Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Albert William in the Astoria


Guest Appearance: Albert William
Location: Astoria, OR

Tim Wendelboe


My American friend in Oslo told me that Tim Wendelboe boasts the best coffee in all of Scandinavia, so of course, I had to make a detour there while on my brief walk along the Akerselva. I must say, I was not disappointed. Tim Wendelboe is the kind of place that coffee aficionados go to for a fix. The coffee was so rich, so creamy and frothy, so not flavored with gross sugary syrups. The kind of place that makes you embarrassed to ask for a Vanilla latte, or even a latte in general. Not me... 

Baristas at work

The roaster

Minimalist seating



Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alley in Astoria


Dweater: made by mama
Necklace: vintage
Dress: H&M
Tights: American Apparel
Shoes: Ether

Astoria: Other great places writers love

Although the Astoria Coffee House was deemed the coolest place to write in town, I don't want to downplay the other awesome cafes in Astoria. We did quite a bit of cafe-hopping and these three places were all excellent:

The Most Relaxing: The Blue Scorcher

Both a restaurant and cafe, the Blue Scorcher was serene at 9:00 am when we began our writing fest there. It is also an entirely vegetarian cafe, which made excellent frittata and tea.


Cafe counter

Paradise found

The Most Fun: Columbia River Coffee 

This place was about a thirty minute walk from downtown, right along Marine Drive.  From this neighborhood, you can smell the  sea water. This cafe is definitely catered more towards families, but when we went in we had the place to ourselves, and got to goof off a bit.

Front of the cafe

Their famous mango ice tea

They had a hammock in the cafe!

Albert William serenading me

The Most Posh: 14th Street Coffee 

This was the very last cafe we visited in Astoria, even though it was only one block from our hostel. What I didn't like is that it closed at 4:00 p.m. Seriously, 4:00? 
Well, I'm really glad we got out early enough to check it out, because it is the chicest little cafe in town. 

Coffee bar

Lounge area

The counter

The pre-4:00 p.m. crowd

Vanilla latte

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Astoria: A writer's favorite place to write

I spent this past weekend in Astoria for the inaugural Astoria Writers' Retreat. Astoria is the type of small coastal town where you could walk several blocks in any direction without seeing other people, but when you do, they are happy to stop and talk to you.  The sky always looks like it is on the verge of raining, and 200 days out of the year it actually does. But one of the main reasons I was most excited to go to Astoria was the abundance of wonderful coffee shops.

The colorful facade of Astoria Coffee House


On this trip I penned three short stories in four coffee shops in Astoria. Of all the places we wrote, our favorite was by far the Astoria Coffee House. Every evening the two of us were fixtures on the coffee shop's black sofas from the early evening on into the night. At dusk we would start with a light snack and coffee or chai. At night we would finish the session with a round of drinks (they have a full bar). Although the House is technically a coffee shop, restaurant, and bar, their entire food, cafe, and cocktail menus are available from anywhere inside or outside the restaurant.

Here is just a visual summery of our days at the Astoria Coffee house.

The indoor-outdoor seating
Albert William penning his novel

Me and my short stories

Iced Chai

Cupcake

Salted Caramel Latte

An Americano: cocktail with campari, vermouth, and soda

Monday, June 18, 2012

Albert William in Astoria


Guest Appearance: Albert William

Cashmere sweater: vintage
Lilac checkered shirt: J. Crew
Silk Bowtie: vintage
Nantucket Red Shorts: J. Crew
Necklace: vintage
Sunglasses: vintage 
Shoes: Sperry


Astoria: Damn Good Fish & Chips





You know the food has got to be good when you see people sitting on the ground eating because all the tables are taken.


I suppose it's a bit cliche to eat fish n' chips in a coastal city, but hell, a writer can only drink so much wine and coffee. So after writing from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we boarded a trolley and rode it to the other side of town. Upon descending the trolley we found this gem of a  place.

It's basically an old boat that has been refashioned into a food cart, a couple park benches, and some coolers.




After waiting in line for 15 minutes, we took a seat on the grassy knoll beside the ship and indulged.




These were seriously the best fish and chips ever. First of all, the fish was neither cod nor halibut, but ALBACORE TUNA! Seriously, who has albacore tuna fish and chips. Not only that, but the family who runs the cart catches the tuna themselves. Amazing.
Second, the chips (or fries, as we call them in the U.S.) were so crisp and delicious, especially drenched in Malt Vinegar.




Sitting on the ground was really an extra treat. In Astoria sitting outside is only possible ten days out of the year, or so it seems. It is one of the darkest, cloudiest, rainiest places in the U.S.. But yesterday, it was perfect picnic weather.


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