It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


"Habits die hard " and I am here to say Amen to that !

Every afternoon I want to go to a cafe and sit and sip coffee or tea and have a cookie or some nice little baked goody and people watch, chat with my husband, chat with the owner of the cafe and soak in the atmosphere and wonderfulness of what is outside those windows.
Buenos Aires.
As much a "cafe society" as Paris ever was.
No matter where you go, there is at least one cafe on a block .. if the weather is vaguely warm and not raining, chairs are outside and people will be sipping coffee ( black, very black) and nibbling on a scone or some sweet pastry or having a sandwich.
They will be alone, with friends, with children, with lovers .. it doesn't matter.

When we had to meet our realtor when we were first arrived in Buenos Aires and looking for our new home, he always met us at a cafe.

Cafe Biela was the best choice in those days, we lived around the corner in a rental apartment.
As the years went by, we spent afternoons in cafes around the city, with Pup who always got a good table, a bowl of water and many loving pats from the waiters and passersby.

He liked the Evita Cafe, where the cafe has an outdoor area, inside the walls, with quiet corners for sleepy dogs to take a nap while their family spends a long time just having una cafe y medialuna dulce.
He knew all the waiters at the cafes in our neighborhood.
Actually , he knew all the shopkeepers, the park police, their horses and anyone else who happened to be on our block more than once .. Pup was like that, there was no one he didn't like and we never met anyone who did not love him.

Going to cafes was part of how we figured out where things were and where we were in the early days.
Walking to this place and that, taking breaks at a cafe, there are so very many .. the waitstaff is almost always friendly and polite so we soon had our favorites and returned often.
We became "regulars" at a few places. I wonder if they wonder why we didn't come back one day .
This bothers me sometimes, I was unable to say goodbye to all the people who had been a part of our lives for those 7 years..

Now here we are in New York State, up along the Hudson River and we have to drive to any cafe we would like to visit. We have tried a few places and only a couple stand out as memorable and not for the fact that overall, the coffee is tepid and weak and the baked goods are cold and stale and someone just doesn't care.

The Good Ones :
In Great Barrington Ma, there is a coffee place called Fuel.
Perfect name .. just perfect.
It is funky yet clean and always busy and always interesting and the coffee can be delicious. We order Peru French Roasted to bring home for our coffee maker.. we have the House coffee when we stay and we sit at the table in the window if possible so we can watch our new world go by ..
What a difference in views !

In Old Chatham NY is the Old Chatham Country Store
You can sit by a wood burning stove on a cold day and be cozy, surrounded by works of art from local artists, windows that look out on 200 year old homes and trees and well, it is pretty beautiful out there.

And then we go to Hudson NY.
Where every block has a cafe or restaurant, scattered among the many many antique shops.

While I miss Buenos Aires just about every day, at least there are places here that we are discovering and that make the missing not to bad .. the discovering is the good part, the newness is wonderful and the fact that I can understand what everyone is saying is mostly great.
although ... aren't there days when you sort of wished you could not understand everything everyone is saying ?

Today is a gloomy day .. A good Cafe might fix that.


  1. I love cafes and the whole atmosphere of dining outdoors, people watching and delicious baked goods is heaven to me!!

  2. I love doing this too. We mostly end up going to places like Starbucks because it's easier to take young kids there but when we can, we try to do something different.

  3. We've been doing the cafe scene here in Europe and have to admit I've sipped more Cappuccinos than I've ever had in my entire life. The black coffee I usually order is much too strong and bitter and no way will I step inside a Starbucks in these gorgeous old cities! Loved the Cafe Mozart in Vienna right across from an opera house, and in Budapest it was the Callas next door to that opera house! Here in Prague today we had coffee in the sidewalk cafe on the Old Town Square - people watching was awesome!

    I know the changes must be hard for you and I hope you will settle and find cheerful coffee shops and cafes before the Winter comes.

    Hugs - Mary

  4. design chic, yes ! the people watching is half the fun !
    Jennifer, the cafes in BA are crowded with mamas and babies and strollers and everyone else. There were 2 Starbucks that we knew of in BA .. the tourists liked them , the expats shunned them and the PorteƱoes thought they were cool :)
    Mary, the "hardest" change is just being "homesick" for BA. I miss our friends and neighbors and the city. I am adjusting slowly to being out in the middle of nowhere, long drives to markets etc do not charm me.
    But nothing is forever and it is very beautiful here so I am not complaining, just whinging :)


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