It’s Saturday, it’s noon, and I’m sitting in the University Village Zoka again. I don’t have a particular pressing need to be online, honestly, but it’s nice to have a destination to go to when it’s kind of rainy and grey out. Besides, there are worse things to do than to blog randomly. I don’t really have a set goal with this post, so we’ll see where it goes.
I drink a hell of a lot of chai — it’s my drink of choice in most coffee shops. I’ve noticed that a lot of the coffee shops in Seattle tend to have two kinds of chai: sweet and spicy. What this really means is “Oregon Chai” or “Morning Glory Chai“, two particular brands of chai. While having the options of different types is nice, there are other choices out there that I really wish they’d consider. In particular, there are a few brands that I think would go over really well in Seattle’s coffee-culture. There is a Mate based chai called Pixie Mate Chai that I’ve been really impressed by. It has the spices of a sweet chai, but none of it is so overwhelming that you can’t taste the tea beneath it, which is really important and often missed with Oregon Chai. As far as spicy chai goes, I may be bucking a trend, here, but I like a spicy chai to have a moderate bite, versus the strong bite of the Morning Glory. The best I’ve found along this line is a Portland local brand called Dragonfly Chai. If I could convince one of the local coffee shops to try it, I think they’d be well pleased with it.
It’s interesting to sit in a coffee shop near the counter, because you really notice the sort of pattern and flow of traffic. It seems to be a steady trickle of people until it abruptly floods in. I don’t know what else is going on in the area that would cause the momentary surges, but they’re definitely unmistakable. It’s all about the ebb and flow and cycles. (And being patient… it’s time to refill my chai, but I’m waiting until the current surge dies down).
I recently read a blog post that talked about how delightful it was to have a grapefruit, Photoshop, and an empty apartment to work in. While there are certainly days that sounds excellent, that’s not really my model. I like my solitude as much as the next introvert, but what exactly that entails differs between people, I think, and for me, it comes down to having solitude without being alone. This is why I’m so fond of coffee houses and cafes: I’m left to my own devices generally, but other people are around, satisfying my desire to people-watch when I want (watching the social dance between people is something of a pastime… I find it fascinating). That sort of “communal solitude” is my happy medium where I feel like I’m the most productive. I’d really love to sit down and get a discussion going between a number of creatives to talk about that… where our productive “sweet spot” is. I’m not sure this blog really has enough of a readership to get as broad a sampling as I’d like, but I’d still love to know folks’ thoughts on the matter nonetheless.