderly gentleman last year while covering shows, as well? i just feel like I've seen this before. In any event, thanks for your blog. I enjoy very much the words and pictures.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (3:06 PM) : 

this ran on but never on my site
I wanted to make it sure it was on my site eventually


Blogger charinef said ... (3:10 PM) : 

it makes me realised that im not the only one who will sit and chat with strangers in coffee house, cause i love how each life story was told and gives me inspiration of life.

i like your blog a lot.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:13 PM) : 

Thank you for this story. You've reminded us how we should stop and smell the coffee every now and then. We just never know what gem of a person we will come across.


Blogger Carolina Lange said ... (3:22 PM) : 

Really lovely story!


Blogger lisa said ... (3:23 PM) : 

beautiful! thanks for sharing this story.


Blogger LUX said ... (3:41 PM) : 

Just Fantastic!


Blogger FeiraChic said ... (3:47 PM) : 

It is really a shame that most of the times we let pass oportunities like this.
Glad you took the time to enjoy a memorable cup of coffee.


Blogger imperialmeasure said ... (3:50 PM) : 

Thanks so much for this.

One has to take advantage of these kind of opportunities. People like Avner have seen horizons which we can only dream of!

A stylish man.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:55 PM) : 

Wonderful story!Good old Europe ...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:56 PM) : 

So much beauty in an old child's hand


Blogger Carlene said ... (4:03 PM) : 

For some reason this made me teary. I'm glad you chose to miss the show. You're the best.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:04 PM) : 

Amazing to meet such interesting people, seems like you could have like hundreds of coffees with him and still hear something new :D


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:06 PM) : 

no, pargolo is right. as i was reading this i thought you reposted an old entry from a while ago similar to this one. i am pretty sure.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:08 PM) : 

You are lucky to have met and chatting with him over a cafe.

Isn't it interesting to listen to older people tell their live stories. It enriches your own experience.


Blogger Athena said ... (4:23 PM) : 

You're both class acts. How often do you become friends with the strangers you photograph?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:24 PM) : 

Scott, not only do you see what others don't when it comes to interesting clothes, you also let us follow your mind when it comes to the people you meet. ¨The content you publish reminds me that life is not only fashion. I thank you for that!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:26 PM) : 

i CANNOT wait till you meet up with him again for another convo over a cup of coffee with two sugars.
how lovely and heart warming it is : )


Blogger Ms. Laaw-yuhr said ... (4:32 PM) : 

How nice that you took the time to sit and chat with him and get his story.


Blogger A said ... (4:53 PM) : 

I do love the style shots you do more than I can say, but I love these little stories more. When you bump into people you shot before or that time when a lady you had shot showed up on the dust-cover of a book. I like magic, coincidental, unexpected moments like these.


Blogger Just an Observation said ... (5:11 PM) : 

I love how U take full advanntage of what U do to live life to the fullest.....and in my personal opinion ...definitely CONGRATULATIONS! I am a fan and a follower of this approach to life!!!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:18 PM) : 

That bit of bright blue shirt looks very nice on him. It seems like he's ready to play a game of dice with the sugarcubes - look out Sart!


Blogger sofie king said ... (5:23 PM) : 

what a beautiful experience!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:36 PM) : 

Ahhh.. no wonder. I found you through, so I had deja-vu too.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:37 PM) : 

I'm not really a fashionista or anything but this blog might turn me into one, because stopping by here is such a delight.


Blogger Sherry said ... (6:17 PM) : 

I would love to hear more about this man and his fascinating life. I hope that when I am his age, I will have as much to tell about mine.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:17 PM) : 

I too find him absolutely adorable. I love to listen to life stories as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:24 PM) : 

These photos are absolutely exquisite. I love that he insisted you sit with him, and love it that you did.

--anon 12:52


Blogger Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said ... (6:39 PM) : 

How very nice! I think the best way to travel is to actually meet the people.


Blogger Liesel said ... (6:43 PM) : 

this is just wonderful, in every way...what a lovely story indeed.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:05 PM) : 

A beautiful post and a very elegant gentleman. True style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:10 PM) : 

he makes a wonderful photo, that's for sure.

And aren't sugarcubes just so elegant and dignified compared to paper sugar packets?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:11 PM) : 



Blogger v.nessalee said ... (7:16 PM) : 

Beautiful, humane portrait of Mr. Gruzow. This entry truly is lovely. I always enjoy running into these little gems on your blog - reminds me of your shot of an old gentleman asleep in his chair. That photo seemed to hold such a story.


