Having a “cafecito” in Miami is not the same as an early morning or an afternoon Starbucks run. It is way less expensive and in some circumstances it can be unbelievably fast. In many cases you simply can order a coffee, take 2 sips, leave the change for the girl at the window and proceed onward with your day. But if you’re anything like my grandmother then having a “cafecito” is an extremely intimate experience.
At a Starbucks you may have 30 individuals occupying the space inside. Patrons of these establishments have turn these places into mobile offices. Faces glued to their portable PCs as they listen to music while totally ignoring each other is generally the standard. It can be so quiet that you literally could hear a pin drop.
At a cuban “ventanita” or “window” you will encounter the complete opposite. Good luck whipping out the laptop or jamming your headphones into your ears, nope – we will talk over them. At the Window we are socializing. And that is how it is. What do you want to talk about? Politics? Perfect. We can talk about politics until we run out of coffee . . . and we never run out of coffee. We can get into a sports conversation where we will argue that Jose Canseco could have been better than Mickey Mantle. We can even gossip on the latest celebrity babble or whatever dumb thing is trending on TMZ . . . but we are talking. That is how it goes.
This is a very unique thing in our culture that because we were naturally introduced to it you don’t understand how extraordinarily cool it is. The long lost art form of conversing with your neighbor about whatever is at the forefront of your thoughts. We rush to jab at each other on social media over specific convictions and opinions as opposed to hosting a real fortifying discussion where gatherings will leave people understanding and regarding the others personal views.
As a Miamian I have always marveled at the “Ventanita” and how incredibly cool I thought it was. So here I have shared my top 5 “Ventanitas” to get a “cafectio” in Miami . . . I would love to see yours . . . feel free to share. Happy 2017!!