Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
So it's not a terrible thing. Starbucks did a great thing in making quality coffee a norm, though I'll never forgive them for their bastardization of the meaning of "machhiato". I just usually pride myself on seeking out the smaller, local places like Boutique del Libro or Lentas Maravillas. But it's only one particular Starbucks in the city. I mean, I've only been to one other, the one in the Alto Palermo mall so I really can't expound on all the Starbucks in the city, but the one I'm at, in Belgrano on Federico Lacroze, is really the only place I want to be right now. Since I got to Buenos Aires I've been looking for that one cozy place, walking distance from my apartment*, my Haymarket away from Haymarket, you know? Boutique del Libro came close, but it's a haul to get there and they lack comfy chairs. But this Starbucks is really great. It's an old converted house so it has a sweet upstairs with 3 rooms packed with comfy chairs and work tables and some beautiful stained glass windows that open like french doors. And they even play decent music. So I'm here to stay. I'm sure I'll make up for it when I'm back in Northampton in 61 days.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Something that IS remarkable about Colonia is a little café called Lentas Maravillas. I love this place so much; I selfishly don’t want to share it with anyone else! It’s literally in someone’s living room—take a wrong turn going to the bathroom and you end up in a bedroom! They’ve got good coffee, especially on a breezy day, and a fun menu that includes 5 o’clock tea with chocolate chip cookies! When I took my family there, another family with 2 younger girls had just ordered the last 3 cookies (heartbreak). But they were just about to bake another batch, so we lounged and checked out the library full of cookbooks, travel books, books on film theory, fiction and non-fiction, (tons of books in English!) while our cookies were baked to perfection and served warm and melty, next to a cup of Illy coffee. Did I mention they have a fireplace roaring in the corner of the room? And a wall of windows with a view of the river?
Jackie and I first went there together during her visit. We noticed the sign outside the door as we were walking into the old town and decided to come back later if we had time to kill before getting back on the ferry. When we were there we sat by the fire, drank coffee, and deliberated heavily on whether or not to order dessert. The discussion was cut short when a local journalist came in to interview the owners and snap some photos for a review. She ended up taking quite a few of Jacqueline and I. Our previous dessert discussion was moot when we were served a free chocolate cheesecake with raspberries and fresh whipped cream for the “inconvenience” of being photographed for a magazine while sipping coffee and reading our books.