Blogger Declan said ... (7:23 PM) : 

Your eye for details and your understanding of design is impressive but it is your willingness to share your heart with all of us through your photos that keeps me coming back again and again.

Thank you


Blogger Unknown said ... (7:31 PM) : 

Thank you for sharing that beautiful story. May we all be so lucky as to share a cup of coffee with a friendly, intriguing and sartorial gentleman.


Blogger MacGuffin said ... (7:41 PM) : 

What a wonderful face(and story)! This is the way people should age.


Blogger MacGuffin said ... (7:48 PM) : 

Oh, and he has hands are just like my Father's. I always felt like mine weren't rugged enough by comparison. Very appropriate for Father's Day.


Blogger SartoriallyAddicted said ... (8:12 PM) : 

Fashion is all about personality and story telling. You did the right thing.


Blogger Cut of cloth said ... (8:37 PM) : 

hot heat sweat dripped
cloth white wrapped
tip to toe
sand dust swirls
heat hot
I met
her brown
dark kohl slit eyes
our fingers
yet enough
I knew....

this photo tells a thousand tales
I start this challenge with one \
Can you tel the rest?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:39 PM) : 

Having coffee and sugarcubes with somebody like that is much better than any fashion show...


Blogger Pret a Porter P said ... (8:51 PM) : 

interesting person to come across.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:52 PM) : 

That's a beautiful story. I have experienced something similar recently; a stranger squeezed my hand, and I understood that I had done something good. So amazing that you make time for moments like this.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:29 PM) : 

Great story, Sart. Hopefully we'll see more of him in a few years or so.


Blogger Meredith said ... (9:36 PM) : 

Great story!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:38 PM) : 

It's adorable when you made this kind of picture. This is truly my all time favorite portrair that you did. I just can't take my eyes of yet. Congratulations!


Blogger Butch said ... (9:47 PM) : 

Lovely; thanks for this, Scott. Surely style, as practiced so expertly here, is a balm, something that can tie one to living, to life...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:49 PM) : 

beautifully written and photographed; elegant indeed.


Blogger Marta said ... (9:50 PM) : 

great story.
great pictures as well.


Blogger Eli said ... (9:58 PM) : 

I love to meet people with such history to tell and ingrained in their faces. I always love to see the photos of older folks that you take as I am not too interested in fashion but think you have a wonderful way with the camera.


Blogger brando said ... (10:17 PM) : 

That's a great story, you should title it in your memior "Zucca can wait."


Blogger natasha said ... (10:31 PM) : 

Hmm, lovely, its those small things, lala..


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:51 PM) : 

the best thing about being a photographer (i am one too) is meeting all these fascinating people that i at least wouldn't have the courage to approach otherwise.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:03 PM) : 

WOW!! that is LIFE! beautiful story! thanks for sharing with us Sart! you are soooo lucky to find people like this...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:05 PM) : 

Life lessons to be found in unexpected encounters?


Do let us know if you meet him again.



Blogger Blaise said ... (11:08 PM) : 

It's such a treasured moment to have instances like this, especially from the old ones.. I myself was (and still is) being taken care of by my grandmother, I guess that's why old people have such a dear place in my heart.. they are just so full of simple wisdom..

That's very sweet of you Sart to share this with us..


Blogger Luc Wiesman said ... (11:20 PM) : 

Awesome story Scott. Respect!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:28 PM) : 

SO good!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:33 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:53 PM) : 

For reasons too complex to communicate, this post means a lot to me.



Blogger Unknown said ... (12:02 AM) : 

thanks for the lovely post.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:06 AM) : 

I love this site because it is so much more than the superficiality of fashion... There are many lessons to be learned from men like this, and yet we live in a society that has no regard for the elderly. In Europe, South America, Africa and the Carribean, the elderly are treated with the utmost respect! Keep in touch with him Sart - you will never regret it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:08 AM) : 

How many interesting people don't we just pass by... I've had similar experiences and I feel that sometimes we need to slow down a bit and drink coffee with a nice stranger, it just makes living a little bit better =)

lovely photos =)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:09 AM) : 

absolutely fantastic :)


Blogger the brunette said ... (12:15 AM) : 

I really appreciate when you add writing with the pictures. I feel like you must have more stories than you let on to. Also, as a student and thus a student of fashion, when I can read something, such as this story, I get such a lovely feeling of connection.


