September 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
June 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment
March 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I had a $25 gift card and a 20% coupon burning holes in my pockets, so I made the trek up to a Barnes and Noble. On my walk, I stopped at Union Station to see if it was still there. I knew they were closing it down (a dispute over rent increases) but thought I would support it while I could in hopes they might decide to stay (futile, I know). I was also thinking they might have a nice sale to clear out the stock.
But when I arrived, the windows were papered over and this enormous, lovely public space was gone. It had always had a surprisingly good selection , including an excellent array of periodicals. And now it’s gone.
I walked a mile further to the downtown store, where I bought Emil Cioran’s A Short History of Decay and an espresso.
While waiting for my espresso, I got an email from Barnes and Noble alerting me to the closure of the Union Station shop and offering a small discount on coffee or tea by way of consolation.
Was today the first day without it? Did it just close down? Had I happened to stop by yesterday, would it still have existed? It just seems an odd coincidence.
March 19, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Damn if Peregrine, which had it’s start over by Eastern Market, just a few blocks away from me, didn’t just win ‘America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition’ in New York.
When they first opened, I loved them. I still like them, but honestly, I feel like their coffee slipped a little in the last couple of years and sometimes… just sometimes… I feel like some other places (namely Pound and Sova) manage to brew a better brew.
But still. Damn good coffee. Good job, Peregrine.
February 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
The artisans versus the cyborgs is what this article is about – Joy in the task: Even the finest restaurants are serving coffee made with capsules. Have we completely lost faith in the human touch?
Basically, a taste test of a very high end automatic espresso machine (Nespresso), versus hand pulled espresso, versus c–p stuff from some place down the street. Obviously, the last wasn’t a serious contender.
I tend to fall on the same side as the author. The Nespresso machine may have won the taste test, but the sameness was noted.
Several years ago, I remember the president of Starbucks convening a bunch of baristas because he felt that the coffee chain had lost something in the systemization and automation of the process: the individual touch and character of a quality barista.
Also, I worked in an office that had a Keurig and frankly, it made terrible, terrible coffee. Maybe it just wasn’t a good enough machine, but I just couldn’t pick out any particularly redeeming qualities. After all, it wasn’t so much easier than just making some coffee the normal way.
Finally, finding good coffee, like finding a good anything, should be a quest. Choosing to walk up to Peregrine Espresso, rather than settling for the Starbucks stand in the grocery store next door. Comparing Peregrine’s coffee with Pound the Hill (note: Peregrine has retaken the title in that fight). Sometimes taking the trip to Sova in the Atlas District or to Chinatown Coffee to explore what distinctions other coffeehouses can offer.
It’s not more about the journey than it is about the destination because, after all, if the destination is c–p coffee, than the whole experience will have kind of sucked. But the journey matters, doesn’t it?
December 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
November 23, 2012 § Leave a Comment
While I can’t argue with the top four (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and the other Portland), it is complete and utter bulls–t to suggest DC has fewer hipsters and/or is less hip than Anchorage, Alaska!
No disrespect to Anchorage, but seriously?
And somehow Savannah and Charleston, too? Both cities have many, many charms, but the adoption of Brooklyn-born subcultures is not one of them.
Oh well. At least Busboys & Poets came in at #2 on the list of America’s coolest coffeehouses.
August 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
August 3, 2012 § Leave a Comment
July 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment