Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe

My first visit to this eclectic cafe in Colorado Springs was two years ago. What I remembered about it I liked enough to stop by when I was wandering through Old Colorado City. An art gallery and coffee shop – perfect!

A few changes since I was there last, but nothing that disappointed me. The patio in the back has more seating, they’ve added more music, more tapas to the menu, and it’s still an art gallery. Tango lessons are still available, but unfortunately, I did not have the time to check it out.

While housesitting in Woodland Park, I made two visits to Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe and both were enjoyable. I met a friend on the second visit and we were able to spend a couple hours catching up without noisy interruptions. Before leaving the cafe, we were able to get a taste of the Bossa Nova band playing.

The owner supports international artists, with a particular love for Cuban art. While I was there, I had just a few moments to check out the paintings, but I was sidetracked by the beautiful display of colorful, beaded necklaces and the molas in a display case. I was in my own little multicultural art cafe heaven – colors, textiles, paintings, tapas, and coffee!

Cucuru Art Gallery and Cafe
Old Colorado City
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://www.cucurugallerycafe.com


Spice of Life…..

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Yesterday I headed down the “hill” to Manitou Springs from Woodland Park, Colorado. It’s true, Woodland Park is the city above the clouds because I drove through them on my way to Manitou. It was a beautiful drive….like driving through heaven on earth.

Manitou Springs is a beautiful little mountain town next to Colorado Springs, located between Garden of the Gods and Pike’s Peak. It’s an artists’ haven…and full of tourists, even in October on a chilly day. There are eleven mineral springs located throughout the town, which was considered to be a sacred area by the Ute and Cheyenne.

What I’m most intrigued about is the Coffin Races coming up later this month.  Apparently Emma Crawford came to Manitou Springs in the 1880’s for the mountain air and mineral springs to cure her from TB.  Although her health initially improved, she died young and was buried on her favorite mountain. 

This is where the morbid fun begins.  Over the years the heavy rains caused her coffin to be exposed to the point where it slid down the mountain.  She was re-buried in Manitou Springs and now there is a weekend of events built around Emma’s sliding coffin.  It includes a wake, dinner, parade, and of course, a coffin race.  How fun is this? 

After getting the scoop on this event, I headed to Spice of Life Market & Deli for lunch.  I was recommended by a 79 year old local as a place to satisfy my craving for Mediterranean food.  The market is small, quaint, and had a good flow of traffic.  There were plenty of spices available for purchase.

Although they serve breakfast until noon, I made my selection from the lunch menu.  I had a delicious Greek sandwich that I enjoyed while goofing around on the internet.  Synchronicity – while eating, I got an email from a Facebook friend from Greece, so I took a photo of my sandwich to share with him.  He emailed back, asking me what a Greek sandwich was because they don’t have them in Greece.  He also wrote that if I needed real Greek recipes, just give him a call. 

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This sandwich was served on asiago foccacia with pesto, loaded with feta-stuffed olives, artichoke hearts, lettuce, tomato, red onions, with melted Havarti cheese.  It was excellent and satisfied my craving for Greek food. 

Although I’m still craving some Turkish food, I’m holding out for this weekend.  Arabica Cafe is catering the Intersections Film Festival at UCCS.  I dined there a couple years ago and remember that their food was great and it was a very busy restaurant.

Today I’m not sure what coffee shop cruising I’ll be able to do because work is calling me, but tomorrow I’m bumming on a fly fishing trip on the Dream Stream.  I’m taking both cameras along for that because I’ve been told that the salmon are red, red, red!

peace out,

Kristy


Starbucks Above the Clouds

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This morning I found myself back in Woodland Park, after starting my drive down the hill to Manitou Springs. The fog or clouds (?) were so thick and appeared to be crawling up the mountain, so I turned around and made my way back here, the city above the clouds. Today the clouds are reclaiming the heavens and trying to rise above Woodland Park.

I’m at Starbucks and it’s a full house. It may not be my favorite coffee or coffee shop, but I usually love the music and decor. They also bring in the best clients for people watching. What a great thing…to sit here, in my own world, watching people. There’s an elderly couple sharing a piece of pumpkin bread, three men having a business meeting, a couple women chatting about their children, and two young girls enjoying their foo-foo chocolate coffee drinks.

A couple days ago their was a dad with his 3 year old daughter having scrumptious looking drinks while they waited for her mom to pick her up. I’ve noticed this mostly in Starbucks – the single parents treating children to drinks while waiting for parental exchanges to happen. It also seems to be a place to take teenagers, especially in the morning, as a way of connecting with them. I’ve overheard a lot of conversations of single parents with children and it makes me happy to think that a mocha latte something-or-other can be what brings and/or keeps parents connected to their children. At least in that moment.

It appears that the clouds have retreated as I now have a clear view of Pike’s Peak. The windows at the entrance face Pike’s Peak and it’s time for me to leave this Starbucks above the clouds.

Now I pack up and head to Manitou Springs, to meet John, a 79 year old Manitou resident who wants so much to share his knowledge and history of the area with me. He called this morning to find out if I was still willing to listen. But of course, it will be my pleasure.


Agia Sophia Coffee Shop and Bookstore

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Colorado Springs Agia Sophia Coffee Shop

Currently I’m house and pet sitting in Woodland Park, Colorado, just 30 minutes from Colorado Springs. My third day on the job and with the weather at 50 degrees in the Springs, it was time for me to drive down the hill for some Coffee Shop Cruising. Headed towards Old Colorado City, I spied Agia Sophia Coffee Shop, which brought back pleasant memories from a couple years ago.

Located on Colorado Avenue, this little coffee shop has some of the most wonderful edibles, coffee, and a religious-spiritual bookstore. What I love most about this place is the ambiance. Located in a beautiful old building, the classical music is always at the perfect volume level. Upstairs there are plenty of comfy chairs, tables, and books to choose from. There’s also a delightful Russian tea room available as meeting space.

The staff are passively attentive. You hardly know they are around as they clear dishes and tidy up the space. I could stay here for hours….and I have, both today and previous stops. Today I meant to be here for only an hour or so, but looking at the time, I’ve been here over two, going on three. I still don’t want to leave, but it’s such a beautiful day and Old Colorado City is calling my name.

Fresh Coffee and Ancient Wisdom. Sophia.
http://www.agiasophiacoffeeshop.com