Thank you, sweet Patron Saint of all Things University, for this Labor Day weekend. Recently back from an internship in Guatemala, and then a semester abroad in Vietnam, I am the epitome (thank you spell check for that one) of dazed and confused. A three-day weekend of sleeping late, cafes, biking, friends, and food is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Readjustment is real folks, very very real. Logjam was one of the more terrifying evenings back. For the uninitiated, Logjam begins with hundreds of students, faculty, and staff meandering around a maze of tables with smiling, enthusiastic individuals representing their respective clubs. Once I finally found the Permaculture Club table that I was to rep, its safe to say I was in a state of shock. My fear then turned into anger, as I saw a helicopter, yes helicopter, drop hundreds of ping-pong balls on eager individuals. Exorbitant spending on seemingly frivolous things (unless I’m missing something) isn’t the easiest thing to swallow after these past seven months.
If I may, let me talk about a caffeinated beverage that is easy to swallow… espresso. It’s been a theme of my first week back, and I believe it is going to continue throughout my last year. I just started a new job with the Oppenheimer Café, and I am in love. Yes, I work with beautiful people and am learning to make the drink of the gods. I’ll take it. Since our coffee comes from a local roaster, A.J. of Valhalla, all Oppenheimer baristas are free to take barista lessons from A.J. on Saturday and Sundays evenings. The man is married to coffee. And I mean that quite literally, as he has a tattooed ring of coffee beans around his ring finger on his left hand. He lives coffee, loves coffee, and wants us to do the same. Our Sunday night lesson consisted of about two hours just on how to pull a perfect shot. Ideally, you want put the 15 grams of freshly ground espresso beans, tamp it with a weight of 37 pounds, and pull the shot in 15-20 seconds, immediately pairing the shot with perfectly steamed milk so as to avoid oxidation. I was told to look for a red brown color, and a striped and speckled layer of crème on the top. Perfection states so sweet. And, to my delight, 6th avenue now has two amazing cafes! Café Dei, and then Beyond the Bridge Café, both of which make an amazing cup of Italian espresso. At Café Dei, the owner made me the most heavenly mocha…with freshly grated orange… bliss. So, thanks to my new dear friend, espresso. You saw me through this week, and may this be the beginning of a long a beautiful relationship.