This time let’s get straight to the point. The MAG Cafè (same owners of Backdoor43, 1930 Speakeasy, Barba and Iter) is one of the places that you mention in a whisper. Because it’s intimate. If you know it you know it. And you go, then you go back, you hang out. Even though you’re not a student anymore or even a newbie just getting your feet wet. Over the years I’ve heard people brag about this place, “Do you know about the MAG Cafè?” “You mean the one on the Navigli? Of course!”. Wrong answer. You can be certain that whoever says something like that has never set foot there.
Call me an egoist but I like to think it’s my little place. A secret place. Even though at the end of the day, everyone knows about it. Even though it is always full, winter or summer. The Mag follows you through time, it elegantly adapts to your needs. I remember bombastic happy hours and stratospheric drinking, in my college days, reckless and happy-go-lucky with my college friends. Nowadays I love to go there with my sweetheart or just alone, for a glass of red wine (or a Moscow Mule, depending on the day or my mood) and wait for my favorite spot, the one in the corner near the window with two armchairs and a coffee table in the middle. The Ship of Ripa Ticinese in front. Amen. I’ll wait an hour, I like the wait, I’m not in a hurry, not here.
The lights are low and the place is full: full of things to look at, like the wonderful works of artist Simona Cozzupoli hanging on the walls, people to observe, stories to imagine or tell. I love the counter, lively as it is. I adore the contrast between the tireless waiters – unconsciously or maybe knowingly sophisticated – and the calm of the people who have found a seat. The anachronism of the situation is crazy, totally ’30s, compared to the frenetic city, the chance to stop a second and talk about it, even alone. And unwind. From the bad day, the argument, or the phase that is just all wrong. Or to celebrate to successes. Isn’t it probably the best thing ever to be able to step out of the circumstances and rest your head?
As you step outside, the cold air of this time of year balances the euphoria raised by an accomplice glass of wine. And I immediately make a mental note on my calendar. What day will I be able to make another escape? Surely sooner than seems possible at the moment. In the end, you always find time to do what you really want.