Monday, February 20, 2012

Prozac Ain't My Road to Happiness

Many days I miss being alone in a bustling coffee shop with my music, literature and thoughts. To settle on a couch or chair for hours and grow unaware of my surroundings, sipping on a large piping hot cappuccino until the last—now cold—sip marks my time to depart. Between 2002 and 2004, when San Diego was "home," I'd take a break from social movement theory by fiddling through a Nick Hornby novel at Claire de Lune in North Park or checking out the Monaco-Grand-Prix curves on the sexy bespectacled emo chick tending the till at Pannikin Coffee & Tea on Girard Avenue. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, I'd roll out of bed at 6 a.m. and drive down to Mission Coffee Cup in La Jolla for breakfast quesadillas and the house brew. I spent so many hours in solitude drinking coffee, reading and writing that one day my mother, Mrs. Broken Record, felt compelled to audit me. Following a twenty-minute conversation, she advised that I could save close to $1,500 per year by cutting down on this fleeting luxury. I told her that if that was the price to pay to stave off depression, she could either hop on my road to happiness or bankroll a healthy stash of Prozac. Woman hung up.

Even though The Rock's coffee culture (i.e. booming social hour) is not very conducive to my modus operandi, I have found a few spots sprinkled throughout the city where I can defeat depression for about four Euros a mug and ample space to read a book, write (productivity galore!) and slam my head to my music of choice (right this second—Jeff Buckley's posthumous Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk.) So this post is dedicated to them. And, by the way, if you ever see more than one person flipping through a book at a Cypriot coffeehouse, there's a good chance you might either have to dial 112 to send the paramedics or count your blessings and wait for the deluge.

Gloria Jean's Coffees (Andrea Avraamides Street 50, Strovolos, Nicosia) - Located diagonally from Aretaeio hospital, this warm coffeehouse is often packed with pregnant women, morose patients and the usual suspects like myself. Plugs abound for laptops, my preferred spots the four tables leaning against the long wooden wall right across from the counter. Up until recently, they had the best coffee mugs on The Rock but for some reason felt the need to change them for some clunky black things that fit my lips as well as Hugh Heffner in a West Texas retirement home. Loyalty card (Buy 10, Get 1 Free) and plenty of parking at the back are a plus. Whine On The Rocks Rating: 4 out of 5 Sparkling Spatulas.

View from my usual table at Mocca
Mocca Café (Stasinou 44, Nicosia) - My neighborhood coffeehouse with a modern yet homey decor. Quite small but a few tables tucked towards the back of the room are perfect for those hard at work. Probably one of the only establishments that has flat whites—a smaller, more flavorful cappuccino—on offer. Salads and sandwiches are also tasty and, to Mrs. Broken Record's excitement, prices with a discount card are far more affordable than those at the chains. Two large televisions usually screen football matches or music videos and the baristas are friendly. Whine On The Rocks Rating: 4 out of 5 Sparkling Spatulas.

1 comment:

Louis Symeonides said...

Did you know: That at Mocca cafe they roast their 100% Arabica beans in 5kg batches to ensure that the customer never gets a coffee older than 7 days from the day of roasting! That means freshly roasted coffee !! every time !

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