Tag Archives: cafes

Design … Boxes of Juice and Water at Butcher’s Daughter … Nolita, New York 

For decades mass-market juices and milk were sold in paper-box cartons, but in recent years all sorts of other juices and beverages have been packaged in new, cleverly designed containers as in the example below of beautifully packaged juices and water (the first time we’ve ever seen water in a box carton) at the Butcher’s Daughter restaurant and cafe in New York’s Lower East Side.

“Water is the Most Essential Element of Life Because …”

This signage made our day. It’s in front of the Jolly Goat, a tiny espresso bar in Hell’s Kitchen, in New York City, and reads: “Water is the Most Essential Element of Life Because w/out water you can’t make coffee.” True.

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On the Street … Drive-Thru Coffee Mural at Zebra Coffee

Zebra House Coffee is probably the best place to get an espresso coffee in the surf-mecca Southern California town of San Clemente. It’s a laidback cafe and a fine space to sip on an iced Americano while flipping through back issues of Surfer magazine. In fitting SoCal fashion, Zebra offers a drive-thru service, and it has this cool graffiti-style, street-artsy mural painting for signage pointing customers in the right direction.

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Cool Spaces … At Happy Bones Coffee NYC

Lately we’ve started popping into the recently opened Happy Bones Coffee a lot. (See pix below.) Happy Bones is an Aussie Kiwi-staffed espresso cafe in downtown New York City. It’s a tiny place with three tables on an short, less-remarkable stretch of Broome Street in the ill-defined, mashed-up border area where Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo and Nolita all converge at the Lower East Side’s western edge.

Happy Bones serves up a solid menu of third-wave coffee brews and espresso drinks, including an honest “flat white.” Their coffee is roasted and supplied by Counter Culture (its barista training center is a couple of blocks away). But what really strikes us about the cafe is its decor, the clever design and clean style of the small space, which is drenched in a white minimalist color scheme that’s warm and inviting rather than cold and stark. A skylight and floor-to-ceiling glass frontage draw light into the place and give it some comfortable airiness.

The cafe has a legit downtown-culture and art vibe. A playlist of mostly 1980s and ’90s British music invariably is playing over the sound system (tunes by the likes of the Clash, Specials, Blur, etc.) and a collection of coffee-table art and photography books are on sale next to bags of coffee beans.

BTW … what’s with all the Australian expat baristas and bartenders in NYC these days? Seems like an invasion, and we <3 it. (The Kiwi invasion, too.) 😉

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On the Scene … At Propellor Coffee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

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We recently popped by Propellor Coffee in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on one of those interminable snowy days during this year’s remarkably harsh winter in New York City. This cafe is a solid, local ‘third-wave” coffee joint with much more generous space than many of the miniscule espresso bars that these days seem to be opening up every five seconds in NYC. The atmosphere is warm, mild, friendly, unobtrusive amid a decor of spare 1960s- and ’70s-era vintage furniture and walls filled with thematic, similarly aged and well-preserved photography of airplanes and airlines, in keeping with the spirit of the cafe’s name. The usual retinue of cafe punters are here, the laptop brigades and freelance designer/scriptwriter/fashion blogger types, and the local hipster coffee nerds. It’s a wonderful place to while away an hour or two on a lazy Saturday afternoon nursing a hot latte while reading an actual printed newspaper copy of the New York Times, checking your Instagram, and staying warm.

Broken-Heart Macaron at Cafe Grumpy

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Super delicious macarons at Cafe Grumpy, an espresso bar and cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, including the one pictured here with a cute broken heart graphic printed on it. Yummy! Pop-cultural reference: This Cafe Grumpy is used as the location set for the Cafe Grumpy that appears in Lena Dunham’s hit HBO television series Girls.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from New York’s Lower East Side!

