Springtime in New York

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My Mondays always start with me editing pictures from the previous week and deciding which of them will make good food posts. But this morning I found myself looking at a bunch of Instagram pictures I took this weekend and my favorite ones are all of New York City as it charges head-on into spring. Thought I’d share them with you here in a post that has nothing to do with food except for the picture of coffee.

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Joe: The Coffee Book (Plus, an Interview with Jonathan Rubinstein)

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I hate repeating myself on my blog, so if you’ve been reading for me a while, you know that Joe is my favorite coffee shop in New York. The location on Waverly is where I wrote my first book and most of my second; it’s where I’d meet friends to chat about projects or lives, it’s where I first laid eyes on Craig before we started dating. The place positively glows with good energy and the coffee is always top-notch, some might say (and I’d agree with them) the best in town.

Now Jonathan Rubinstein and his sister Gabrielle have collaborated with food writer Judith Choate on “Joe: The Coffee Book,” a charming collection of essays and pictures and how-tos that demystifies the process of making excellent coffee at home. What follows is a Q&A with Jonathan about the book, the process of writing it, and how he stays relevant in a city swarming with new coffee shops.

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Back To Our Favorite N.Y. Haunts (Joe, Joseph Leonard, Bar Centrale, City Bakery, Grand Sichuan & The Burger Joint)

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I took a tumble outside of Joe on Waverly, the coffee shop that was a second home to me all those years that I lived in the big city. It was kind of embarrassing: rain was beating down, Craig ran inside the front door, and as I approached the first step, I totally slipped on the wet pavement and crashed down on my knee, slicing my jeans open and tearing the skin. I got myself up as quickly as I could but it was one of those disorienting experiences that made me feel like I was a stranger on my old turf: only a tourist slips on a wet New York City sidewalk.

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A Burr Grinder

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Following my coffee trials on this blog must be like having a petulant four year-old child who wants soup then wants pizza then wants soup again and so on.

See, at first I told you not to worry about grinding your beans fresh in my post: “How To Make a Good Cup of Coffee.” Then Amanda Byron, director of coffee at my favorite coffee shop in New York, Joe, held an intervention (see here) where she told me I was crazy not to grind my beans fresh. I ignored her but felt guilty as time wore on.

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Pour-Over Coffee

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Food journalists notice food trends—“this is the year of the nutmeg martini!” “oatmeal’s out, grits are back in”–and I’m not a food journalist, so I feel like I get a free pass on that front. I just cook, blog and eat (not always in that order) and go about my merry way.

But last year, I thought I noticed a food trend creeping up at the coffee shops I frequented. I noticed it at Joe, then I noticed it at Gorilla. They were these little copper stands with white ceramic objects sitting on top that looked like a cross between a coffee mug and a funnel. Had it really happened? Had I hit upon a food trend?

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