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  • As classic as an old lampost framed by a rooty tree, the cafe in Buenos Aires is an institution. You go to the cafe for an espresso, a cortado, a lagrima, and a medialuna or two. You pick up a newspaper, a magazine, or an old friend. You know the waiters and the waiters know you. You never order, because they see you and they say: "lagrima con dos medialunas", and you feel at home. You NEVER NEVER ask for a cafe to go. It's not about the coffee anyway, it's about the cafe.

    A couple of years ago, Starbucks arrived. Impressed by anything and everything imported, the Argentines have welcomed them with open arms, and empty hands (so they can carry their cups). I became more and more angry at seeing all the BA yuppies carrying around their lattes (cafe con leche!), as if it were such a novelty in the land of cafes! Recently, I have seen Argentine coffee chains offers Starbucks like paper cups to "llevar".

    I am often proud to call myself an American, even in Buenos Aires, the city of my birth. But, really? But do we need to export our dehydrated and exaggerated need to carry out coffee, as Tiana says? Wouldn't it be wiser to start importing some of the Argentine corner cafes, where people go for a lot more than a cup of coffee.

    Devolveme el Cafe de la Esquina!

    Clasico como un farol enmarcado por las raices de un gran arbol, el cafe de la esquina en Buenos Aires es una institucion. Vas a cafe a tomar un espresso, un cortado, una lagrima, y una o dos medialunas. Te reunis con un diario, una revista, o un viejo amigo. Conoces a los mozos y los mozos te conocen. No tenes que pedir nada, porque te ven y ya dicen: "lagrima con dos medialunas", y te sentis bien en casa. NUNCA NUNCA pedis un cafe para llevar. De todas maneras, no se trate del cafe que tomas, sino del cafe de la esquina.

    Hace un par de anios, llego Starbucks. Los argentinos lo han recibido con los brazos y las manos (para llevar el cafe) abiertas. Cada vez me siento mas alterada al ver los yuppies llevando sus lattes (cafe con leche!), como si fuera tan novedad en el pais de los cafes! Recientemente, he visto cadenas de cafes locales ofreciendo tazas de carton a la Starbucks para "llevar".

    Me siento mayormente orgullosa de decirme norteamericana, mismo en la ciudad donde naci, Buenos Aires. Pero necesitamos exportar nuestras deshydrataciones y necesidades exageradas de llevar cafe, como dice Tiana? Nos seria mas util importar algunos de los cafes de las esquinas de Buenos Aires, donde la gente va para tomar mas que un cafe?
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