Merry Christmas! Happy holidays! We’re in NYC this Christmas day and although we don’t usually get caught up in the holiday traditions — it’s just not our thing —  it’s nice to see a Christmas tree as we sip a hot Blue Bottle cappuccino on this very cold Christmas afternoon in New York’s Lower East Side. It’s also really nice to see the downtown streets so quiet, as most businesses are closed, except for this recent cafe addition to the LES espresso coffee scene called Whynot on Orchard Street.

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Design … Framed Classic Roots Reggae Album Covers at Miss Lily’s

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The restroom at Miss Lily’s — a Jamaican-and-reggae-themed cafe and shop in downtown New York City — is decorated with the framed record covers of roots reggae and dub music classics from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Our favorite is the cover for Dr. Alimantado’s “Best Dressed Chicken in Town” record pictured above.

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In New York … The Postcard-Worthy Interior of Pulino’s

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Pulino’s on the Bowery is our downtown go-to weekend spot for Italian-style brunches in New York City. The food and atmosphere are great. And its location at the corner of Bowery and Houston streets means it’s in a prime spot for taking a break during our usual weekly art circuit and close to the action. The Deitch Wall is across the street. The New Museum is a block away, as is Rag & Bone, Banksy’s recent “Grim Reaper” installation, and a few other often-changing commissioned street art spaces. A dozen or so of the nearly 100 galleries now in the Lower East Side are two or three minutes away on foot. Like so many restaurants these days, Pulinos delivers its check to your table with a postcard, which we love.

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City Life … Surfer Wetsuits Drying Out in NYC LES

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Surfer wetsuits hanging out to dry on a sidewalk clothes rack on Orchard Street in front of Lost Weekend NYC, a surfing-themed cafe and shop in New York’s “Below Delancey” neighborhood of the Lower East Side (LES). The small cafe is a magnet for neighborhood regulars, surfers, and art-fashion-media and other creative folks living and working in the LES.

Urban Life … Barzinho, Favela Chic by Night and Day

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One of our favorite local hangouts near Global Graphica HQ in New York City’s Lower East Side is Barzinho, a Brazilian bar and restaurant that has a distinct favela-chic style that feels directly imported from Rio de Janeiro’s many hillside slums. The food here is breat, BTW! Check out these photos of the interior.

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On the Scene … Back at Miss Lily’s NYC

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We’re fans of Jamaican-styled Miss Lily’s, a roots reggae record shop and Internet radio station that’s also a cafe and “juicebox” — a place that makes fresh smoothies and juices — on Houston Street, on the border of SoHo and Greenwich Village, in downtown Manhattan, NYC. The full name is Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juicebox and Record Shop. (Melvin makes the smoothies.) Readers of this blog may recall we’ve posted about Miss Lily’s before and published images of the interior. Here are some pix of the exterior and some of the yummy food.

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At Saturdays Surf in Tokyo

The spacious Saturdays Surf store (pix below) in the fashionable border strip between Tokyo’s uber-hip Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro neighborhoods is a carbon copy of its New York City original in terms of winning retail branding concept: Espresso bar and a collection of over-priced surfboards at the front of the shop and an inviting wood-decked outdoor patio behind the store. Between the two sections is the merch, that wonderful collection of aspirational surfer-inspired fashion and accessories that punters must walk through when they take their freshly brewed Americanos out back. It’s a kind of exit-through-the-gift-shop tactic but even better ’cause the customer has to walk through the store twice even if they’ve just come to enjoy a cup of espresso on the back patio. The clothes are well made, there’s cool selection of Van’s and tees, and even a curated collection of surfer photography books and videos. And there’s actual surfing gear like board shorts, fins and wax for sale, too.

In terms of style, the interior of SS Tokyo is a stand-alone building with fresh, clean lines and a Malibu contemporary feel, whereas the NYC flagship on SoHo’s Crosby Street is cozy and crammed into a long, narrow, old-school brick-and-mortar tenement (espresso bar at front, outdoor patio in the back, dubbed “The Backyard”), albeit with that SS arty-urban-surfer-dreams-of-Bondi Beach aesthetic indelibly stamped on the interior. Props to Tokyo for getting Kurtis Kulig, the “Love Me” dude, to write that ubiquitous graffiti meme on the wall behind the espresso bar. In any case, if you’ve got the time, the Tokyo SS is worth a visit, if even for a coffee and the relaxing patio deck and its view of laidback Naka-Meguro. The clothes are super dope, too. For more check out SS’s regularly updated blog.