Blogger Hamilton said ... (12:25 AM) : 

Well done, sir.

I don't think I have read a finer bit of writing from you. You nailed this one.

Handsome foto; handsome writing. Works for me.

All my best, --- mph.


Blogger Jean Peale said ... (12:34 AM) : 

That's a great jacket. Looks just like the one Cary Grant wears in the first part of 'Notorious'.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:45 AM) : 

awww cuuuuuute!
i love your little anecdotes.. they truly make my day!


Blogger dova said ... (1:01 AM) : 

I read your page daily. I realised the story I love the most are the ones of people with a story.
I love this story and also the story abt the barber in milan. the photos of the two old man is one of my favourite image you took. It just warms my heart!


Blogger Bel said ... (1:05 AM) : 

I love that you put a coffee and chat with this gentleman before attending a fashion show - the elderly so often get pushed aside and treated as irrelevant, as we (the younger generation) run around thinking we're so very very important and so very very busy busy busy!!

I think you are wonderful for giving him your time, and thanks so much for reminding us just how important it is to treat people with genuine respect and affection - always.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:14 AM) : 

that blue shirt is amazing


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:26 AM) : 

Sart: So did you ever make it to the Zucca show? :) I've said it before in response to your previous posts but thank you for taking us along on your journey! Look forward to your future coffee dates with Avner.


Blogger Ashley Garmon said ... (1:28 AM) : 

We should pause more often and listen to the older folks. They have many wonderful stories to tell. Thank you for reminding me of this. I hope you are able to have many more coffees with him!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:36 AM) : 

What wonderful things have come to you from doing what you love to do, and doing it with such a spirit of kindness and generosity--thanks for another lovely post.


Blogger Asi Mod said ... (2:39 AM) : 

What a fabulous story, Sart!!

Do you speak French or did Mr. Avner speak English?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:43 AM) : 

Wow Scott you really are an amazing person. Not many people (let alone New Yorkers!) would take the time to show an actual interest in this man's life.

You are the way I want to be - enchanted with life and always interested, be it in the details of life or just life in general

I too get the feeling you will be having many coffees with Avner in the future.

Thank you for sharing yourself with the world. You really make this world better.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:20 AM) : 

Beautiful story!
Thanks for sharing!


Blogger Fredde Ahlstrom Cooney said ... (4:44 AM) : 

Now, there is a splendid photograph. That one I like very much.



Blogger suziwong said ... (4:49 AM) : 

Go back soon, i can't wait to hear more of his life.


Blogger suziwong said ... (4:50 AM) : 

Go back soon; I can't wait to hear more about his life.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:10 AM) : 

'Contingency, Irony and Solidarity', or about marvellous men living in NY


Blogger Cristina said ... (5:13 AM) : 

When I have seen the first photo, the first thing that I have noticed has been the hands.
They are too big, like in a Van Gogh'paint.
And then I have seen the second photo...the hands are so interesting and they say a lot of things about a person.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:21 AM) : 

That was a really darling story!I hope that in the future, I too will encounter someone like that.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:38 AM) : 

lovely story, look forward to the follow up with interest.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:18 AM) : 

what a wonderfull story...great picts


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:20 AM) : 

Thank you so much for that adorable little story about nothing but the dignity of age.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:20 AM) : 

This is what I want the world to be like. Somehow it only ever seems to be this way here. And, I feel like mentioning to Andrea Ratner (2:47pm) that it does not seem to have been mainly a sweet thing for Mr. Schumann to do but rather an enjoyable one.(which is, in fact, what makes it exceptional)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:43 AM) : 

...this is exactly how old my father would be now. he died a few days before his 79th birthday, 14 years ago. times goes by, and as he is always in my heart i do not think of him every day, but when i found this aged gentleman here it really touched me.
this generation has been through quite a lot. still they've kept themselves together and attach great importance to their looks. a lot of them seem to be having the old fashioned, understated but noble taste and are very groomed at the same time.
not to mention that they have a lot to say.
.....still looking for a role model, lads? :)


Blogger Diana said ... (6:56 AM) : 

These stories make your blog even more valueable.
I have realized, that I check the photos with more pleasure and attention if you comment them (even with one sentence).
And the latest longer stories (including this one) are just amazing!
Thanks for that!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:08 AM) : 

