Sunday, August 29, 2010
Today, I attended the official opening of new café and soon-to-be neighborhood meeting place, Paper Or Plastik Café. The coffee house, located amongst car body shops on an otherwise barren stretch of Pico, is a welcome addition to my turf: the revitalizing Wilshire Vista neighborhood and, in general, the Pico/Fairfax corridor, one part of the gentrifying Mid-City district.
Thanks in part to publicity on foodie and real estate blogs, such as Eater and Curbed, but also word-of-mouth in the tight-knit area, the opening turn-out was fantastic! A steady stream of people, especially locals, poured into the café, purchasing beverages and pastries, and chatting up the jovial couple, Anya & Yasha, Israeli émigrés by way of the former USSR.
Having a vested and well-documented interest in demography and population trends, I enjoyed speaking with the couple regarding life in Russia, Georgia and, eventually Israel, the latter a place where Soviet dissolution and the Jewish Law of Return has resulted in a whopping 20% of the population being of (former) Soviet extraction. The conversation culminated in a tour of the converted space, a free cup of cappuccino and, to my pleasure, a friendship formed.
Below are photos of the beautifully-renovated interior of the cafe, of which, to my delight, had a pleasant post-industrial chic feel and vibe to it - reminiscent of cafés in old warehouse neighborhoods in Brooklyn, such as Williamsburg, Red Hook, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Dyed woods, stainless steel surfaces, and reupholstered antique furniture are all the name of the game, when it comes to the interior itself.
Finally, as this post would imply, I will, of course, be dropping in from time to time.