Frozen in Frenchtown
The holidays are behind us, a fact which I am clearly unable to accept, even as we're flirting with February. It's sad to think that this weekend marked the first blizzard of the winter, but no festive lights (which are made for reflecting in the snow) remain. These images were taken on one of the bittersweet days that stretched between Christmas and New Year's, in the tiny, cobblestoned Frenchtown, a picturesque spot mere miles from Lambertville and New Hope. My sharpest (and fondest) memory of the day begins with the trembling that transpired once the pictures were finished, when I acknowledged the fact that my fingers were shaking. It proceeds with a hunt for hot chocolate (as the tale behind all of these adventures goes).
I noticed a number of coffee shops, but the one that nominated itself resided in the corner sector of the Victorian strip, within a narrow building; the chalkboard sign on the sidewalk in front caught my eye, if only for boasting that a decadent sounding espresso drink, the name of which I cannot recall, awaited indoors.
Early Bird Espresso. Once inside, the first thing to greet me (the warm and cheerful barista came close in second) was an expansive stretch of chalkboard paint that, if I recall correctly, covered the entire customer facing wall. On it, in beautiful type: the menu. The counter (and something tells me the back wall as well) was buried under exquisite packages of chocolates and miscellaneous mercantile delicacies that caused my eyes to dart distractedly between them and the making of my hot chocolate (in itself, a fascinating process to behold).
But none of these little pleasantries come close to the drink. Maybe I was hungry. Maybe it was cold. Maybe nostalgia makes me prone to exaggeration. Maybe the hot chocolate was just that good. I tried it so fast that I burned my tongue (another tale telling of my life), and still I continued to down it. I never know how to describe hot chocolate (chocolatey, rich, nuanced? All the usual cliché suspects), but just take my word for it. There's a reason I still dream of that one cup of hot chocolate in Frenchtown.