GOP Falls Deeper Into the Gutter

Gosh, I thought our own Republican gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey had hit rock bottom with deceptive, racist, scaremongering television ads — e.g., this one (“What kind of person defends a brutal rapist?”) and this one (“Here’s a question: have you ever heard a woman compliment a rapist?”) (commentary). Hopefully it will backfire.

But now, via the trademark blog, this in Tennessee.

Update: and now this.

Channel Cafe: Respectable Espresso

One of my longstanding frustrations living in Boston is the lack of artisanale espresso sources. Starbucks is, of course, ubiquitous (I think there are four within a block of where I work), and at least espresso drinks there aren’t bad, but there is little-to-no artistry involved. They aren’t aiming for perfection, they’re aiming for absolute consistency, mass appeal, and caffeine. Ever since Starbucks started opening in strip malls and grocery stores like Safeway, I’ve doubted whether they even care about maintaining an image of serving an elite population. This article presents some good background on the art of espresso, but apparently the only place it’s happening in Greater Boston is on the other side of the Charles River, which might as well be Prince Edward Island. (See also this article about Murky Coffee, my and Steve’s favorite coffee place in DC). I’d love to support Emack and Bolio’s, my neighborhood coffee shop, but the coffee and espresso there are inconsistent at best. I don’t get the feeling that the baristas there get a lot of training. Or that they even consider themselves to be baristas (according to Wikipedia: “one who has acquired some level of expertise in the preparation of espresso-based coffee drinks,” or “a professional who is highly skilled in coffee preparation, with a comprehensive understanding of coffee, coffee blends, espresso, quality, coffee varieties, roast degree, espresso equipment, maintenance, latte art, etc.”).

Hey, while I’m talking about Starbucks, I should mention that Google Maps is wrong. There is no Starbucks at 1510 Centre Street in Roslindale, Massachusetts. It’s nearly a mile away from the real Starbucks at 1810 Centre Street, that has the same phone number. Wouldn’t you think Google could have figured that out? Can someone tell them?

Anyway, I recently discovered the Channel Cafe (deserving a PageRank boost), just a brisk 8 minute walk from my office down Summer Street across the Fort Point Channel, actually has quite respectable espresso and espresso drinks. I first went there for lunch several months ago and the place was mostly empty — more recently, there seems to be a line up the steps every day. (The cafe is in the basement of art gallery space and is owned by one of the Fort Point artists.) Aside from excellent espresso, they have a great menu, especially for vegetarians, with entrees such as baked tofu with pan steamed vegetables, peanut dipping sauce, jasmine rice, mandarin and oranges, and basil and ricotta ravioli with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, sweet pea and mint coulis, and parmesan cheese. All for under $10, which is a bargain in the greater financial district.

I’m afraid the line up the stairs may soon be out the door… It’s a good sign for the burgeoning Seaport District, though.

(…more espresso art…)