See it's posts like this that make me truly value this blog amongst so many other style journals. Style is about so much more than just clothes, clever colour arrangement and memorable poses put on for the snap of a shutter. Style emanates from the stories, the meanings and secret codes that drive every single move we make in our lives. Brilliant post. Thanks so much.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:13 AM) : 

i'll say it again..
lovely story


Blogger Neil MacLean said ... (7:43 AM) : 

great story, it's this type of thing that makes this blog so well-rounded.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:56 AM) : 

That was really nice to read about. It really must be great so meet so many people with their interesting stories. Well, perhaps a part of it comes from you ability to make them open up, Scott? Anyway, lights my day:)


Blogger Aya Amurjuev said ... (8:08 AM) : 

Sart, I love your pictures and your stories and YOU! Your blog is so uplifting and positive. Thanks for sharing this with us!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:23 AM) : 

Now that's a character :) Just makes you smile


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:31 AM) : 

this is lovely - I hope he goes diving again


Blogger will anderson said ... (8:47 AM) : 

what a great post. i'm jealous at the moment of some of the opportunities you have on your travels. those are some remarkable pics too. thanks for sharing that.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

that's awesome. you have an eye for people as well as fashion.


Blogger Alison Santighian said ... (9:24 AM) : 

These moments are what make life worth living.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:41 AM) : 

I love this story. Nothing really compares to sharing a trip down memory lane with an older gentleman.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:59 AM) : 

As a collector of vintage wristwatches i would be interested to know what watch he wore when diving all those years ago.

Also may i ask if you could do something on the importance of a wristwatch to a man's style [it is the only piece of jewelery some men wear.]




Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:04 AM) : 

beautiful story. love this kind of thing. mystical pasts housed inside of people. ty!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:16 AM) : 

This story makes me want to pick up a camera, just to have an added excuse to strike up conversations with interesting people. And this man is interesting and elegant (as you rightly put it) not "adorable". I know "anonymous" didn't mean ill by it, but so patronizing to use childish descriptors. We should respect our elders not diminish them.


Blogger Tomás said ... (10:29 AM) : 

Scott, this is a great moment!
People we meet by accident that can inspire us.
Hiden in an elegant man hides a lot of life!


Blogger Sam said ... (10:29 AM) : 

This dude rocks!


Blogger Ilva said ... (10:35 AM) : 

Thanks for posting this, the last photo is brilliant! And if you have the time, please see him again and tell us about it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:02 AM) : 

Sart - you are a good person. The world needs more people like you.....honestly.


Blogger glamour girly said ... (11:12 AM) : 

I just love the picture of his hand and sugar cubes. You are such an amazing photographer!


Blogger whyioughtta said ... (11:15 AM) : 

Can't wait to hear more about Avner's adventures.

Love the sugar-cube shot.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:20 AM) : 

you are a nice person...this is a beautiful story.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:26 AM) : 

theres something about this man that melts my heart. loved this entry :0)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:34 AM) : 

Dear Sart,
It is clear that you also have an eye for the true beauty and value within a person. I love the fact that you skipped the fashion show to sit and talk with this man. And what a story! A deep sea diving, camel-owning don't come across that everyday. I think people could learn a lot from your approach to things.

all the best,
Laura in Amherst, MA


Blogger Tiffany said ... (11:42 AM) : 

Great story.
Those two pictures are begging
for a vignette.


Blogger tn said ... (11:50 AM) : 

A beautiful story and an important moment. You made the right decision. Zucca may be great but this inspiration is greater.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:09 PM) : 

Do you speak French, Sart? Just curious :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 PM) : 

This is my favorite post. Thank you.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:33 PM) : 

this site isn't only about fashion, there's a certain humanity you bring to it Scott. Nice job


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:40 PM) : 

I do a great deal of traveling for work...however, I sometimes have the pleasure of meeting people like Avner. It makes all the lines and hassles disappear & reminds me that are many beautiful and interesting people in the world.

Thanks for taking me on your travels, as well.

- Roberto (Miami)


Blogger JO said ... (1:14 PM) : 

What a treasure! I love meeting interesting people... how nice that he wanted you to join him for a few words... Glad you got to visit with him. Thanks for the lovely post!

PS - the sugar cube shot is AWESOME! LOVE YOUR WORK!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:15 PM) : 

This wonderful post brings up the topic:
As a general rule, interesting person = interesting clothing.
(As Linda Richman would say.)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:18 PM) : 

you are such a genuinely great person. its so refreshing to see someone interested in fashion but able to see the good in everyone and resist distractions of the artificiality of it all. i actually saw you last friday the 8th on prince and green, waiting for the kings of leon concert at the apple store. i was tempted to say hello, but you looked as though were on a mission and i didnt want to disrupt you. needless to say, you were looked great!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:25 PM) : 

Thanks for sharing this story. The photos are poetic!


