Sunday, March 7, 2010

A day early: Cup o' Joe Monday, Installment XVIII

Chai latte, Cafe Pettirosso

So, I think part of my problem with consistently doing Monday coffeeshop reviews has been...Yelp! It seemed like a great discovery when I stumbled on it, because I could get a sense for places before visiting them myself, and even find good suggestions for coffeeshops from it. BUT at some point, I realized that a lot of the fun had been taken out of "discovering" new coffeeshops. Today, somewhat by accident, I did exactly what I intended initially to do with my Cup o' Joe Monday Project...wandered the streets of Seattle until I found a cute, local coffeeshop that piqued my interest, went inside, kind of fell in love...and here I am to blog about the experience.

This place is located on a little, vaguely industrial side street, with not much else going on. I almost walked right past it on my way to another visible coffeeshop, but was stopped in my tracks by a sidewalk sign advertising "breakfast bagel sandwiches" and an arrow pointing me in a new direction. Glad I did! The plan was to spend my morning somewhere getting some writing done, and this place was the perfect environment to buckle down and get some real work done.

Some people cleared out of the table by the front windows just as I got there, so though I felt a little selfish sitting at a four-person table all by my lonesome, I did appreciate the view...industrial street in the foreground, but downtown Seattle skyline in the background, and an endless supply of Capitol Hill hipsters coming and going at all times.

I actually decided to wear my Vibram Fivefingers out today, and as I was waiting in line for my chai, a guy came up behind me wearing Fivefingers, too. So smiling all friendly-like, I was like, "Hey, nice shoes!", but he just gave me a stony-cold stare and said nothing. I turned back around awkwardly and that was the end of it. This was actually the second time this exact scenario happened to me...trying to make a cute joke to a stranger about how we're both wearing the same crazy things on our feet, but they don't actually look down at my feet and get the joke, and instead just think I'm being a sarcastic asshole. That, or people who wear Fivefingers are just unfriendly, cold-hearted jerks with no interest in talking to me. Hmm...

Anyway, the baristas were a little on the quiet, reserved side - reserving, perhaps, their friendly energy for the regulars...but nevertheless, not unfriendly. No wi-fi, which would have been a big warning flag for me a few months ago, but on this particular morning, was perfect: no internet=more writing. The atmosphere was nice - some good breeze from outside, cozy lighting inside, great smells from the fantastic, freshly prepared food they offer, and swanky music that sounded like what would be on the record player in the lobby of a ritzy hotel in France at the turn of the century.

Other good things:

Better prices on beverages than a lot of Seattle coffeehouses.

Cozy atmosphere.

Pretty yummy bagel sandwiches. Albeit unlike the drinks, pricey ones that won't fit into my budget regularly :(

Overall, a good discovery...for what it's worth, I got a ton of writing done in the couple hours I spent there, and I'll probably go back again if for nothing but that sense of productivity. And kind of nice to feel like you're tucked away in a nook, just off the beaten path (i.e. Pike Street corridor of Capitol Hill.)

P.S. And, just because it made me laugh a little...some newspaper-graffiti in our break room at work. This was the headline story in the Seattle Times yesterday, about two guys who got lost out skiing and wound up hiking over 26 miles overnight in the wrong direction...fortunately, a story with a happy ending, as people were scared once they'd been reported missing, but they turned up just fine. Nevertheless, a subject of some amusement among my coworkers:

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