The Day the Music Died

February 3, 2012

It is 53 years now since that dangerous blizzard, that fatal plane ride, that terrible day the music died.

There are two, perhaps three, generations for whom Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens are just names vaguely remembered if at all; that’s fair enough. But I’m old enough for this to have felt like a date of genuine significance and I’m happy to remember their lives and their passing.

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Renzo’s Cafe

February 3, 2012

In the previous Changes on the Drive post I mentioned that Renzo’s Cafe is now open.  It sits on a prime Drive location, on the southwest corner of Charles by the Park.  I had a meeting to take on the Drive the other morning and so chose to try it out.

The immediate sense is that one has walked into Prado by mistake.  As at the coffee shop on the corner of 4th, the overall scheme is white (or cream) giving a well-lighted but almost vacant space. The advantage that Prado has is that it is part of the Highland Black and somehow gains some vibrancy from the history of that space. In the case of Renzo’s there is no gravitas-by-association and the overwhelming feeling I had was of an antiseptically clean fish merchants.

It has a huge and imposing coffee machine that dominates, its metallic fascia reflecting the light-coloured counter and adding to the sense of industrial lightness absent any ambience.  Moreover they don’t have any drip coffee and a coffee-primitive like me doesn’t like to have to choose between a super-strong Americano or some milky and pretty concoction.  The service was pleasant enough, though.

Personally, I was hoping for something a lot funkier in that particular space, with color and texture and soft comfortable chairs overlooking the Park.  And I guess we should wait until summer to see what that does to the Park side of the Cafe. It could be great, but right now I am disappointed.

Update:  As later posts will probably have indicated, I have grown to really like Renzo’s and it is now one of my regular hangouts.