Foamy Reflections

I used to manage Lorenzoni’s, a coffeehouse/gourmet deli in the Ventura Maria in California. That was a few years ago, but I never forgot how to make a great cappuccino. I made the finest microfoam in the house, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to recreate it with my new espresso/cappuccino maker. I don’t get it. I use a stainless steel vessel, I use 2% milk, and I do the usual whirlpool motion, but all I get is flat, hot milk. Might as well have a latte. Except that when I want a cappuccino, I want a cappuccino, resplendent with thick foam like beaten egg whites.

As I sit here drinking the one beer I’ve allowed myself, I’m feeling homesick for Ventura. At this very moment I wish I could have stayed in my penthouse apartment with its view of the Pacific. The old 1914 building would have felt quite at home in Portofino I think, with its inner courtyard, its red roofing tiles and its shutter-style windows and wrought iron window boxes blooming with Bougainvillea, Lavender and Rosemary.

But what’s there for me now? Frank is gone, Steve is gone. Paul’s in Atlanta and Debra is sleeping at this very moment not three miles away. La Bohème has scattered to the four winds, and in a some cases, beyond. It’s the lifestyle I miss, mostly. I miss the street life, the cafes, the focus on the Arts, the street musicians, the celebration of eccentricity… In short, everything that I love about life anyway. These are what drive me to relocate to Vienna in 2008. Ventura holds my past while Vienna holds my future, and in an ironic way, vice versa.

Still, if I could live in my penthouse of 1997-1999 with my family of 2004-2008, and be surrounded by my friends of 1985-2006, I’d be very happy tonight. Here are some paintings of Ventura by Katherine McGuire. She caught the town’s spirit beautifully.


  1. Yeah. I get home sick for those days too. Sunny afternoons in an outdoor cafe, silly evenings around the fire pit. Treking into downtown Ventura for a good sammich and a beer with a big cold pickle. Sunsets over the ocean. *sigh*
    BTW I happened to be awake at 3:00 this morning, had to pee. LOLOL

  2. I always get homesick when spring arrives.


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