Curiously strong nostalgia

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What's better on a day like this than a pro-made macchiato, capp or hot chocolate? When it's free, that's what, and when you get to tour the disemboweled shell of a once-beloved, if also dark and musty, West Village neighborhood fixture: the cavernous Kim's Video on the corner of Bleecker and West 10th, shuttered since circa 2001. For one week ending today, Ninth Street Espresso is making the hot stuff for Altoids' A Curious and Original Chocolate Shoppe, part of a nationwide Valentine's Day campaign to celebrate the mint company's foray into Wonkalicious territory. The marvel of the venture isn't so much that everything's free, though—including samples of dark-chocolate-dipped peppermint, ginger and cinnamon tablets—but the transformation of the space itself, which clearly cost a pretty penny. A gleaming light-wood floor, Victorian brown-and-gold wallpaper and goth-meets--fin de sicle Parisian decor get you wondering why a company would go to such an expense for one week. One barista revealed the answer, albeit obliquely: Rumor has it, Chanel's set to move into the space sometime soon, joining high-end retail brethren Marc, Ralph, Cynthia, etc., on the strip where shoe-box boutiques are now going for $30,000 a month. Celebrate your last chance to bid the spirit of Kim's adieu tonight with Love Lost Readings, wherein Jonathan Ames, This American Life's Starlee Kine and comedian Leo Allen will host a quasi anti-Valentine's salon at 8pm (R.S.V.P. to brokenhearts@hunterpr.com). At the very least, you'll find shelter from the storm.

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