a restaurant that feeds your soul.

ferrari sparkling wine

ferrari sparkling wine

i love spontaneity. and the best is when you have people around you who are also spontaneous. on wednesday, i put spontaneity to the test.

i had coffee in the afternoon with a friend that i’ve known for almost 3 years now. he’s from the netherlands, and we were in a swedish for immigrants class together. so, both of us were new to sweden. both of us were trying to understand how we were going to make a life here, but were also excited about the possibilities, and certain that things would work out for each of us. we were pretty much the only two “western” people in our swedish class and we’re basically the same age, so it was natural to be drawn to each other in conversation and such. though he is european and i’m american, we had way more in common with each other than with the others.

in addition to the obvious third-world similarities, we connected at a soul level as well. i found, in my new friend, someone with whom i could talk about philosophy, the meaning of life, spirituality, dreams, and goals. we are something of kindred spirits, i believe. and it felt amazing to have met someone that i considered my first friend.

while i was figuring out my place in swedish society, and having good luck with that thanks to my amazing wife, my friend was also having good luck. a man who’s been part of the restaurant business in the past, my dutch friend found himself working at a local italian restaurant. pretty soon he moved up to a management level and moved on in life. we kept in touch here & there, but not as often as i would have liked.

still, we have been able to squeeze in time for coffee, drinks. or perhaps i might just pop by the restaurant whenever there is time.

after our planned coffee meeting – an inspirational conversation, as always, i decided to ask my love if she’d like to invite one of our american friends in town to meet us at my dutch friend’s restaurant for drinks later on in the evening (did you follow all of that? hehe.). of course she wanted to! so, a quick text and a message on Facebook, and we spontaneously decided to meet at pappa grappa for drinks at 9 pm. not only were we meeting our american friend, but my dutch friend’s dutch wife (who i also count as a friend) was coming too. perfect!

as the city hall clock struck the ninth tone, my love & i opened the door to the italian restaurant where my friend is in management. his wife was waiting for us, and our american friend was waiting in the casual pizzeria area, adjacent to the cozy, dimly-lit trendy restaurant and bar. we took our seats in the bar area, on cushy burgundy sofas and ottomans. a chandelier hung over our head, and the background music was jazzy and smooth, like the place itself. it may feel upscale at pappa grappa, and it is sort of, but it’s relaxed. one knows that there is a high standard for food and service. in other words, you’re gonna be taken care of and you’re gonna feel like a vip while you’re there. still, it is a place for real people, any day or night. it’s a place for a good time, for good drinks, and a place meant to break bread with each other and engage in conversation. it’s a place meant to enjoy something good in life…. the simple things. food, wine, friends.

mojito

my friend is working hard to create a specific atmosphere at pappa grappa, and i think he is well on his way. his vision, as i understand it, is a place of elegant relaxation, where good food, good drinks, and relationships are important – for those who are patrons of the restaurant and for those who work there. and he is determined for it to have an international feeling, which is manifested through music, food, and art. he desires to grow the restaurant into a place dripping with culture and finesse. and he hopes that it is not only a place where people buy and consume food, but where people connect with each other, with the community, and with the world.

in other words, a place with soul. those are his words: “a place with soul.”

as someone who seeks peace and meaning in regular everyday life, i must admit that pappa grappa is a place that not only feeds my cravings, but also feeds my soul – through the atmosphere, the friendly and caring personnel, and the yummy, elegant, top-notch food & drinks.

bar

if i sound as if i’m a gushing food critic, then i guess that’s how i sound. i’m not writing this post to be a critic, but i am writing to get the word out. and to support my friend. because anyone who seeks to have soul be the driving force behind what they do, deserves a little attention.

so, if you live in norrköping, head on over to pappa grappa for drinks, or dinner, or pizza. do it on a random wednesday night like i did, and find a reason to celebrate life, for no other reason except for the fact that you are alive and you want beautiful, soulful things around you.

and if you don’t live in norrköping, then go to a restaurant or cafe or bar in your city that touches your soul. sip on something and enjoy a few moments of the good life.

let your soul be nourished.

ferarri

cheers, my friends! peace.

click here to visit papa grappa’s website or here to visit their Facebook page.

* all photos copyright of belovelive.

wordless wednesday: vacation mode.

 

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summer lovin’ & peace.

ps. what do you think of the slideshow thingy? i’m not sure if i’m a fan or not, but i thought i’d give it a whirl. change things up a little, ya know?.

 

 

morning. (noon. and night.)

morning.

i woke up early this first morning of june because this cute little thingy jumped up next to my face, and began meowing for me to get up. i heard the rain pattering on the window outside, saw the gray clouds through my curtains, checked the temperature on my phone, and decided to ignore her little cries and snuggle back under the covers for a few more minutes.

i lay there thinking, “is june really here? how can it be that we are beginning the 6th month of the year already? 2012 is flying by.” zola kept bugging me to get up, so i decided it was time to get this month started. i wandered into the kitchen, started a pot of coffee, and fed the super-talkative zola. then, i continued my pondering about the beginning of june, wondering what this month has in store for me.

noon.

at noon i went to lunch at a yummy mexican restaurant with a fellow american! the picture above is the freaking awesome floor in the restaurant. the other american & i know each other from the church where i work, and have said many times that we’d love to get together, but you know how that goes… life flying by so fast. everyone so busy. what was i saying before about having a hard time believing it was june already? anyway, we passed each other on our way to work on wednesday. she sped by on her bike, as i walked  in the opposite direction. about 5 minutes later, i got a text: “was that you that i saw on my way to work?” and a few texts later we had set up a lunch date for today. cool!

it was so much fun to hang out with a fellow american, even if she’s lived here for about 20 years. i guess you’re always american deep inside. we clicked and probably could have stayed there all afternoon, but we went our separate way after an hour of talking about the states, our families, comparing notes on the plusses & minuses of living in sweden/usa, and a little theology. it was so great to connect with someone from the states… not something i get a chance to do very much. feels a little bit like home.

night.

i have spent the evening hanging out with my love. just being together. at one point she took a nap, and i entertained myself by snapping some self-portraits. hehe.

the rainy, windy, cold weather has continued from this morning, so it has been a cozy night to be inside. but, what a way to begin june. oh, north carolina summer weather, how i miss you so right now. still, in an effort to be present in this moment, i am working hard to focus on how relaxing and wonderful this evening has been.

sending you warm thoughts of sunshine, fireflies, bonfires, sand between your toes, bbq’s and late night summer walks. and if you have the pleasure of enjoying anything those things now, just know that i will be living vicariously through you… until the day that summer returns again to sweden.

peace & love.

by the way… i’m gonna mix it up with my instagram/photo a day pictures this month. but, there will be a post everyday inspired by the word of the day. promise.