Archive for August, 2007

Off to Center City

I took the train into Center City Philadelphia yesterday and walked around for several hours visiting coffee and waffle shops.  Some of the many interesting sights included a young blond “skanky” woman who was puking pink smoothie on to the street.  When she was done she hacked a little bit, sat down on a bench, then got back up to dry heave a bit.  There was also a homeless man with a red baseball hat onto which he had duct taped a rather large piece of card stock with a great deal of hand written text.  It may have been bible verses, I’m not sure, but he certainly intended it to be read by all.  He crossed the street with an umbrella used as a walking stick, approached the trash bin, and selected two clean sheets of copy paper which he folded in half and pocketed.  I thought to myself, “yes, good find”.

The city was bustling with movement, indifferent personal discomfort, friendly to strangers, warm and sunny, and saturated with brilliant architecture and history.  I loved it.

The Comcast Building is towering montrosity in glass and steel.  When you stand at the base of it, though, you don’t really notice it much.

A Visit to Chestnut Hill

I am sitting in the dining room of Chestnut Hill Coffee Co., and I am basking in the soft sun lit window looking out on a cobble stone street lined with trolley tracks and lackadaisical pedestrians in the upscale Germantown, Chestnut Hill district along Philadelphia’s Main Line. A parking spot opened up about a block up, and I could smell the familiar aroma of coffee roasting somewhere. I knew I was in the right place.

I ordered a double espresso, which barely filled a LaMarzocco brand demitasse half way. It was wonderful.

Sorry for the blurry picture with bad color. Ever since my camera was stolen I am reduced to the phone camera. Not visible in this photo is a great deal of dark “chestnut” brown flecking. I have not had a truly satisfying ristretto style shot since I left North Carolina, and it was damn refreshing.

I complemented the short drink with mug of “aged” Sumatra. Even through a paper filter it was full of the musty shroominess of distant lands, and hinting at the street market transactions of the Betel Nut chewing ladies of the bazaar. It comes with one free refill.

My experience was made complete with very good and friendly service. From start to finish, this is a great place to drink coffee and enjoy cafe life.

Bicycles, Bicycles, Bicycles

What is the connection between coffee roasters, or coffee people for that matter, and fixed gear bicycles? Anyway, if you want to help some Rwandan coffee cyclist upgrade from a wooden bike to a steel frame, you could get your gear together and head down to Durham NC and get into the scavenger hunt.