I fell in love with café culture during my year of studying abroad in Paris. Those tiny cups of espresso were my ticket to seeing the city – I often didn’t have the money (or the companionship) to eat meals in each neighborhood’s best restaurants, but I could always scrounge up a couple of Euros for some coffee and a seat at one of those little round tables. I passed so many hours with my sketchbook or my journal, lingering at a Marais sidewalk terrace or a trendy Bastille bistro. It truly was la vie…

I brought this habit back with me for my final year of college and frequented Linnaea’s café in SLO, with its warm back room and lovely garden patio – this was my go-to spot when I had to get away from studio but couldn’t trust myself to study at home, for fear of falling asleep on my books.

And then I moved to Seattle, coffee capitol of the United States! I was living in Capitol Hill, with caffeinated institutions like Bauhaus, Joe Bar, Vivace, Victrola, and Faire just blocks away from my apartment. My office was near Pioneer Square and I often snuck away on my lunch breaks to Zeitgeist or Umbria for some me-time and a latte (now that I had a job, I could afford milk with my espresso – the luxury!). My office eventually moved a little closer to the middle of downtown, and Shane and I gave up our Capitol Hill apartment for a townhouse in Columbia City, and I spent less and less time savoring my coffee with a good book or my journal. I’m realizing lately just how much I’ve missed it – I’ve missed the taste of a latte out of a mug rather than a paper to-go cup, I’ve missed the people-watching and the conversation eaves-dropping (you know you do it, too) and the sense of independence and solitude that comes with taking a table for one. So watch out baristas, ’cause I am back! I got up extra-early yesterday and spent half an hour at Zeitgeist on my way into work, sipping and reading and reveling in the warmth of my sunny spot by the window.  I’m hoping I can make a weekly ritual out of this – some people grow weary without their regular caffeine fix, but I think my fix comes from the cafe itself.

One Comment

  1. Michelle says:

    I obviously love this. And hate it a little too…out of jealousy, of course.