Two words: Art Caffe.
No I did not misspell Caffe. Art Caffe is restaurant/ bakery/ coffee shop where you can sit on the patio (albeit overlooking the Westgate Shopping Centre parking lot) sip (enjoyable) house wine, give the taste buds reliably yummy dishes, take advantage of free internet, and most likely always bump into someone you know in the city. It’s open for breakfast at 8am, becomes a late afternoon Sunday brunch stop when the other brunch locations have closed for the day of rest, serves as the location for after work drinks, and sometimes late evening drinks as well, with great dessert. Suffice to say, it has become our “spot.”
Art and I did not start out on such a lovely and positive note, however. And I must admit it was no fault of Art’s. Upon arrival in Nairobi some nine months ago now, I was living within walking distance to Art, centrally located in the Westgate mall. The last thing I wanted to do when I came to Nairobi was spend my time in a mall. I prefer to go to Yorkdale in Toronto to hop on the subway to get downtown, rather than spend an afternoon walking through over-lit corridors with the other shoppers. Thus, when I first met Art I thought he was a gentleman, well-dressed, good character, but simply not for me. It was weeks (maybe 3) before I ambled over one Sunday afternoon, sat in the sunshine on a stool bar overlooking the grey parking lot and taxi stand, and ordered a coffee. And over the coming weeks, and months, I have ordered many a coffee, with friends, by myself, to read a book, to use the internet, to do work, to go on Facebook.
And so, it was only befitting that on Valentine’s Day my roommate and I ordered in Art Caffe pizza and watched numerous episodes of Glee. Art, how you’ve weaseled your way into my heart.