It makes sense that baristas are often plugged into the most interesting things in any community. Nick Villapiano of Porta (511 Kingsley Street, Asbury Park) had this to say about some of his favorite things about life in Asbury Park. . .

Perfect bar or place for a beer?

Early afternoon at Porta with the sun shining through the garage doors is pretty dope. I’m also a big fan of Darcy’s (Bradley Beach), especially since it’s just a quick walk from my house.

Favorite Asbury Park building/architecture?

I love Second Life Bikes, for sure. Great open space, two floors, bikes aplenty.

Most relaxing night out?

The Beach Cinema/Vic’s Pizza one-two punch.

Best place to see art?

My house! I’ve got stuff from Grace Crossman and Wills Weller, plus Alyssa has the craziest art book I’ve ever seen: FORNICON.

Your ideal breakfast or lunch spot on a day off?

If you’re lucky enough to have off Sundays, From Seed to Sprout brunch cannot be missed.

Best pizza?

Coin flip. If you want pizza that borders on gourmet, you’ve gotta do Porta. If you just want a tomato pie, Vic’s.

Best place to buy seafood?

I rarely buy seafood, but my father frequents Klein’s. If you can swing a big order, Trinity is tops.

Favorite grocery store/market or other local shop?

Hard to find fault with Nature’s Corner. Best produce around.

What books/magazine are you reading?

Just subscribed to Monocle, so that’s taking up most of my concentration these days. I’m also reading a b-grade sci-fi book called Cybernetic Samurai on the back-burner.

Favorite music to play at work?

Definitely funk/soul. I guess that’s my inner bassist talking.

What would make Asbury more livable?

It would be nice to have a decent grocer within walking distance. I’d really like seeing Main Street get a Cookman-like makeover, too.

Coffee mentors?

I’d like to call him a mentor, but he’s more like an idol: the great Paul Cali over at Volan.

Projects that are keeping you busy when not making coffee?

Well, I’m playing music again in a new band called gods, so that’s sweet. I also do web development, so I’m constantly building websites. Currently I’m finishing up sites for From Seed to Sprout and Paddle Out Manasquan.

Photo by: Doug Parent

David Spelman is an artistic director, curator, music producer and Ocean Grove resident. He enjoys cycling, yoga, coffee, and generally encouraging creative dialogue across disciplines and barstools.

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