Saturday, February 10, 2007

Cafe of the Day: The Grey Dog

In the first of my campaign to get people out of their local neighborhood Starbucks, or Starbuckssssss, I present the Grey Dog's Coffee. Carmine Street, West Village. Yours truly considers this to be one of the best cafe's in town. And the best part, this is not a new establishment aimed at pleasing the masses through market studies. It's been there for years, at least ten I'd say, likely more. I don't even know. I just know it has remained in my warmed with good coffee heart since my days living around the corner. Despite its name, this cafe is no dog. In many ways, it's the heart of the old West Village before all the baby stollers, celebrities and multimillionaire businessmen overtook this former nook of bohemia. And though these types frequent the establishment these days, they haven't spoiled it's charms.

Entering the cafe is a breath of fresh non-Starbucked air. The exposed brick, simple tables, fresh muffin and bread filled counter, and menu on the wall screams NON-CHAIN. It's so refreshing. There's no branding on anything. What they sell is place. And a great breakfast to boot. I mean, it truly is a neighborhood coffee and breakfast (or lunch or dinner) location that remembers that a comfortable and casual environment presents a wonderful way to spend one's day, or an hour at the very least.

Now, if the above sounds like a little slice of fresh bread heaven, think about this. It's up to you, and the rest of the Starfucked masses, to support this type of establishment. Not just in the West Village, but in other necks of New York's woods. This is a city severely lacking in quaint cafes where locals gather and interact, actively or passively. We are oversaturated with corporate coffee. We have accepted the $2+ cups of crap, and been brainwashed into thinking IKEA like interiors are homey and comfortable. We have forgotten that the small businesses need our support. After all, it's the small, local establishments make better neighborhoods.

So the next time you feel the need for unconditional warm and cozy love, check out the Grey Dog's Coffee on Carmine, or rescue another dog in your neighborhood.

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