C A F F E I N A T E : Abraço Espresso Bar
Abraço, which means ‘hug’ in Portuguese is a sweet little spot to get your caffeine kick and perhaps a treat. The other day I went to this East Village stand up cafe for a cappuccino and olive oil cake (delicious). Treat YOURSELF here too!
T O R O N T O: check this out xx
Big love to our Big Bro and his company’s web debut. If you are in the Toronto area and you haven’t already checked it out, Appliance Love is your best bet for all your appliance needs- it’s a family business and we’ve got the pulse on what it takes to run a home with big heart xx
E A T: HU Kitchen
“Get back to human” is HU’s slogan, providing a cafe/kitchen that truly teaches you to embrace whole, healthy and recognizable food. It’s a food movement you can understand because everything is organic, everything is natural and there isn’t an ingredient you won’t recognize. From their baked goods and coffee, to the hot plates, HU shows just how yummy food can be; you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for healthiness. Nothing is refined, just delicious and thoughtful. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, juice and snacks at HU Kitchen are worth every bite!
N E W C H A L L E N G E: Support Colombian projects
Hello uccia lovers! I’m sorry for my long long hiatus, but between being in Colombia and jumping back into grad school time just flew. Last this uccia posted, I was in Colombia working in a rural municipality and great things came of it, including two amazing projects started by peers of mine which have been entered into a competition to receive grants to improve and carry on said projects. Please take the time read about their incredible efforts and vote for them to support rural men and women of Caldas, Colombia…beautiful, beautiful people, living in a beautiful place! (Click on links below)
L A M E R C E D 2: The celebration that never ends
Since Friday the little town of La Merced was celebrating its establishment as a separate municipality. Only on Monday did it finally end, it was literally the celebration that seemed to never stop. There was so much pride and spirit in the air as the town shared their locally grown fruits, coffee and traditions such as dances and horseback riding.
L A M E R C E D: La gente encantadora
(La Merced, 100% Caldense)
I have finally arrived and settled into my very humble town, La Merced, population 5000 people, atop a mountain in the Department (state) of Caldas, Colombia. Upon meeting the mayor and the people around the town square curious to see who these “gringas” were, I realized that myself and my two lovely classmates studying here with me, were blessed to be assigned to live in a town full of life, heart and charm. Lush mountains surround La Merced, it’s known for its coffee and agricultural production in general, mainly plantains, but the variety of fruits grown here is very indicative of what is typically grown in Colombia. Our arrival has been incredibly timely because this weekend is the festival of the municipality, which celebrates the establishment of La Merced as its own town (1973). The town is currently preparing to set up a market in the main square to sell products typical of the town and a stage sponsored by Cristal (producer of typical Colombian liquor Aguardiente) and Ron Viejo de Caldas (quite possibly the best rum I’ve ever tasted!).
B O G O T A: Rumbeando en la capital
So far I have spent one full week in Colombia, the first 6 days in Bogota. This is the first stage of a summer to be spent in this beautiful, rhythmic and welcoming country. What I have experience so far is just that, and of course the food. As one would imagine Bogota is a bustling cosmopolitan South American capital. There’s lots of movement and much to be appreciated while surrounded by lush mountains, a city in the heart of the Andes. According to other Colombians, the capital is the least friendly of the cities. I haven’t traveled around yet to verify this claim but I have felt more than welcome, and the Bogotano’s have been very helpful. The nightlife was a highlight for me; I spent my first night checking out the posh scene at Kong in Zona Rosa in the north part of the city, and weekend salsa dancing at Titico followed by a charming dance club converted from an old apartment called Hotel V Bar, all highly recommended. This was good insight into the culture as music and dance is very much part of what we know to be essentially Colombian.
H A P P Y: memorial day xx
Jessicuccia and I spent the holiday afternoon at a picnic in McCarren park, followed by a merengue dance party on our terrace, music provided by the street party below our building. Classic Brooklyn moment xx *photo courtesy of material girl collection xx
A R E P A S: a little taste of Venezuela
Arepas are very typical of Venezuelan cuisine, eaten for breakfast or lunch but also as street food. They are like yummy little corn meal pockets (great for gluten intolerant folks!) that can be filled with any variety of things. The most common are cheese and any variety of meat. Of course you can’t forget the sauces, salsa rosada or salsa verde to name a couple!
I was very lucky to have my dear friend Veronica who is from Venezuela over to make these from scratch for myself and a group of friends this past Monday as we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and pool during my visit home to Toronto.