Day 4: Caffe Pallino

This morning I had coffee with my wonderful friend Ashley Henry and we had, as always, a wide-ranging conversation, touching on all the things that come up for each of us this time of year. When we meet – not often enough – we meet at Caffe Pallino because it is right near her house and my office.

There are lots of things I like about Pallino. For one thing, it’s one of the few good cafes that stays open well into the evening. And the baker occasionally puts out a sample plate right next to the register of big huge chunks of house-made coffee cake, scones, muffins, and cinnamon rolls. They make great breakfasts, don’t get crowded for Sunday brunch, and have fabulous gelato.

Like a lot of coffee shops, the place doubles as an art gallery. Unlike a lot of coffee shops, the art they hang is really good. The bright, open decor (which another friend of mine doesn’t like because she says it’s too “shiny”) doesn’t hurt. The art here consistently says to me: take me home. Someday I will. Today I’m just happy to have had a chance to let my eyes wander the walls and be grateful to this artist, whose name I don’t even know, for putting together lines and oil and string in the colors of night and light and earth, just right for this light-and-dark earthy time of year.

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