Saturday, February 2, 2013

Observations from a Coffee Shop

I was supposed to go cross-country skiing today but the friend I planned to go with came down with a cold and told me late last night he wouldn't be able to go.  I've never tried cross-country skiing before and as it is on my "bucket list," I'm a little disappointed but at the same time I was nervous and this wasn't exactly a "once in a lifetime, if you don't do it now, you will never get another chance" opportunity and it wasn't worth it to me for him to end up with something worse than a cold to indulge my wish list.  Plus, this meant I got to sleep in and certainly wasn't going to complain about that!

But, the last minute change of plans left me with nothing to do today.  (Well, nothing fun.  There's always some chore that needs to be done).  And because I'm frustrated with pretty much every male I know, including one of my beloved dogs, I decided I'd drag my lazy butt out of bed this morning and go on a coffee date.  With myself and a book.  The more I thought about it, an iced green tea latte sounded really good-and according to a message board I belong to, coffee shops are a great place to meet potential romantic interests.

So I got up this morning, made myself look presentable, gathered what I needed to run a couple of errands.  And then came the dilemma:  where to go?  Brewed Awakenings and Starbucks (x2) are right down the street.  Hmm...I've never tried Brewed Awakenings.  However, Starbucks is in the same shopping center as PetCo, which was also on the To Do list and thanks to my awesome co-workers, I have a gift card.  But both are chains and people at chain establishments usually just come and go, and I wanted something friendlier than that.  I do have a friend who owns a coffee shop and I do like to support local business....but it's all the way downtown.  (Which means about an extra 7 minutes to get there).  "What else do you have to do today?" asked the voice of reason.  Being this was an excellent point, I headed downtown. 

The nice thing about having a coffee shop owned by a friend who knows you are allergic to food is that he is patient enough to make something for you that will not kill you, which is definitely a plus.  We came up with a green tea latte that was quite tasty and since oatmeal is technically a breakfast food in my world, an oatmeal-butterscotch cookie to go with it.  The shop is small and was surprisingly loud for how few people were in there.  It's cozy but not in a way that feels cramped.  I sat a a table for two, for example, but didn't feel I was encroaching on the space of the ladies in the chairs next to me or vice versa.  I was happy to see (for my friend) that the majority of the customers seemed to be regulars.  Vancouver has a small town feel to it, downtown especially.  I arrived around 10 and the streets were still pretty quiet, so for the shop to be hopping spoke volumes in my opinion.  The clientele was pretty much what I find everywhere I go:  a guy in his 20's.  Two men in their 50's-long time friends from the sounds of it.  Two ladies in their 50's or 60's.  A woman in her 30's, maybe 40's with her little girl.  A married couple in their 30's  And me.  As I enjoyed my breakfast, another woman in her 50's, one in her 30's and another man in his 50's came in, replacing those who'd left.  Customers who got their drinks to go while I was there were a mother and her son, a mother and her daughter, a girl who was early 30's at the oldest, a guy in his 50's and a guy who may have been in his 30's who ordered two drinks to go.  So my friend's coffee shop, at least not this morning, was not the hangout for all those 32-45 year old single men I keep getting assured are "everywhere."  But that's okay.  As I said at the beginning, I'm frustrated with so many of my male friends right now that had I met one, I probably would have just told him where to go.

What's important is it seems my friend's shop is doing well and that makes me happy for him.  I got to have a nice glass of tea (in a real glass!), a cookie, and spent about an hour reading without a dog getting between my book and my line of vision.  (As I type, one is squished between me and the back of my chair snoring away.  He's great for my posture!).  Not a bad way at all to start what has turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day in the neighborhood.