Blogger s.212 said ... (1:35 PM) : 

lovely story
i remember reading this story a few months ago, did you post it before?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:41 PM) : 

Don't really understand this one.


Blogger thatgirl said ... (2:11 PM) : 

I do so love your priorities!


Blogger G said ... (2:17 PM) : 

you put a smile on my monday.
hug from far away.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:17 PM) : 

Wonderful post. A gentleman adventurer. Please keep a relationship with Avner.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:44 PM) : 

Dear Sart, your view of things is one reason why I love this blog. keep on looking behind the facade, this is such a lovely story. did you meet him again?


Blogger Lady Matchmaker said ... (5:35 PM) : 

For someone that is under twenty-five years, I've had my share of meeting people just like this. Given the chance that you slow down and listen, it's a real eye opener, no matter who you are.

I'm currently getting to know someone just like this. We exchange greetings, but because both of us are so shy, we rarely have the chance to sit down and have a conversation. One day, I'm going to accomplish this.


Blogger Jen P. said ... (6:22 PM) : 

What a beautiful story, beautifully illustrated. What languague did you speak togather?


Blogger Jack Daniel said ... (6:48 PM) : 

Not only a good photographer, but a good blogger / writer as well.


Blogger anniebananie said ... (8:12 PM) : 

i read your blog daily (and re-read/re-look at old entries when you skip a day) and this is my favorite entry of yours to date!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:21 PM) : 

This was a great story...unfortunately, the last two times elderly gentlemen struck up conversations with me, they tried to hit on me! Its nice to be reminded that they're not all like that :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:09 PM) : 

Bravo, Sart. Great anecdote and fantastic photos.


Blogger Luisa said ... (10:52 PM) : 

God, it's posts like this one that make me envy your job so much.


Blogger Anastasia said ... (11:12 PM) : 

love this warm post!! random meetings leading to interesting conversations and friendships! love it!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:21 PM) : 

I hope we get a chance to meet Madame Gruzow, too!

-- desertwind


Blogger nini said ... (12:33 AM) : 

What a lovely story, the best on your blog so far, I believe. You got a great deal -- beautiful photos, and the chance to meet such a remarkable man. Thank you for sitting down with him and for sharing this. Do send Avner our love!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:30 AM) : 

After all that has been said, every outfit dissected, debated and analyzed, it is the person at the core that really matters. At its best how we dress is an outward manifestation of who we are and who we aspire to become. Sarto good for you to seeing how the man and style come together and good for Mr. Gruzow for making us pause to recognize its importance.


Blogger Kits said ... (1:45 AM) : 

Wot a lovely story!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:47 AM) : 

gah! When are you goint to see him again? Please let us visit him again vicariously through you!


Blogger caramimi said ... (6:38 AM) : 

style and substance. that's why i love your blog. this story is wonderful -- it really made my day. thanks.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:46 AM) : 

I guess everything worth while about this photo has already been said.A true photographer can see beneath the surface and even without the story I know you have succeeded.I just hope you continue to stay as humble and human-just as you did when taking this picture.Thank you.


Blogger Unknown said ... (8:09 AM) : 

I passed up on a similar chance recently. I was at the library and as I left a girl asked me what I had borrowed. I didn't think much of the situation so simply answered her question and went the other way. It didn't take long for me to feel very stupid though. I guess I was too shy and unappreciative, and I already regret not taking the opportunity to get to know a complete stranger. But maybe I'll get another chance. Then I'll follow your example, Scott!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:37 AM) : 

Still thinking about this post! It's wonderful and touching.

I am also saddened by Anonymous 1:41. **sigh**


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:21 AM) : 

Your encounter with this old man is truly endearing and moving.

It´s just great that you found time to chat with him and then tell us about it.

Asking you to have a coffee with him in trade for his picture is such a wonderful gesture.

Sart:Thanks for your class and good taste, so uncommon in these days where everything is just irony and commonplaces.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:38 AM) : 

I believe the people who read this blog think people like this gentleman only exist in coffee shops in Paris or Rome or Milan and are some rare breed. This gentleman exists in every coffee shop and bar in every city around the world even the USA. Just open your eyes and ears.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:48 PM) : 

A'last, The Sartorialist finally comes of age .. Fashion, what right now? Forget it. The style is in the story.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:03 PM) : 

I go on your site daily (and I was even featured on it once) , but I never comment. I can't not comment about his man. What beautiful photos. The sugar cube image made me feel as though I was there as well. Please visit with him again and tell us more of his adventures.



