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Doma Cafe, West Village

November 13, 2009

Day 18

Doma (officially Doma Cafe and Gallery, but come on. We’re locals on this blog), is a shining, West Village example of genius branding. It’s a Czech cafe (doma means home), and not only do they have tons of  artistes and scholars, furiously typing away on the next great American tome, they have horrifically rude staff. I studied abroad in Prague for three months, and I can count on one hand the number of Czechs who spoke to me. Also, a waitress once refused to get me coffee because the coffee maker was upstairs, and she didn’t feel like going. Also, once we made a reservation for 30 people to go bobsledding at 8 pm, and the owner closed at 6 pm because he felt like it. So like I said. Branding genius.

The coffee and food is great, the white-washed walls, hardwood floors and bursting book shelves are cozy, and everyone recognizes this charm. It can be hard to get a seat, but the wait is worth it.There’s no wi-fi, so be sure to bring your books and your brain, cause you can’t steal other’s genius off the Internet at this place. Overall, I give it a B +.

Now, all of this Doma stuff  happened two Sundays ago…actually, come to think of it, I went there last Sunday, too. Anyway, two weeks ago, post-Doma, I lost a client and a half and it was the one year anniversary of the great lay-off of 2008, and I got the flu. I had tons of time to wallow on my couch, reflecting on my slaughtered income and nebulous career choices, as well as watch almost every episode of Dexter. Which, in case you didn’t know, is about a serial killer. Yep. Real picker-upper.

Whenever I did make it off the couch, I didn’t want to go to new coffee shops. If I was going to spend 3 hours applying for jobs and studying for the GREs in order to stave off panic-induced asphyxiation, then I wanted to know there would be wi-fi and a muffin that I liked.

Throughout 30 Days: 30 Coffeeshops, I’ve begun to understand why people frequent coffee shops close to their pad. It’s not because of good coffee and service, certainly not at Sunburst, but rather due to the comfort of having a usual. I like knowing that when I go to Sunburst, I get to say “hello” to my Hispanic bus boy friend. Neither of us knows enough English/ Spanish to have a conversation beyond “hi,” but I love the guy.

A couple days ago, The New York Times had a great article about this urban phenomenon called “Window Watchers in a City of Strangers.” Since Julie Scelfo can tell the story far better than me, I suggest you hop on over and read it. But first, I do want to give a shout out to the opera singer across the air shaft who practices her scales every day at 5 pm.

I’m visiting one new coffee shop every day for a month. Mainly because I broke my coffee pot. Check out the other reasons and guidelines here. And if you have any recommendations, please let me know!

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