Walking on the other side of the street is truly informative.
After attending the Spanish story-time and sing-a-long at El Pequeno Artista, my neighbor and I crossed 5th Avenue to walk down to Eagle Provisions and check out the plants. Before we got there, however, we dawdled in front of a gallery gone yoga studio called Under Minerva (presumably because if its proximity to Green-Wood Cemetery's Minerva). As we turned to go, a young woman (Sorry, I don't remember her name. Blame it on sleep deprivation.) jumped out of a car and asked if we were interested in yoga classes. After letting us know that there is a "bring a friend and you both just pay $5" deal, she told us there were classes almost every day of the week.
According to the postcard she gave me, Under Minerva is an Art Gallery and Event Space. We were admiring the chandelier in the window and the style of the logo on the storefront while we dawdled, so I'm sure the rest is worth an actual stop. They have an Artist's Den (which makes me think of a nook that's carpeted from floor to ceiling) with 24 hour access and a Wifi lounge (weren't we just wondering about that?). It also hosts meditation, yoga, children's classes - there's even a book club.
The website isn't the easiest to navigate or most informative I've seen, but I'm sure a phone call would help. I have an email in asking for prices and more information; stay tuned.
Continuing on 5th Avenue, we went to Eagle Provisions where the plants looked good, but the beer got bought. Happily, I didn't go nuts in the chocolate section of Eagle because I was about to discover my new favorite Green-Wood Heights Happy Place.
Laurentino's Pasticceria Caffe (with an accent over the e) has been open since October, but since that's also when I had a baby, I guess I've been a little out of it. I had passed this place by a few times, but never crossed the street to check it out. What attracted me this time were the chairs and tables in the window. Then we got a whiff of the baking inside. Oh. My. Goodness. Take a look at the chocolate covered strawberries.
I didn't buy one. I can't believe I didn't, but I didn't. They were only $1 each, but I resisted. I did, however, buy their pignoli. (I know, so much more naughty.) Having lived on the outskirts of Bensonhurst for several years, I was skeptical about whether or not these cookies would be worthy of being called pignoli. Let's just say I'll be purchasing some for when I need a treat for visiting miei amici. Next time I want to try one of the cheesecakes. My neighbor bought one of the blueberry mini-pies. She wanted to take photos, so hopefully she'll let me post those up when she's done.
The women who waited on us were incredibly friendly and helpful, and they encouraged us to check out all the pastries. They weren't annoyed by our many questions and paltry purchases. There are several cozy tables for sitting while you snack and have a cappuccino. There aren't yet any high chairs, but there is enough room to stash a stroller in the corner.
In the summer months they make their own gelato and ices. Oh yeah.
Check out Laurentino's on 5th Avenue between 20th and 21st. They do "cakes for all occasions" and they are looking forward to serving you treats and coffee.