Shiny New Coffee
I stopped by the new cafe Bloc 11 over in Union Square this weekend (just moments before its Grand Opening party, as it happened). This might not be big news in another neighborhood, but in sleepy Union Square it was quite the event. It's also the sister establishment of the very popular Diesel Cafe in Davis Square, which is another reason to be excited.
Like the Diesel, Bloc 11 has a clean, industrial aesthetic, but the overall atmosphere felt less hipster-edgy: no bright colors on the walls, no pool table, and lots of plants. The building is a former bank, and the cafe even utilizes the old vault as a slightly claustrophobic reading room.
The afternoon was sunny and warm, the front windows were wide open, the tomato bisque soup was tasty, and the staff was friendly. All in all a very pleasant experience.
Though as some have pointed out, the name's similarity to the prison building at Auschwitz I is more than a little unfortunate.