Edward Hooper: Nighthawks (1942)
That’s me and my girlfriend. It’s 12:30 AM in the big noir playground. Notice the nuke coffee canisters in the background. They’ll keep us going till breakfast, circa 4 AM.
Note: Pay no attention to T. S. Eliot’s big dark city lines: “Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,/The muttering retreats/Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels/And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells.” (The only line that works here is the ‘sawdust/oyster shells’ line; it brings up texture and smell. The other is just cliched pen-pushing, devoid of urgent pungency. (I can do much better, and as soon as I get a really cool pen I will.)