coffee and prayer

December 10th, 2013, 3pm

Greece may be in crisis but Greeks always find time for coffee, and so cafes and bars keep popping up everywhere. Some become popular overnight, some are more popular than others, but all seem to be popular on a Saturday night when you can try all you want but you’ll never find a place to stand, let alone sit.

Me, I don’t like crowded places and I don’t like popular places so I strive to find one nice, kind of special, place that I can call my own ‘hang out’ where I may go and enjoy a cup of coffee, or a drink, and listen to some nice music and be able to chat with my friends without having to shout; but the minute I find one it becomes the place to be and it loses all its charm because all sorts of not so charming people decide it’s their civic duty to grace it with their presence during a night out in town and before they end up, by the looks of some of the girls, at some trendy club or the ‘bouzoukia’.

First it was the ‘Petit Fleur’, then ‘The Gin Joint’, then ‘Drunk Sinatra’ and soon it will also be this tiny little Sicily-inspired place I visited for the first time today called ‘Montalbano’, which I’m afraid has already been discovered by others; many others. In the evenings it’s usually packed, but in the mornings you can still get a seat, it seems.

There are no comfortable sofas or armchairs in here. Just stools. Probably because Italians don’t spend hours drinking their coffee like we Greeks do; they just sip and go, so a stool is good enough for them. My friend and I chose the only two stools with a back…I only tried its cappuccino which is marvelous and cheap (1,30 €) but it also boasts many Sicilian delicacies, like the one my friend had, a rice pudding with minced meat called ‘Arancino di Palermo’ - cute no? Delicious as well. Price: 2,50 €. I also liked its decor - particularly these former Orthodox candelabra, now turned tables, that still have the central candle holder, and somehow make perfect sense in this modern (the stools), yet also a little vintage (the floor tiles) and still definitely Sicilian (the name, the delicacies), and therefore religious, little sanctuary.

I pray it remains unpopular for a while longer…

You will find it on Kolokotroni 12, in the center of Athens.

Craig said thanks.

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Maria Coveou

travel journalist, translator, freelance script supervisor for film & TV, film buff, lover of the written word and of music, blogger, vintage lover, '80s child, occasional flapper, Lindy hopper, traveler, thinker, dreamer, temporary alien []

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