My mom and sister gave us a Nespresso Cube for a shower gift. I actually screamed when I opened it. Ever since the day we went to register at the Bay and stopped by the Nespresso concept store, Ash and I have been dreaming of mornings with this sleek machine. And I am not, by nature, a pod kind of gal. I like grinds. I like the simple work of a bodum. But this is no Tassimo. The Nespresso makes real espresso. So this morning, please don’t call. I am not at home. I am at a cafe in Amsterdam. I am also a little dizzy. We can’t stop trying all the pods.
No actual champagne, that is. But I promise, we were still very champagne-like in spirit.
You see, Ash had a craving for sweet and sour pork. So, wandering we went down Commercial Drive with Whiskey in tow to scope out Chongqing (the Szechuan place on the corner of Commercial and 12th that has really great take-out). The only problem is that our champagne vision involved a patio. And Chinese restaurants rarely have patios. It’s true, think of any you know (fusion doesn’t count). Also, it turned out Ashleah’s craving was very specific and did not include “restaurant” Chinese food at all, but “mall” Chinese food (which I actually refuse to assign an ethnicity). So wandering onwards we went, finally ending up at the very opposite end of Commercial (as often happens when we are hungry and trying to make a decision) at a place called Zawa. And yes, we were going to have champagne, but Sleeman’s were on for $3.99/pint. The place was empty, and slightly disjointed with its trendy sign outside and old pub style interior (complete with crazy-haired man eating the $13.99 New York Steak special). Anyway, they have a huge patio. And the owner was nice enough to turn on the heater just for us so Whiskey didn’t have t wait in the car. The waitress was spacey in this oddly charming way and, against all better judgment, we liked the place so much we ordered bruschetta, just because we wanted to give them some business. And you know what? The Bruschetta was pretty good. With balsamic drizzle and roasted cloves of garlic and, sure, a dead looking salad garnish, but who’s perfect? And isn’t that the Champagne spirit? Not waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect place but just raising your glass to the person or place you love and saying, this is perfect enough right now.
Thank you for leaving work so decisively for your lunch hour and driving like a mad woman to Coco et Olive. There is something so beautiful about knowing exactly what will give you pleasure, reprieve, salvation – and when.
This short americano with 1/4 pack of raw sugar and your hand wrapped around spotless white porcelain are just what you needed. It’s steady, certain and knowing, a kind of love passed to you across so many kitchen tables.
Natural light pours into the cafe and winks at you as if to say so many more beautiful things are in store. Your roasted tomato, goat cheese and basil quiche with side salad is only one of them. The dill is a subtle surprise. Then a homemade two-bite espresso brownie arrives at your table. The icing slips off like silk sheets.
It’s simple to find pleasure when you look for it. Today its been traded for $12.49, food made with care and time to yourself. Your Ikea work desk is not this charming red table with its curvy, vintage legs. Try to remember that. Demand more from your daily menu.
Oh, and please stop eating slimy soup from the troughs at the IGA across from your office. I like you better than that.
I love this window on Maple Street & 10th in Vancouver. Its just a block from work, and I walk past it often on my way to La Petite France for Illy coffee and lunch. The window with its pretty chairs and white balls of twine always makes me stop. It must be a designer’s office, but I’ve never seen anyone in there, which makes it easy to believe (as I have many times) that it’s a secret message just for me.
pale the wall.
Love moves away.
The light changes.
I need more grace
than I thought.
I first read that last line in 2004 as part of my horoscope in the Westender. It was a difficult year to say the least. But reading that line, I felt a sudden relief in surrendering to the need for more grace. Even more grace than I thought.
Today, I am full of love and full of light. Nonetheless, I like to practice my grace mantra where I can. And when better than Champagne Wednesday?
Ash is bringing home the bubbly, so I will let you know what we have. Oh, and let me know if anyone out there is joining us. And if so, cheers.
Look for a collage journal tomorrow.
La Petite France – 2655 Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC
Good Friday. A good day for adventure. Ash and I headed out to a little coffee place we found off Commercial Street – Little Nest – and found so much more. A wide, white expanse of a café as comfortable as any living room (family and children included).
The occasional toddler-sized pickpocket aside, the coffee was served to our table in white porcelain cups and the food was well-above anything normally labeled “family-friendly.”
I had: shockingly orange organic eggs and buttered multigrain soldiers. Americano.
He had: seedy muesli with cinnamon-yogourt and orange slices. Americano, too.
Total Bill: $17.50 including well-earned tip.
Whiskey waited outside, but got lots of attention…