I am not sure how in two days I’ve fallen for a café which is not at all close to my house and at which it is difficult to find parking. (Maybe I’m having a café fling.) I’m playing parking Russian roulette today, in a street space which I think is viable, but it’s tricky to tell in this neighborhood. Guess we’ll find out! If the only parking option is really 2-hour meters, it’ll be tough for me to keep coming here.
Two days of impressions and thoughts:
September 10 4:31 PM Visiting for the first time Bloc 11 Café in Union Square, Somerville—sister café of Diesel in Davis Square (love). Bloc 11 is in a renovated bank and the layout offers several fairly separate “spaces” with tables, counters, and benches. I’m embracing the fall temps with a really awesome mint hot chocolate ($3.10). Only complaint, their music is competing with mine, even with my headphones on…I’m sitting right under the speaker though, so poor choice on my part. Speaking of firsts, I think this is technically my first document on my brand new MacBook Pro (I did an invoice on it, but that doesn’t count). The computer is the means by which I can be writing in a coffee shop at all, because my old one (a hand-me-down Dell Inspiron) was not what you would call portable. Unless you own a Uhaul.
Same place, different table, next day, 11:10AM, phe-nom-en-al egg and cheese sandwich. (The polar food opposite of those nasty Dunkin’ Donuts commercials.*) Music slightly quieter. More people. Most with laptops (only one as large as the one I just ditched!). There’s another writer; I love writers. I always want to meet them and get inside their heads (but I never do, because like me, they probably want to be left alone). The writer today is a young guy, old backpack, Euro-style jeans and a button-down shirt. Worn out sneakers, messy hair. He’s a got a steno pad open to a blank page and a pen that he picks up, holds over the page, and then puts down again. He’s bought a cup of coffee, but brought his own sandwich in a plastic baggie, and for some reason this act of frugality or discipline (or dietary restriction?) is tugging at my compassion. Nearby there’s a guy who looks like he could be a roadie for a death metal band, eating soup out of a dainty clear glass bowl with a tiny roll on the side, and a new mom writing baby gift thank-yous (I think) while an infant sleeps in a stroller. The writer mostly stares out the front window, which is closed today because it’s chilly and supposed to rain. Today is one of those confusing days where some people are wearing winter coats and some people are wearing flip flops.
Although I knew I wanted to get up, come to Bloc 11, and eat a breakfast sandwich, I could not get myself moving today (actually, it’s been a problem all week). I’ve been in a bit of a down mood. Even though this summer has been exciting, with a career change that’s freed up both my time and my mind to focus on creative endeavors, lately I’ve for some reason been feeling that I’m surrounded by closed doors rather than open ones. Somehow even being in this Union Square café is giving me that feeling: most of the baristas and many of the customers are younger than me, students, renters of apartments with five people packed into them, explorers of the city on weekend nights. They make me feel old, suburban, and married, someone who has already made all her choices, someone who has “a routine.” (Which is bogus, because I have nothing even close to a routine.) Anyway. Like the guy with the still-hovering pen, I’m here because I want to write, so I have to get to it. If I get a parking ticket, I’m going to need to earn some money to pay it off…
♦Live blogging will continue as long as Meghan continues to find parking in Union Square♦
*I want to clarify that I do believe there is a time and a place for Dunkin Donuts. But that time is not when you want food. In my opinion it is when you are on a road trip.