[Traduction française ci-dessous. | Traducción al español está por debajo de | 以下の日本語訳。]

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Voici quelques photos du magasin de surf samedi dans le quartier entre Daikanyama et Naka-Meguro à Tokyo. L’intérieur de la boutique est belle, bien-design. Le concept de magasin est basé sur le concept original qui a débuté dans la ville magasin de surf samedi à New York. Il ya un bar à espresso à l’avant du magasin, et une terrasse extérieure à l’arrière du magasin.

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Aquí están algunas fotos de la tienda Surf sábados en el barrio entre Daikanyama y Naka-Meguro, en Tokio. El interior de la tienda es muy bonito diseño. El concepto de tienda se basa en el concepto original que se inició en la ciudad de sábados tienda Surf Nueva York. Hay una cafetería en la parte delantera de la tienda, y un patio al aire libre en la parte trasera de la tienda.

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ここでは東京の代官山と那珂目黒、間に近所で土曜日サーフストアのいくつかの写真があります。店舗の内部は美しい、十分に-デザインです。ストアコンセプトは、ニューヨーク·シティ土曜サーフ店で開始された独自のコンセプトに基づいています。店の前にあるエスプレッソバー、店の奥の屋外パティオがあります。

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Hier sind einige Bilder des Samstags Surf Shop in der Nachbarschaft zwischen Daikanyama und Naka-Meguro, in Tokio. Das Innere des Ladens ist schön, gut-design. Das Store-Konzept basiert auf dem ursprünglichen Konzept, das an der New York City samstags Surf Shop gestartet beruhte. Es ist eine Espresso-Bar an der Front des Ladens, und eine Terrasse auf der Rückseite des Ladens.

At Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juice Box and Record Shop

We’re taking a break from this steamy hot July 4th weather this afternoon to enjoy a coconut banana smoothie and bask in the atmosphere (live radio-DJ’d dub reggae and Carib decor) of Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juice Box, a Jamaican-style cafe, juice bar and record shop in SoHo / Greenwich Village in New York City. One of our favorite places in NYC.

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At Bear Pond Espresso in Tokyo

Over the weekend we posted about some coffee we had from a third-wave espresso roaster and cafe in Tokyo called Bear Pond Espresso. As our regular readers already know, we here at Global Graphica are kind of obsessed with hunting down the best coffee wherever we go. Here are some pix of the Bear Pond cafe and surrounding area in Tokyo’s Shimokitazawa neighborhood as seen from the street. (The cafe has a policy against taking photos inside without permission, so we just have a few quick snapshots from outside.) Bear Pond is the fussiest, most meticulous and attentive espresso purveyors and coffee roasters we’ve ever met, which is why we like them and their coffee so much. They’re also really nice and have great style. As noted in that earlier post, they only prepare and serve espresso for two and a half hours each day, from 10:30am to 1:00pm. Furthermore, they’ll only sell some of their coffee beans to you if you first take a short course they offer on how to properly prepare the coffee in the Chemex style. We have to say, their coffee is probably the best we’ve had anywhere.

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Favela Chic at Barzinho … New York City

We’re fans of Barzinho, a tiny Brazilian restaurant in New York’s Lower East Side that has the bare-bones, scrappy feel of a Carioca favela and a yummy menu of traditional comfort food. The decor is favela chic. The atmosphere is informal, friendly and super, super laidback. If you’re a downtown Manhattanite and Barzinho sounds familiar, that’s because it used to be in Tribeca, but  closed down and re-opened a few months ago in its new, current location at 48 Hester Street in the LES. Check out these exterior photos of Barzinho.

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