…All before 8:30

I love Cafe Europa, my little local coffee shop. I think it’s owned by people about my age (maybe younger?!), the coffee is fantastic, they make a great breakfast, there’s always interesting art on the walls, and the staff is friendly. I’m excited today because they remembered my drink order. It almost outweighs the fact that the people at the Starbucks by work know my drink order. Coffee… I do love it. I like it simple. It used to be a latte, but then I switched to Americanos. How easy is that order? None of this “double tall iced no whip” nonsense, just “an Americano,” which I would add a little milk to and be on my way. But then I stopped drinking milk, and the order became much more complex:

Me: I’ll have a medium Americano with soy milk.
There’s no milk in an Americano.
I know, but you don’t leave soy milk out for me to add myself.
Oh. Right. So how much do you want? Like an inch?
Steamed or cold?
Cold is fine.

So my order became an “Americano with an inch of cold soy,” which is still a simple drink, but feels a little higher-maintenance than I actually am. At Cafe Europa, though, I may never have to utter those high-maintenance words again because they will just know…

So on my walk home from the coffee shop, some interesting things happened. First, a guy wearing sunglasses (on this slightly overcast morning) who looked like he belonged in Miami circa 1987 was kneeling down in an alley fiddling with something on the ground, got up, kicked it with his foot, and walked past me. Then another guy who was carrying many more belongings on his bicycle than the average person would need in a day rode down the alley, stopped his bike at the thing (which was a DVD case), opened it up to check for something (the DVD? the goods?), put it in his basket, and continued down the alley. I totally think it was something underground. It very well could have been a copy of Legally Blonde, and I am just not aware of the street value of such a fine film. Anyway.

Then I crossed Logan, and saw another weird thing. This older woman wearing camouflage was talking to a younger guy. In her hand she had a freaking gun! At first I thought it must be a toy, but as I was passing she said to her dog (a little mix between something like a corgi and something like a golden, with the cutest little mohawk of fur on the top of his head), “Come on, Smoochie, let’s go learn how to shoot a gun!” It was like a little scene out of a bizarre dark comedy. I’ve seen this lady and Smoochie before, and I know that on Sundays Smoochie gets to decide where he wants to walk, and she just follows him. Maybe he’s been leading her into strange new territory (like Baker? Alamo Placita?), and she feels the need to exercise her right to bear arms or something.

I love my neighborhood very, very much, but sometimes it perplexes me.



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10 responses to “…All before 8:30

  1. A woman with a gun? If you would have gone with a steamed coffee you could have used it as a weapon.

  2. Wow…

    I wish I could say ‘I miss those things about living in Denver’ (as I used to live on Capitol Hill) but I really don’t. But it’s fun to read about.

    I am too much of a sucker and I give money to everyone who asks me and I end up broke. Then they turn around and buy drugs or guns for their dog or whatever.

    Well actually toward the end I stopped giving them money. Homeless people and cabbies used to hit on me constantly–which was rather frightening.


    I can say with confidence that I prefer suburbia to downtown Denver. heheee.

    Your MILF-Y Uncle,


  3. p.s. when I was in art school, I worked in a drive-through (actually drive-thru is probably more accurate…hehe) coffee shop called ‘Mocha Motive’ (har har!!!) back in Denver. I had the strangest customers sometimes. I don’t mind high-maintenance customers (order-wise) as long as they’re nice. I had a woman who ordered a breve latte (latte made with half-n-half). A LARGE! And she made sure there was NO FOAM. So it’s like, a giant cup of half-n-half. Holy Cow. I admit I’ve ordered a breve latte before, but always a small.

    Right now I’m drinking my homemade latte with lactose-free organic milk and instant coffee. It’s not exactly a latte but it’s close enough.

    I had this fiasco happen the other day, actually, at the local Barnes and Noble. I go there with Pele because they have a kid’s area with a train set and a reading area, etc. I just try to stake out stores that have kid’s areas (because a lot of stores are just SO not kid-friendly and Pele would destroy all of their merchandise in a hot second). Anyway. So I was at the B&N and I always order Pele a small, cold soy milk. Actually I order her HALF of a small. It’s literally like 4 oz of soymilk or something. It’s not very much. So they have been charging me like 50 cents for it, which involves using the ‘add soy’ function. So then, one day recently we ordered our usual cold half cup o’ soy for Pele and I said ‘oh, we always order this–they generally charge us an ‘add soy”. Then she had a fit. She told me sternly that this was absolutely incorrect and that these people that had been doing that for me could be fired for doing that, etc. Then she started to lecture me about it and go on and on about how that was wrong, etc. So I said, ‘ok, that’s fine. Just give me the soy at whatever price you want’. So then she kept going on talking! She wouldn’t shutup. I just wanted her to get me the dang drinks and let me go. She kept rambling about it and I said ‘I don’t want to hold a consortium about it’. Hrmm I don’t think I said consortium but it was something like that.

    ANYWAY. Augh I am rambling. I don’t know how to tell a story concisely. I should practice on my blog (mental note).
    So this left Jeremy and me in a rather confused and grumpy state and we were loathe to go back there and get our ‘usual’ for Pele. It just seems like a lot of hassle to put US through just because they don’t want to use the ‘add soy’ function key.


    Happy Weekend to You,


  4. I lived in capital hill for ten years or so. I once lived a 10th and pearl, near your coffee shop. There is definitely something weird/exciting going on there.

  5. and then the lady with a gun overheard the baristas at Cafe Europa talking about the STRANGEST ORDER they made today — an Americano with Soy?!

    people are strange.

  6. ooook. Actually I do sometimes miss the restaurants and such. I was just fantasizing about Lik’s ice cream and this cool vegan restaurant I used to live near.

    Ahh memories…

  7. Kavi

    Whoa – what a coincidence that we just had a conversation about this place at dinner, and you had just written a post about it?!

    By the way – my name was already filled in when I came to leave a comment. Is the feeling it gave me somewhat similar to the feeling of the barrista giving you “the usual”? 🙂

  8. I also lived at 10th and Pearl. One morning I was woken up by a crackhead with a bad lighter. He just kept trying the lighter, but it must have been out of fluid, so I woke up to this rhythmic flicking sound. If I hadn’t been afraid of being stabbed, I would have just given him a new lighter.

    I cringed the first time I used the term non-fat, decaf for real, instead of when I made fun of those people.

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