Coffee and a Letter

Woman reading a hand-written letter in the Navarino bakery-café. Mile End, Montreal, September 25, 2004

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Two Stories Over Tokyo

Shinjuku Ginza Tokyo defines concrete jungle: over 2,000 square kilometers of closely-packed, largely monochrome buildings set amid a tangle of clogged, winding roads, elevated highways, rail lines, and telephone wires. For many who are lost amid the ceaseless forward march of its sidewalks and churning perambulations in the corridors of its vast train stations, cafes […]

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Morning Coffee: Tao Dan Park

I knew I would like Ho Chi Minh City the minute I had my first cup of coffee. Any city where it’s normal to take a leisurely mid-morning coffee break is fine by me — especially when those coffee breaks take place with birdcages and newspapers in a public park. Last year, I wrote about […]

Morning Coffee: Toronto’s Café Aesthetic

I Deal Coffee The Communal Mule I was looking forward to spending three days in Toronto last year: good food, fun times with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, aimless autumnal wandering. Instead I was waylaid by a terrible cold I developed on the train from Montreal. I spent much of my time […]

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This Café is Seething! Guy-Concordia Station

DCorbeil | Passage, Montréal 2010 Guy-Concordia Station : 18h37. Il y à cette foule touffue, opaque, qui me traverse sans même me voir. Je suis là, pourtant, à multiplier les clichés de cette cohue fébrile et qui s’agglutine, comme le mercure qui se déverse sur le sol. Une tâche métallique, au reflet d’un soleil au bord […]

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Morning Coffee: Café Olimpico

DCORBEIL | Un caffè et un rêve, 2009 « En chemin, la pluie reprend vigueur et me rattrape rue Saint-Viateur. Je plonge, tête première, au Olimpico. La terrasse, partiellement à l’abri de notre climat capricieux, est déjà bondée par une foule bigarrée de fumeurs, accrocs du caffè, de Bobos, de m’as-tu-vus et autres lesbiennes dépravées. […]

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Coffee and a Newspaper

Café Myriade, Mackay Street, Montreal

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Morning Coffee: Bo(ok)hemian

Sometimes good things do come from the pages of Lonely Planet. Normally (in Southeast Asia, at least), visiting one of the bars or restaurants recommended in its pages will lead you to a place filled Lonely Planet readers of the most insufferable sort. Bo(ok)hemian is not one of those places. Despite its goofy name, it’s […]

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Morning Coffee: Coffee on Demand

Coffee is a big part of the social life of Saigon, a city that somehow manages to be both languid and relentlessly energetic in nearly equal measure. Hundreds of cafés and coffee stands dot the city: relaxed neighbourhood hangouts with a few plastic seats out front to watch the city go by; leafy park cafés […]

Hot Coffee on a Chilly Afternoon

Inside the Social Club café, St. Viateur Street, on a cold November afternoon in 2006

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Chess, Mahjong and Pi

My friends always swore by Café Pi. I never really shared their opinion (its food isn’t great and neither is its coffee) but I could at least appreciate it, since Pi’s customers are an odd mix of students and chess players, all of whom pack into the café’s jarring red-and-black confines until they are kicked […]

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Morning Coffee: Coffee on Cuba

Midnight Espresso Cafe on Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand Wellington has more cafes per capita than Manhattan. At least that is what I was told numerous times by New Zealanders when I mentioned my impending trip to their nation’s capital. Upon arriving in late April, I discovered that the coffee houses of Wellington are […]

Morning Coffee: Bombay’s Zoroastrian Cafes

Zoroastrian carving, Bombay. Thanks to Toreajade. Bombay’s Zoroastrian community emigrated from Iran about 1,000 years ago and brought their religion along with them–the oldest living monotheistic faith. They are also known as Parsis, because of their Persian origin. Since they cannot marry outside the community, they have retained a distinct identity and appearance. They worship […]

Morning Coffee: Café Ekberg, Helsinki

Inside Café Ekberg, Helsinki Most people don’t think of coffee when you mention Helsinki. The usual things that come to mind are death metal bands, formula one racers, and blonde people. Nevertheless, statistics show that Finns are the biggest coffee drinkers on earth. They drink almost twice as much coffee as the French, and nearly […]