It must be 70’s day. I try to be still, but the pulsing, frantic music sounding across the room makes this impossible. How am I supposed to write with my foot tapping?
My favorite place, this unusual nook. Once a brick shell, deteriorating and filled with weeds, the building is now warm, welcoming and filled with music. Smells of savory turkey sandwiches, fresh-ground local coffee, cinnamon and pumpkin waft on the mild currents.
Reclaimed wood wainscoting warms the exposed brick walls; I count wormholes as I wait. Pewter-hued wallpaper sporting spaghetti clouds and orange birds wraps one corner, coordinating with the vintage orange leather couch near the door.
Almost everything in the building, other than the couches (which are still used traditionally), was scrounged or re-purposed. Left-over metalwork scraps welded into counter supports, wooden furniture dragged from old buildings, sanded and varnished, metal fittings welded into uncommon art.
Polished concrete counters match the floor.Speakers hang at just the right angle; as the lunch crowd streams in, music weaves through the crowd, loud but not overwhelming. The room’s industrial feel is balanced by antique coffee accouterments and a large red ceramic cat.
The clientele, like the building, is eclectic.
In boots and olive BDUs, soldiers grab lunch next to the “I think I’m elegant” lady, in jewels, purple sweater and loud-print scarf. She sips her chai, notices my glance and fixes her gaze on a point over my head.
Businesswomen chat at each other over their laptops. Each has a business pitch; neither is listening. The beat, now understated, sways me a bit.
An iPad addict, staring at his screen, is chewing but oblivious to the piquant combination of pesto and sriracha on his sandwich; the art guy with unkempt hair, a regular, is altogether relishing the same sandwich.
College students in “yeah-I’m-a-rebel” pajama pants giggle over textbooks. (I wish I could show them a picture of my college roommate and me, coffee-shopping in pajamas. Good luck with your Jammie Revolution, girls.)
It’s ten to one. Without warning, conversations end, plates disappear and tables empty en masse. A lonesome melody soundtracks the departure.
See you tomorrow?