Chocolat Show Off, and I'm Not Mad About It

My first cappuccino and sketchbook photo on Instagram, May 14, 2018,  Astoria Coffee.

I've been listening to a podcast about Paris and the Parisian lifestyle, and one of the things that has been mentioned a few times is the Chocolat Show-Off!  This is a snarky or cheeky way of describing the inevitable Instagram photo of a perfect coffee cup in an ideal coffee shop or restaurant.  Although this may be looked down upon or laughed at by some, I thought I take a little stroll down memory lane of my coffee and sketchbook posts!  

Getting some sketching done while waiting for 7pm free admission at the Morgan Library,  August 17, 2018, Piccolo Cafe 

May 2018 is when it all began.  I needed to have a place where I could feel creative, at the point my life consisted of going to work, and head straight home after.  The monotony was stifling, I had stopped painting, and all I had was my sketchbook which was my only creative outlet.    I needed a new kind of stimulus and so I went to the coffee shop a few blocks away from my apartment.  That evening I was in luck, the place was quiet and I graved a seat at the counter by the window.  The light was right, the mood was right, I couldn't pass on the chance of taking a photo of my sketch in progress and my beautiful cappuccino.  After posting this and receiving a fair amount of likes I thought there might me something more to explore here, and the rest is history.

Even if I'm not in NYC, I still manage to find an independent coffee shop to sketch in.  December 2018, Gypsy Javas, Colorado 

Sketching and enjoying a nice cup of joe has become a big part of my life, there's something to be said about the mix of creativity and caffeine.  I used to date a guy who loved hanging out at coffee shops in the city, and it was there where he would do his research and write his papers for his masters in I don't know what!  I would meet him at these places and I will always remember the energy and smell of coffee in the air.  It took me some years to understand it, and now here I am, scouting the best little corners of New York that serve this delicious drink.

 March 2019, Astoria Coffe

Before we go any further I would like to make it clear that I am not a coffee connoisseur, but I do appreciate a well served cappuccino or late.  Also, as a New Yorker, I have the privilege of having a plethora of independently owned coffee shops to choose from.  I refuse to get coffee from Dunkin' or Star Bucks...I rather support small businesses that have better control of their product and their space.  

My home away from home, Now or Never Coffee  

When it comes to quality and mood, Now or Never is where it's at!  I had been eyeing this coffee shop for a long time but we never came together because our hours did not match.  Most places close either at 6pm or 7pm which is the time I'm off from work, which makes it a little difficult.  I was determined to visit this place no matter what, something about it called to me, so I left my apartment in Astoria earlier in the day and went in an hour before work to enjoy some time to myself.  Self care is important, especially in fast paced city such as New York.  It can be mentally exhausting, and if you can find a place to help you reset then by all means go for it, enjoy it.  Since my first visit to Now or Never this place has become a home away from home, I have come to know the staff, who are the most friendly individuals I have met in this city.  Currently because of the shut down, the coffee shop is closed, and I'm missing it terribly.  Prior to our lives being changed by COVID 19 I was in the process of finishing a drawing project for Now or Never, which I'll share on this blog in the near future.

December 2019, Devocion Downtown Brooklyn

 Now or Never Coffee, February 2020

I hope that we can go back to normal soon so that we can all enjoy the little things and places that used to make us happy.  Mine is this coffee shop and I hope they are getting through this crisis.  Remember, even if they are closed for sit down service or walk ins, many of your local establishments are taking orders for pick up, delivery, or shipping.  If you are able to, spend a little bit of money with them and help their business survive.  Every little bit helps.


Really a very extraordinary work.

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