Blogger Susana Rodrigues said ... (3:46 PM) : 

I adore this photo :) he looks so adorable and stylish in his kind of way!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:17 PM) : 

Lovely story.. how nice of you of sit with him.. thats awesome.. some people have the most amazing stories.. stories of her chilhood, life, family... I hope you see him again.. so you can tell us more about his life...


Blogger Unknown said ... (4:33 PM) : 

ummm.... ever stop and think he could be lying? Looks Senile to me.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (6:35 PM) : 

Just to let you know we spoke English during our conversation

Thanks to all of you for your kind words. I'm glad you all seemed to get as much out of it as I did.

I will try very hard to see him again this October.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:05 PM) : 

I've been reading your blog for months now and it's one of the most enjoyable parts of my day. The way you capture ordinary people in such an extraordinary light; and the way you see beauty everywhere you look is an inspiration. And this is one of my favourite posts ever. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Cheers from Canada.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:20 PM) : 

this is what distinguishes The Sartorialist from all the other street style blogs!


Blogger JCampbell54 said ... (11:42 PM) : 

Good choice, he's gorgeous.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:45 PM) : 

Dearest Sart, Your photos and your stories of this lovely man touch my heart. Thank you for sharing your experiences with this fine gentleman. I hope you do get see him again and share more of his life on your blog. I feel priveliged to have read this little piece of history. As always, xoxox


Blogger G said ... (11:23 AM) : 

You really know how to live!

I met a lady at a coffee house once. She was waiting for her daughter-in-law to pick her up and take her to dinner with all the grands. She was a quite elderly lady, but dressed really stylishly. She was having a hard time getting her coffee, so I (reluctantly I might add) got it for her and brought it to her table.

I was typical young New Yorker, didn't want to stop to deal with some 'old' person. That encounter changed my life. We started talking and she said, "Guess what I did for a living?" and I said, "I bet you were in fashion." and she said, "You are a very astute young lady!" She had been a buyer for Bergdorf's for years and she had many fascinating and funny stories about clothes, men, marriage and children. Lots of adventures. We ended up talking for hours and she invited me to dinner! I met the family. What a day.

I love that you truly are a 'carpe diem' kind of guy.

Only one life, gotta live it. Thanks for being such an inspiration yet again.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:39 PM) : 

Sart, you just made me cry. Beautiful story, beautiful man. Thank you.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:03 AM) : 

His face and his hands tell the entire story! Great!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:03 PM) : 

What a beautiful story. There really is more to life than just fashion, hm?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:41 PM) : 

I love this story! It is really very special. I love seeing the world through your eyes. You make me love fashion and remember it is a creative expression not a status symbol or a way of judging someone's worth on many levels. Thank you for your work!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:47 PM) : 

You know how to live right, choosing to sit and talk with this lovely gent.


Blogger bomb.ass.ting said ... (6:26 PM) : 

This is the reason why I keep coming back to your blog, Sart. It's so much more than just fashion. Thankyou.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:07 AM) : 

You know what they say style is temporary but class is permanent


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:58 AM) : 

well done
you have a beautiful eye for people, as your second shot shows


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:11 AM) : 

I found it cool that Antwerp in French is Anvers which is similar to his name.

lol nm Im a geek.


Blogger SarahW said ... (10:38 AM) : 

Have you had coffee with Mr. Gruzow since then?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:06 PM) : 

this, I could do for a living, indeed. To sit and learn peoples' life stories


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:53 PM) : 


Thank u so much for sharing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 AM) : 

i can relate to this. I'm from australia, born in new guinea and when i was in NYC i sat at a small park (i cant remember the name, but it was triangular, as are many in NYC, near the UN) and an old italian man came and sat by me. He told me it was his usual seat and we began to talk. It turned out that his uncle fought in New Guinea in WWII! My Pop also fought on the Kokoda Trail.. it was so nice to have a connection with someone who would otherwise be a total stranger. Thanks for relating this story to us. Hope you get to catch up with Mr. Gruzow. Peace Sart.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:07 AM) : 

This story really touched me. I hope you meet this lovely man again soon.


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