So, I woke up today on my day off from everything, school, work, pretty much all responsibility: Something that is a rarity in my life. Today is Labor Day, or as in France, Fête du Travail, but without all the pretty flower vendors sprinkling the streets with Les Muguets bouquets (Lily of the Valley) which the French traditionally give to loved ones on May 1st. I peeked out the window as I usually do as a first indicator of the weather situation outside…swelteringly hot or bearable? During San Diego summers, these are the only two options for weather. You die of heat exhaustion or you can walk outside and not want to head somewhere riddled with air-conditioning. To my sheer surprise, the weather today is hovering around 16ºC with a cool hint in the air and clouds overhead. I’m not one to cherish the dessert-like climate here, so I was thrilled that I wouldn’t be burned alive today.
As a result of the weather and my lack of anything that I ‘had’ to do today I wanted to take a walk…something that I had taken to as a hobby in Paris, an activity that to be quite honest has fallen from my daily routine because of the total inability to really walk most places in San Diego unless you get your rocks off looking at cloned apartment homes, rundown ranch-style homes, and lots of homeless people. Fortunately though, I have recently moved to a new apartment in Hillcrest/Balboa Park area, also quite close to North Park. Today, I told myself, I will walk! WALK to North Park.
So here I am, finally in North Park, at a lovely café called ‘Café Calabria’. I found the spot after much ‘Yelping’ as to not waste an entire walk, that which might be quite long, going to a bum coffee joint. To my absolute delight, Yelp was yet again accurate in its rating and I have found an amazing new hang out. This Italian inspired café is definitely a place that lives up to what it calls itself. Not quite ‘like being back in Italy’ as some raters have coined it as, but quite close. The menu offerings are items I have seen during my travels in Italy and Europe, the fabulous espresso, and the friendly staff who actually pronounce the Italian names correctly, or at least with a tried effort on the accent part. Love it! I also ordered a Capresse sandwich with buffalo mozzarella, thick heirloom tomato slices, and an amazing basil pesto on a very crunchy (quite FRENCH) style baguette…(I must find out where they purchase their baguettes….I’m still on the hunt for good French bread…The search continues!)
I ordered my usual large brewed coffee (I need my high dose of caffeine…let’s be honest!), then I had to try their espresso, which is what raters have raved about. I ordered a double espresso and have fallen in love. Oh yes, my days of heading to a Starbucks, oh so American because it is close by, I hope, are over.
Benvenuto to Café Calabria, where I hope they can cure me of my café withdrawals.