I know that's a pretty vague title for a post. It could mean where I am in my writing process, where I am physically, mentally, spiritually, or where I am in the grand scheme of life,
Corporeally, I am writing this while sitting in my favorite local establishment. It is a cafe called Poet's, and I love it here, and not just for the name. They serve your regular cafe fare, but I always wind up getting a Sexy, which is a vanilla chai frappe with chocolate milk. I don't know how the drink got its name, but it is, in a word, awesome. (You thought I was going to say sexy, didn't you?) From what I was told when a friend first suggested I try it back in 2007 was that someone had told someone else about it, and they told other people, and the drink kind of snowballed until a lot of people were ordering it using the name. It's always fun when a new barista starts working and you order a Sexy, which is not on the menu, and you get the "Huh??" look. When it's cold enough, I get a hot one, and I call it (though I don't tell the baristas this) a Hot & Sexy. Some of my friends get a Sexy with Espresso, but not me. I (gasp!) don't like coffee. Some writer I am. :oP
If I'm not in the mood for something chocolaty, I turn to the delicious smoothies they whip up here. I usually go for the Orange Guava, but when I'm feeling adventurous I get a Pineapple Coconut. They also serve awesome hot (and froze hot) chocolate, which I've had a time or two, and they're scones are très magnifique, especially the blueberry ones. I'm often tempted by the mini-cheesecakes in the shape of a star bursts that are displayed in the case by the counter, but I haven't let myself get one yet.
When it comes to food at Poet's, my absolute favorite thing (and by favorite I mean I watch what I eat all day so I can fit it within my caloric limit) is the chicken salad* on a warm croissant. It is lick-the-crumbs-off-the-plate good. You have to make sure you order it kind of early because they do run out. This happened to me recently. It was dinner time and I wasn't planning on leaving Poet's for a while (on average I'm here at least three hours a visit) and I waited too long to get it. The only alternative was tuna salad, something I had never had before. But I was hungry, and I was such a fan of the chicken salad I figured it couldn't be so bad, so I tried it. I was right! The tuna salad on the croissant was great and I didn't have to resort to eating cheesecake for dinner, which is always a good thing.
Besides the food and drink choices (of which there are many, but since I don't actually drink coffee, I've spoken only of what I know) there is the atmosphere Poet's provides. It is half indie, a quarter hipster, a quarter intellectual, and all relaxed. There is a big comfortable couch in the middle, lots of two and four seater tables and a red bar with black stools facing out the large picture window. There is a back room that harkens to the bookstore that used to be next door, with comfy leather chairs and tables in a cozy carpeted space where the walls are lined with bookshelves filled with random books and pictures by local photographers. Coffee cups filled with fresh flowers top the tables throughout, and a little white cabinet holds board and card games for the more playful patrons.
Music, often of the indie variety (I've only ever recognized Coldplay, Iron and Wine, and John Mayer over the speakers; the rest is new to me), plays throughout the place while local artists display their works of art on the walls. The colors of the place are muted greens, reds, yellows, oranges, and browns, with a black and white checkerboard floor. The lighting makes the place glow, both inside beneath the always spinning ceiling fans, and outside, where a string of round bulbs lights up the outdoor tables for those wanting to relax in the open air. Inside or out, the ambiance is truly my favorite thing. I can have raucous conversations with my friends, write my novel, study, read, eat, look at art, play Apples to Apples, whatever, all in the same place. It is never too quiet and never too loud (unless you come on open mic night, and then it might be just a little).
So that, my fellow quirks, is where I am, physically. I know later on today, and then tomorrow, and so on, I will be somewhere else, but I will always return here. I wrote the majority of my NaNoWriMo project here, and nearly all of the re-write. If (no, when, the little voice inside me says) my novel gets published, I will definitely be giving a shout out to Poet's. If (and this really is an if) I have kids, one of them will most likely be getting a unique middle name.
We all have our favorite places, and Poet's is one of mine. What is your favorite place to read/write? What makes it special to you? Let me know!
Until next time quirksters!