I got today’s celebration out of the way first thing today and in doing so, I discovered a new spot that I hope find’s much success. It was National Cappuccino Day and I decided to forego my cup of coffee upon waking up and grab my first cup of the day at a new coffee shop that just opened up down in Island Park (which is essentially around the corner from us, about a mile away). It’s called Thrive and they opened back on October 21st. The building I understand used to be a spot for aquarium supplies, but the owners have gutted the place and created a pretty beautiful spot. I wasn’t expecting that. In fact, when I hear a coffee shop was coming, I was underwhelmed by the news thinking we have enough coffee spots around here. This morning was cold and damp with gusty winds that were whooping and a whopping, and when I pulled into the lot, I was the only person there. I was starting to wish I had just enjoyed a coffee at home, but then I opened the front door and I was pleasantly surprised.
You could tell immediately that they had put a lot of work into the shop. The first thing you notice is the giant wooden tree which seems to sprout from the floorboards. I know you’re thinking, “aren’t all trees wooden?”, but this is a tree carved (or shaped) from wood. Behind it, neatly nestled is the coffee bar which looks more like an actual bar and welcoming. There is a display case to the right to showcase some baked goods (not a huge selection, but I’m sure they are still figuring out what will work) and behind that is the kitchen behind closed doors. To the left was a really big open, cozy space. In the front there was a fireplace keeping things toasty and comfortable places to sit scattered around with the fireplace as the focal point. In the middle was a side room which seemed to be set up to accommodate kids. I thought serving kids espresso and cappuccino was a bit neglectful, but it was an area that sure looked inviting for toddlers with giant stuffed animals and games neatly strewn about. In the back of the shop, you could look out to see a great view of the cove and there were nicely placed Adirondack chairs outside one the lawn to sit in and watch the water (if it wasn’t 40 degrees). The whole place was clean, cozy and charming. I ordered my cappuccino with non-fat milk (which is Starbucks-ese for skim) and decided to go with a pumpkin muffin. The service was friendly and fast (although I should qualify that by saying I was the only customer). They made my cappuccino with an actual espresso machine. I thanked them and walked out back into the cold with my coffee, muffin and an appreciation for what they created.
A cappuccino is an espresso based drink of Italian origin made with 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and 1/3 wet foamed milk. The difference between a latte and a cappuccino is the milk content. A latte has a lot of milk, whereas a cappuccino is more a strong coffee. Usually I go for a latte, but I always forget that I prefer less milk, so a cappuccino is actually my preferred coffee drink. The one from Thrive was really good. Made with care which always shows (and which is not always apparent at Dunkins). They also use local beans from Coastal Roasters in Middletown. The pumpkin muffin was good too. A muffin is hard to eat in a car so I wasn’t getting the full enjoyment of that. I wished I had taken the extra time to enjoy it at the coffee house in front of the fire. It was a good start to my day and glad I could get my celebration out of the way. I am hoping that they succeed at Thrive because they have started on the right foot. It’s a welcoming little spot, so check them out if you are in the neighborhood. Tell them Dan sent you (if you want to confuse them because they will have no idea who I am).
Today was National Harvey Wallbanger Day too and I celebrated this last year on November 8th. I even bought a giant bottle of Galliano for the occasion which will last me until I die. That day, if you recall, was also election day. So, to be festive, after I got home from voting I made myself a Harvey Wallbanger and sipped it as I watched the results come in. The Wallbanger wasn’t that bad if I recall. The election was. Really bad. In fact, over the course of the last 465 days, this day ranks up there with one of the lows. It was the shock that night that got me. The How? The Why? What had come since that day has only reenforced the reason to ask those same questions. When another National Harvey Wallbanger Day rolled around, I wasn’t so excited about indulging in that drink again. It seems that every time I have one, a Demogorgon is released into the world. I couldn’t deal with that again. I didn’t need to revisit all those feelings. As long as the Galliano sits there out of place on our liquor cabinet, the more I know that there is still a fight going on against it all. We all have to do our part and keep doing it.
Next up: National Scrapple Day