Friday, September 3, 2010

Torre Lorenzo

September 1, 2010

I'm in Torre Lorenzo, with a sudden amount of free time. I was supposed to be on an all-morning date, but something came up. Three hours to kill, and nothing to do. I'd brought no laptop, no books—not even paper, save for my psychology reviewers. So I'm living out the ultimate writer's cliche—scribbling on coffee shop napkins, and basically trying look artsy fartsy. 

I'm just kiddding about that last part. I look nothing like an artsy fartsy, mysterious writer—if anything, I look sleep deprived and too small to be a college senior. Anyway, what was going to talk about? Oh yeah, Starbucks Torre Lorenzo.

I figured I've never done a blog about places before, and if we're talking about favorites than this definitely tops the list. I know, Hollywood and the endless stream of rich kids have made coffee shops overrated. But Sb Torre and I go a long way back.

I first became acquainted with the place in high school. I grew up in a school in Vito Cruz, and Starbucks was my usual source of treats for my girlfriend, or of payments for lost bets. Don't get me wrong—I'm no rich kid, though. I still see this as overpriced coffee. (Side note: actually, my wallet /was/ actually considerably thicker back then—now I seem to be stuck in a financial crisis all the time).
I remember this one time, I was with some of our high school faculty members. I'd developed an unlikely friendship with one of my teachers, and I remember how good it felt to be able to talk and laugh with those teachers without being the target of petty gossip. I haven't talked to that particular friend in a while, and Starbucks always reminds me of how much fun we used to have. A love of coffee was one of the things we had in common, and one of the things we immediately agreed on—even though she'd always, always disagree with me, just for the sake of disagreement. Despite the eleven-year age gap, she treated me more or less like an adult, a real friend whom she could trust with real issues and problems. I actually kind of miss her.
Torre Lorenzo also played host to various rendezvous with various friends, even with my college friends. We would take the jeepney ride from Faura to Vito Cruz. Starbucks Rob just doesn't have the same feel—it's always full of foreigners and their "exotic" dates. Dates and meet-ups with my girlfriend also end up here when we run out of ideas, or time, since it's nearby. Aside from the usual dearth of seats, Torre never fails.

But what I love most about this place is the time I get to spend here by myself. During moments like this one, when I 'm bored, I go here. People-watching is always fun. I'd sit at the long tables fronting Taft or Vito Cruz, and watch passerby. I'd think up stories for them. I'd never actually written down any, I just suck at finishing stories. But really, it makes for a relaxing time-killer.

Also, whenever I feel frustrated, I turn to coffee instead of alcohol. It's harder on the pocket, but I'm sure my liver will thank me for it later on. And besides, drinking alone makes me even more depressed. Alone time here just makes me relaxed, then sleepy after a while.
October 17, 2009
Another flashback, to almost a year ago. I'd planned a surpise which had miserably failed. I was worn out from all the relationship stress and I didn't know what else to do. I hung out here for around three hours, until I felt better. I wrote, I read, I texted my friends. That, for me, was the defining moment of my coffee-fueled relationship with this place. Okay, weird. Maybe it's just the coffee—it actually makes me sleepy.
And then there's this last thing about the place—they never get my name right. They've generated more nicknames for me than all my friends and relatives ever have. I've been dubbed RG, RJ, AG, Arjie, Arci, and Liza, among others.

That is, except for today. They finally got my name right. Well, granted that the barista asked me about the spelling, it's still a first. I think my favorite coffee shop is starting to like me back.


ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

I used to be a Coffee Bean baby but then Starbucks won my heart. Or it could've been the cute barista. lol

Is this the one sa may Manila? The one that looks very Old Manila-ish na parang elevated yung isang part sa loob? I think I came here once. We walked lang from Rob Place. We just had to leave early kasi may nanghaharass. But I remember thinking it was really nice.

rz fortajada said...

I think you're talking about the one in Adriatico, sa may Remedios-Nakpil area. :D Second favorite ko yun eh.:) Not as crowded as this one, which is in Vito Cruz. :)

Haha, barista pala ah. :) I've always wanted to befriend a barista. :P

ʎonqʎʇıɔ said...

Yea, Adriatico nga. It's nice no? Sige, I'll look for your branch. :)

I've befriended quite a few. They have such normal lives, it's strange to see how they made it on the other side of the counter. lol

one_blissful_nomad said...

Hi RZ, I'm a coffee addict also, starbucks coffee addict to be exact. :) love your posts. :)

scout said...

"I look sleep deprived and too small to be a college senior."

High five. :) Long after I've left UP, strangers still say I look like a kid.

I also love people-watching. I prefer going out by myself, sitting in a quiet corner, thinking about random things, and observing people as they pass by. I should start taking a notebook with me so I can write down stories about them. Ideas come and go so fast.

rz fortajada said...

@citybuoy: Actually, I've considered wanting to be a barista. :))

@blissful nomad: Thanks for dropping by. :D Isn't coffee great? I think I actually need a cup right now. :P

@scout: Totally agree about people-watching. And maybe UP stunted our growth. :))

scout said...

LOL, like those child stars who stayed short even in adulthood?

The only time I became a coffee addict was my senior year in college. 24hrs a day were never enough for us ECE students, so Nestle Ice Coffee and Extra Joss became my friends. Di pa uso Starbucks nun. :)

I enjoyed reading your posts. Wishing you wrote more than once or twice a month. :)

Juvy said...

I also love SB Torre. And I think I know Arci. :)

There's a strange comfort you only get from coffee shops. There are only 2 places where I get the same comforting feeling.. Coffeebean Midtown and Starbucks Torre. :)

firewomyn said...

something off topic. hehe. i posted an event in my blog. pls check it out and hope you can come! =)

rz fortajada said...

@scout: Wow, ECE. The caffeine addiction is pretty forgivable then. :P Thanks, and I wish I could post more too. I just can't seem to find the time. But I did promise myself I'd update my blog more. :)

rz fortajada said...

Hi Juvy :D Haha. Miss ko na ang Coffeebean. For some reason hindi nako nagkakape sa Rob. :P

rz fortajada said...

firewomyn: Yeah, I saw the post. :) Replied there na din. :D

Juvy said...

Aww. Bakit naman? Hehehe. Balak ko mag-apply maging barista dito. Haha. Pag nabore na ko ng bongga at pag di nagwork out yung sa work next week. Papadalhan kita ng coffee. ;)

rz fortajada said...

Juvy: Sige ba. :)) Cool yun, tapos maliin mo din yung mga pangalan ng tao if ever. :))

scout said...

My caffeine addiction has long subsided. I can't even remember the last time I drank a cup. Hmmm...

I've been to Starbucks countless times for meetups because friends insist on the place, but I have never ever bought any of their high priced coffees or cakes. I'm too cheap. :)

Anonymous said...

imparato molto


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