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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Java City - for those Saturdays and Sundays

Thought I'd write something about some great places to visit in Bangalore - far away from the malls and the usual visiting places that a new-comer to the city might have heard of.
Java City is a coffee place on Church Street. Church Street where?!! Church Street is the narrow lane that branches off Brigade Road on its right side, as you come down from MG Road. Part of the old world of Bangalore, it still, though only in bits and pieces, retains some of its erstwhile charm. The lane is also home to Blossoms, the book shop for old books and other celebrated eat-outs like KC Das. Koshy's, on St. Mark's Road is only a stone's throw away from any of these places. More about these places later.
Java City is a place for some great music and coffee. Adorning the walls are frescoes in sepia of Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and some of the best Ponappa comic strips that I've seen. Even the overblown cartoon strips are a reflection of the state of the city currently. Come Saturday or Sunday and bang at 5 o'clock in the evening, just when birds from the neighbouring parks decide its time to head home eastward, Lester and co. pick up their guitars, drum kit, keyboards and trumpets and start off into the mike, to the 30 odd folks gathered. Some great coffee and something to go by with and 3 blissful hours begin. What drew me most to the place is the passion that these guys on the stage come out with. I'm sure they have day jobs somewhere and play gospel music with the same instruments at Sunday church. But I'm sure that none of them would be able to go to sleep happily over the weekend if they didn't spend those 3 hours playing to an eager and involved audience.
They may not be the greatest of Jazz players that the city has to offer, but I'm sure the heady mix of coffee and jazz, makes up for it all.
If you're in the groove to sing something or play one of the instruments, the band is more than willing to let you experiment and the audience will surely give you a supporting hand. Requests are also entertained.
Give this place a shot and let me know what you'll think of it.

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