Thursday, October 23, 2008

Java Journeys: The Coffee Shop on Madison

It's been a long time since I've come anywhere close to kismet.

The word with the Turkish roots means fate, and I can only say that fate was working slowly, letting months pass before bringing me to The Coffee Shop on Madison in the heart of O'Bryonville.

But there I sat, at a quiet table with my daydreams and a book, literally staring Kismet in the face.

As it turns out, the coffee shop is not just across from Kismet (a women's clothing store with distinctive, somewhat whimsical designs), but is just next door to Hemptations, which is perhaps what you feel when you're lured to sturdy ropes and flowing fabrics worthy of Woody Harrelson during a Letterman appearance.


I stepped in The Coffee Shop on Madison and instantly was struck by familiarity - Sheryl Crow on the radio - one of my favorites. I asked the barista what seasonal beverages she could offer me and decided on the gingerbread latte, deciding to forgo a repeat of last night's pumpkin spice latte.

My eyes danced around the counter tops and shelves, noticing Taste of Belgium waffles and Tom's Pot Pies, served warm from a heated case. As the barista put fresh whipped cream on my mug of goodness, I spied the chalkboard menu of drinks, including the "candy bar lattes." The flavors recalled liquid versions of the best Fun Size candy bars you'll find in your pillow cover on Halloween Night.

For a split second I regretted not ordering the Buckeye flavored latte.

I returned to my table in the side room, which was appointed with cozy love seats and several pub-height tables. My seat faced the window, and I imagined a bustling shopping district during the holidays, with rosy-cheeked shoppers dodging snowflakes and toting glossy bags full of custom stationary, designer shoes and vintage posters.

The computer found the free wi-fi signal with ease (no password needed) and I started plunking around on the keyboard as customers dashed in for their own caffeine fix. A young mother and her kindergarten-age son grabbed a love seat below some of the floral still-life paintings, waiting to meet Dad for a drink. Some young professionals sat in the back of the room, talking shop over tall, paper cups filled with something steamy.

The tunes on the radio were more familiar than the other coffee shops this week, a mix of Nelly Furtado and Amy Winehouse and other personal favorites. I think this micro-genre of music did well to fit the hip but laid back ambiance of the shop.

I sipped on my gingerbread latte (which tasted more like pumpkin pie than last night's pumpkin spice latte) what else kismet had in store for me in the days ahead.

Hopefully all good things - and a dash of spice.


kate said...

hi, your blog is very interesting
we seem to have alot of common interests, please ck out our new blog, thanks , kate

WestEnder said...

What the... where am I? Who's blog is this?

I like it... nice layout, cool background.

patrick said...

Hmm, despite going to highschool literally right around the corner at Summit Country Day, I never made it to the Coffee Shop on Madison. I'll have to check it out.

Cincy is so fortunate to have such great independent coffee houses. Have you been to the Highlands on Highland Ave. in Coryville? Very eclectic, folksy, Bob Dylan/Joan Byaz type of feel. Go later at night, and forget about the book---the people watching and conversation there will be more than enough to entertain for the night.


andree said...

when we meeting for lunch here?

Oceana Coffee said...

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