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Monday, January 21, 2008

Cuppa Joe To Go

Second Avenue
Photos by myself on Second Avenue in the East Village.

There's a gritty authenticity to this part of the city, making it one of my favorite neighborhoods.


It was cold today and brightly sunny. I was excited to spend the day with Mark and drive into the city. I imagined myself walking around and snapping loads of great photos.

But with the cold, walking around was not an option. We had just enough motivation to lunch at our favorite Afghani restaurant on St. Mark's Place and buy a pound of coffee.

If you're ever around Second Ave and St. Mark's, drop by Porto Rico Importing Company, a little hole in the wall that's stoked with beans from around the world. The service is a little heavy on attitude, but the goods are excellent.

I have to wonder whether I read about this place in the Times Real Estate section eons ago. Someone had written a letter to the paper about living above a coffee store and having physical reactions to the caffeine wafting from below. The Times basically responded 'Too bad.'

I empathize. Standing in line is enough stimulus for me. Strangely, the barristas are not nervous wrecks. They move like fashionably pierced three-toed sloths.

While on line today, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of one of the various strains of bean. The average price at Porto Rico for blended, flavored or organic coffees is 8 bucks a pound. Here was one very special strain from Jamaica, priced at a whopping 49 bucks a pound.

Hello??! Are you kidding??

If I had an extra wad of cash just lying around, I'd try me a cup. But alas, no such luck.

You can even order bird-friendly beans from the Porto Rico's online store.


Anonymous said...

Expensive beans indeed! The "Do Not Put Hands in Beans" sign is hilarious.

I could not get the hang of drinking filtered coffee when I was in the US. I'm guessing that is the reason why Starbucks is on almost every corner of every block in NYC :)

Spandrel Studios said...

Holy cow! $49 a pound!? I admit, the "hands in beans" sign caught my eye first. I guess without it, they'd have too many people indulging their Amelie tendencies (that scene where she delves into the lentils is adorable).

Sounds like you had a great day off despite the chill!

Kitty said...

Yes, PP, there are Starbucks everywhere. I once made the mistake of planning to meet a friend at one on the UWS, without knowing there was another virtually around the corner. We missed each other because we failed to specify exact coordinates!

SS, I love that Amelie scene, too. She really is my idol.

I have to wonder how much it works out per bean?

Ha Ha Sound said...

I love Porto Rico. I live right by there, and buy coffee beans from there also. Although I agree, the service is usually pretty abysmal. Oftentimes, the kids behind the counter are more concerned with the music on the CD player than actually helping people.

And $45 for a pound of coffee is a lot, but not unheard of. I have a friend who's considered to be a "master roaster", and the coffee he roasts himself sells for about that much.

Kitty said...

whoa, Haha, I stand corrected, though I cannot imagine spending so much on beans.

You are officially on my Envy List, especially if you live on one of the lovely side streets like 9th or 10th. Short walk to the Lower East Side and all the cool bars there. Heaven!

Mom Knows Everything said...

Wow, that's expensive coffee. I think I'll stick to my $1.50 cup of coffee at Tim Hortons.