Place Settings #45: February 1, 2015

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Eat | Definitely a what’s-left-in-my-refrigerator kind of breakfast. Egg-in-a-hole, avocado, and bacon.

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Drink | It looks like a beer, but it’s not. It’s a can of Guayaki yerba mate in a pretty glass. Yerba mate is a plant in the holly family that can be brewed like tea to make a tasty beverage. I wasn’t really familiar with it until I spent a month in Berlin and was converted into a Club Mate addict. Club Mate is head and shoulders and torso above any other yerba mate drink I’ve ever encountered and it’s very difficult to find in the US, a fact that makes me cry every so often.

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The taste is slow to grow on people. At first it tastes pleasant, but typically people don’t understand why I (and everyone else in Berlin) is so nutty about it. In the least hyperbolic way possible, Club Mate is more of a lifestyle than a beverage. The iconic bottles of the stuff are available everywhere in Berlin: grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, bars, clubs, gas stations, and so on. It’s sweet, gently carbonated relief when you’re thirsty, a shot of energy when you’re tired, a cooling agent when you’re hot. It tastes like long summer evenings, early summer sunrises, surrendering to music, dinners by the canal, urban exploration, dressing like a slob, döner kebab, beers on the sidewalk, conversations conducted in multiple languages, German summer cherries, sitting on a balcony, sunburns at Wannsee, more beers on the sidewalk, site-specific history, old friends, new friends, walking, laughing, and Gemütlichkeit.

I picked up a bottle the other day at Foragers (one of the few places in New York where you can find it, and where you will also be overcharged for it), and have been lusting for another one or ten since then.

Read | Still with Moby.

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“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.”
Chapter 39

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“Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into still subtler form.”
Chapter 41
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