February 25, 2014

SUNDAY MORNING COFFEE: Steaming Hot Coffee, acrylic on canvas

I took off in a rush this past Sunday morning, a lovely 'spring tease' of a day—one of the few warmer, sunny days we've had all winter—and a perfect day to get out with my camera. I headed downtown to the Canada Gallery on the LES to catch an art exhibition before it closed. The show, Stupid, Crazy, Ridiculous, Funny Patterns, of  oversize paintings by Katherine Bernhardt, was written up by Roberta Smith in Friday's NYTimes, 'Art in Review,' section. You can check out the website and Bernhardt's paintings at CANADANEWYORK

What initially caught my attention in the Smith review, and fittingly a subject for this blog, were the titles, Steaming Hot Coffee... of two of the paintings in the show (favorites of course). I'd seen the artist's work before on FB postings but not up close, and I won't pretend to play at being an art critic, but in a word they are bold, colorful, clever and whimsical. They remind me of street art, taken to another level. I wish I had gotten there early enough to recommend the show, but if you can't make this one, keep a lookout. 

Ice Cream (Chocolate and Pistachio) and Steaming Hot Coffee, 2013, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 72x72in

Steaming Hot Coffee and Cigarettes and Pizza, 2013, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 120x96in.

And, on the way home, an advantageous quick shop at Whole Foods, and... a quick cup of coffee!

Whole Foods, Coffee Bar, Bowery @ Houston.

February 14, 2014

CAFE AU LAIT: Hemingway in Paris

"...I came to a good café that I knew on the Place St.-Michel. ... It was a pleasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly. I hung up my old water-proof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a café au lait. The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write." ...A girl came in the café and sat by herself at a table near the window... "
                               —Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast: Chapter One

Hemingway wrote these lines in the throes of a wet winter day—the 'good café' he refers to in this excerpt no longer exists, but Brasserie Lipp, St Germain des Prês, where Hemingway wrote his pre-war correspondence, is still around. I took this pic there, sitting alone near the window, on a sunny spring day—oh for a sunny spring day—much too long ago.

Many of the 'old' haunts still serve as tourist meccas, places for nostalgic reverie, never mind that the coffee was not very good. But Paris's new cafés, the trendy cafés of les jeunes, have elevated the beverage to designer status. What better reason to return again, soon.

Brasserie Lipp, Paris, 1980?

And, here's a charming link I like, a FBpage, on Paris, 
coffee and assorted other delicious goodies: https://www.facebook.com/espressoparis