13 February 2007

coffee shops

Amarin Cafe
Originally uploaded by tokyohanna.
Hello from JFK airport. My flight is predictably delayed, not because it is JFK (as per usual), but because of the crap weather. Hopefully I make it to my destination!

Anyway. My point. Right. Coffee shops. This is a topic that has been written about to death. Most recently, the organized, communal meetup. But I'm talking about going alone here. Going to take advantage of some good quality me-time.

It's something I did at least twice a week last summer. I had just gotten my Master's degree, and I was officially unemployed. I would spend hours and hours emailing people that I wanted to work for while at different Richmond coffee shops (most notably and agressively, Paul: ask him. I think I annoyed him into hiring me.) ...working on my book, writing down reflections and thoughts about the whole thing. I would often order the special tea or coffee of the day. I would be there with Stella (my iBook), a journal, a pen and headphones. I had a mental list of a few places I would go to - Crossroads, Wired, Shockoe Espresso. My favorite, above all, was World Cup, though. One entire wall was a transparent garage door that they would open whenever the weather was nice. Sunlight filled this place like you wouldn't believe. There was a little park right outside of that garage door, where people would ride by on bikes (Richmond bike culture is another entry altogether) or sit with their dogs. I would love it. Mango green tea. Tropical green tea. China gunpowder (for those extra productive days). I wish I had the time and money to do this as often as I used to. But anyway. It was the best part of that summer.

I didn't mean to write an entry on coffee shops - I really just meant to link to this piece on coffee culture in Serious Eats. It was written by the Amateur Gourmet - whom I've been reading for a year and a half - and is brilliant. Spot-on. He did a bang-up job. Especially this part:

...the quality of coffee is slightly less important than the quality of environment when weighing the merits of a coffee shop. Good coffee will certainly make you want to come back, but if there's nowhere to sit, or if the seats are uncomfortable, or if the staff is inhospitable and irritated at your commandeering a table with your laptop, you won't want to go back.

There is a very very cute part at the end, too. I had no idea that that's how he met Craig!

Anyway. Yay. Coffee shops. Introspection. Inspiration. Making things. Getting a job (the job of my dreams, the one I most wanted more than anything else) after three months of toiling. Continuing to write. And waiting for my plane to take off :)
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