Tonight is opening night of Art Meets Activism at the Arts Garage in Philly! Those of you in the area, make it out at some point over the next 9 days to view the gallery and also take in a ton of great performances by locals in the community. See you there!
This past week has been bizarre. Being my last full week in Philly before leaving for a semester abroad, I was anticipating a lot of goodbyes. I guess I hadn’t really dwelled on it too much because the program really only lasts four months and I’ll be back in the city before the semester here is even over. Yet as the week went by and I saw so many friends for the last time before my departure and payed final visits to various locations where I’ve become a regular, I had a number of unexpected emotional goodbyes. I don’t mean to over-dramatize this, in the great scheme of things it really is a very short time, but I think the last few days have showed me just how integrated into this city I’ve become. This place really feels like home and I feel so fortunate to have formed wonderful families of friends that I can’t imagine my life without. Being in a situation where I know I wont be able to see them for several consecutive months has really made that apparent. I haven’t bid farewells to my hometown friends yet, but I imagine they wont be too tearful. After we all went on our separate paths after high school and still find a way to exist in each others lives, I think goodbyes don’t seem as hard anymore. Those relationships have already stood the test of time and distance and hold a special place in my heart, irreplaceable by anyone. I’m looking forward to spending the next two weeks seeing the people I love and am eternally grateful for.
The sociology of coffee shops fascinates me. I’m guilty of subscribing to the “this apartment is suffocating my work flow” belief and take frequent trips downtown to work in a more stimulating environment. It never ceases to amaze me how each place has its own personality and draws its own unique crowd despite their close proximity.
For example, if I am in search of a place at which I can get some serious work done in a quiet atmosphere, I’ll go to Cups & Chairs in queen village. There are always open tables and there seems to be a universal understanding among customers to maintain a serene atmosphere. I will also mention that they have a detox tea that will beat the toxins right out of you. Now, if I go literally one block over to Red Hook Coffee & Tea, I should be prepared to play with about six dogs (they’re a dog-friendly cafe) and be subject to the musical tastes of whichever barista happens to be working that day. Should I choose to sit at a table for two, I can also expect to have a number of conversations with the people that politely ask if they could join me as seating here is limited and evidently no shy person in Philadelphia ever sets foot in this establishment. Their hot cider is pretty killer too. I could also walk a few blocks from there across south street and grab a seat at Philly Java Co. This is one of my favorite spots ever for chai and the crowd I’ve experienced here is definitely an eclectic one. I’ve eavesdropped on some real interesting conversations in this place…
On days I’m up for a trek down to south philly, I’m a big fan of setting up shop in Grindcore House. This place has amazing cold brewed coffee and vegan treats, and it’s almost impossible to leave without swapping stories about a dozen local shows and/or community events. Or if I’m in more of a northern liberties kind of mood I’ll head down to the Random Tea House & Curiosity Shop. The dude that works behind the counter is super knowledgeable about tea and has a remedy for any type of ailment you may be suffering from at the given moment. I also feel as though the people that work there know every customer that walks through the door, which makes for a real nice feeling of community.
This post has been me exposing the copious amounts of time I spend in coffee shops/recommending a few great spots to hang out in Philadelphia. There’s a good chance you’ll run into me there.