Monday, April 09, 2007

Holy Java, Batman!

Yesterday was of course Easter Sunday, and therefore my longed-for return to caffeine. As I've been supping the decaf, it wasn't the explosion of joy I'd been expecting, really, because it tasted like normal. I didn't really notice an effect yesterday, but I suspect that the kick of being unexposed to caffeine may come in handy in the forthcoming weeks, what with the frantic paper-writing I shall have to indulge in.

Despite the huge amounts of work this weekend, it was actually incredible enjoyable - particularly as I could watch the snow flutter around the courtyard (which seems to have an eddying effect, which is rather pretty). We went to our new cafe, which is utterly sweet and has absolutely outstanding croissants (WUB, that reminds me - whatever happened to the new bakery?) and serves nutella-equivalent on its tables. Now that's a neighbourhood place I can get behind.

You see, beforehand, it was a bar that was, frankly, quite scary. Not scary as in "I can't go in there, I'll get knifed," but more "The landlord's a bit of a nutter and I don't want to spend all night talking to him." Which seems harsh, as I think he fell quite ill. However, my real problem with it was the seeming lack of effort - the tables, chairs, all seemed as if they were an afterthought--and I got offended that this lack of effort was directed at what my neighbourhood deserves... whereas the new place is sweet, light, airy and, best of all has a big table where you can sit and just chat with others, as at another lovely restaurant near us (which is not only extremely nice but has also been frequented by rather famous politicians...). At the latter, we bumped into a very lovely German woman who lives in Zurich and is compiling a photo encyclopaedia of the street junctions of Manhattan. As you do. I wish I'd got her card, so we could see the results. She's been doing it for years, and is nearing the completion. I imagine that would leave a serious gap in your life, quite frankly.

The gentrification around us is really starting, I feel. I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it's lovely to know that there is a sweet cafe near us, not just diners; it's good to be able to walk ten blocks and go to a genuinely nice wine bar, not just be grateful for somewhere vaguely ok to drink (and it is lovely, much nicer than most in Morningside Heights, for example). On the other hand, I find it worrying that families really are being displaced: Every removal van has taken away Dominican families, and their replacements have been young white students / professionals, often English. That is to say, people like us. Hmm.


wind-up-bird said...

The thing is still wrapped up in paper, like a giant Christmas gift, which quite frankly it will be, whenever it opens, hopefully before Christmas....

missygp said...

Hmm. Not so speedy. The cafe of which I am speaking literally went from nothing to fully operational in three weeks. Unbelievable!