Saturday, August 21, 2010

Drink Coffee * Eat * Love

I saw Eat Pray Love last night in a theater full of women from the Naples Overseas Spouses Club. Now, I confess, I couldn't wade farther than thirty pages into this book, but I'll let it go at that.  The movie was a sensuous travel feast much like an old issue of Gourmet magazine (oh Lillian Langseth-Christensen, how you beguiled me with distant places in my teens).  As to chick-flick requirements, I'm not really susceptible to Javier Bardem's charms, but James Franco certainly compensated.
There were many moments of hilarity during the Italian episode that might almost qualify as insider jokes for this particular audience.  Perhaps the greatest outburst of laughter occurred at the opening of the Napoli sequence when a little girl on a fire escape accurately portrayed a certain less-than-welcoming attitude one comes across in this town.
I thought I'd give a little promo, though, to the Roman coffee bar where Julia meets her Swedish sidekick for her Italian adventures.  The Neapolitan pizza place, Antica Pizzeria da Michele (I'm going off recall), gets full credit in the movie with long camera sweep of its front awning, but the coffee bar is only recognizable to those who discern the telltale sunflower yellow packages.  They reveal that it must be Sant 'Eustachio's.  My friend Lea Giovanniello brought me there twice, and I thank her heartily.  I've just gotten down to my last grind from the bag I bought on my last visit to Rome -- which, looking on the bright side, means I have to go to Rome again soon. The coffee is so rich and lacking bitterness that even a froth devotee like me will take a few restorative sips before I pour in my milk.
Here's my morning cup in the polka-dot mug that's stood me well each morning for 15 years . . .

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