Tuesday, December 14, 2004

noodles & the dsb

last night i decided to brave my way over and down to noodle yoga near my house in the section of brooklyn waterfront known as dumbo. i've asked people i know about noodle before and they all told me the same thing "i live in dumbo, but i can't ever find the place!"

here's the secret: it's on washington st., catty-corner from the bank and next door to the cancer society. buzz, go up the lobby stairs, enter thru the left steel door, not the right.

walk up 3 sets of stairs and enter the steel door on the landing. you'll be faced with a scary blank hallway; turn left, follow the corridor to the right, and go thru the steel door on the left.

ta-da! noodle yoga! it's a lovely, high, airy space, with exposed brick walls (not so good for handstand practice!), beautiful floors, gauzy cushions and curtains.

let me pause for a moment to discuss an unusual feature of noodle: its spa-like ladies' room. one of the nicest public restrooms in all new york, honestly -- the granite countertop is stocked with elegant toiletries on a tray and fresh flowers.

a zen rock arrangement surrounds and highlights the nickel taps. the subtle tile pattern soothes with relaxing shadowy blues and taupes. it offers a full bath with shower, and most civilized, a bidet.

of course, it is spotlessly clean. go back out into the lobby and they are serving organic chai. the changing rooms are a perhaps a tad small, but do offer plush ottomans and a solid door.

i took elizabeth's basic class, in what i would personally call a gentle yoga style. elizabeth has been teaching for 5 years, and considers her teachers to be dana flynn (of laughing lotus) and rodney yee, altho' her formal teacher training comes from ganga white at white lotus.

the back yoga room we used is brightly lit, with just one exposed brick wall. the main wall features a charming mural of the mahattan and brooklyn bridges, under which a lotus blooms.

with only 4 people in the class, it was hardly crowded, and quite relaxing. elizabeth did a short, simple sun salutation and went on to the basic standing poses, seated forward bends, shoulderstand, and supported goddess pose.

the room was a tad chilly and it's true you could hear the subway over the bridge. but it didn't seem to matter; elizabeth gives precise and personalized alignment instructions in a soothing voice.

the staff and owners are immensely friendly and welcoming. in short, noodle yoga's worth the effort to find -- don't let the stairs put you off.

today's our first truly wintry day, and woke up eager to turn on silvia. long-time readers are familiar with scaa pro member, roasters guild member, and friend to scaa consumer members and alties alike, barry jarrett of rileys coffee.

in memory of a dear altie, madeleine, i ordered a pound of his long popular decatur st. blend. alas i didn't have time to cup it this morning, but simply drank it as brewed espresso.

it ground easily, at the usual mazzer setting, just like the batdorf dancing goat. it's a darker roast than what i usually have, what i'd call a full espresso roast -- the entire bean is covered in a light sheen of oil.

barry calls it "black velvet." i'd say it's a sweet, mellow coffee, whose dry grounds smell like green spices.

it's maybe also a bit maple-syrupy and a little turpeny, with a pungent taste, and long, dry finish.

there's no doubt it's a creamy, syrupy coffee, that coats the back of a spoon like thick thanksgiving gravy. i believe the bag i have is now 5 days old, but when i pulled a 30-second triple shot, there was no shortage of abundant, thick crema.

it's an interesting coffee that barry says develops as it's brewed various ways. will report more later. . .

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