I saw Maria and Rocky in front of Pastry Art of course. And this is the first rocky I have met in this project. I told them about the 100 Strangers project and said that Maria looked like a real character. She burst out laughing, and Rocky said “yep she's a character all right.”
The two of them used to work at Pastry Art and Maria was the manager for a while. She said that when ownership changed about three years ago, the whole culture became too serious. Nobody smiled (that has not been my experience). Now they each work at eateries within a few blocks of where we sat. Both were engaging, and Maria's hearty laugh is contagious.