on the gad

ugly stepsister

In coffee on March 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm

she didn’t have any use for them herself and generously bequeathed them to me. so then i had a month’s worth of a food stamps equivalent for coffee dates. and i will tell you a secret: starbucks coffee, like peet’s coffee, is good. which isn’t that surprising if you know your coffee history and remember that the two used to be related. and even if you are not in the habit of frequenting starbucks because you are a peetniks they aren’t hard to find. there must be a zoning law here in town that requires a peet’s coffee drinker to be able to spot a starbucks out the window and vice versa.

sampled south berkeley’s shop first since it’s in my neighborhood. ordered a cup of coffee and a petite vanilla bean scone. the goodies selection is not particularly enticing but i wasn’t expecting much in that department. the shop is right next to a new bakery that specializes in retro desserts like twinkies and hostess cupcakes made with wholesome ingredients. partook of that fun with just my eyes since i didn’t have a voucher from my sister.

bag

floor

next time i came in i ordered a cappuccino and they provided a ceramic cup. the very next visit was after a run so i needed some lunch instead. i sat at the bar and chatted with the staff. i know they are instructed to be friendly, as they are at the peet’s these days too, but the smiles were genuine.

froth

driveby

sandwich

blue

downtown starbucks has outdoor seating; especially nice these hot march days. coffee, water when i asked nice, and a free drink when i accumulated three stars. we were kinda parkling, i would say.

petite

read

parkle

there is another starbucks downtown, catty corner to peet’s, with only indoor seating and a community table. a small group wandered in and then she said oh let’s go to peet’s instead they are much better and they giggled all the way out because she couldn’t believe she had made that statement so loudly in starbucks.

chair

i met a friend for coffee up on college avenue. she wasn’t too squeamish to meet up at a starbucks. we could see a nice peet’s across the street. the shop is tucked into the brand new fancy safeway and there is a fresh artsy patio courtyard where you can enjoy your perfectly fine cup of coffee. i only have $1.82 left on my card which means i have just one more starbucks coffee date in my arsenal. looking forward to it.

patio

dustings

nuts!!

In coffee on September 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

i don’t get much out of sightseeing because i’m too easily distracted by surface layers of recent going ons and personalities¬† to mine the historic depths landmarks have to offer. conversely, small fragments of sight and sound will trigger personal and even ancestral memories and i love to follow these trails of beginnings and belonging. buster’s hitching post up at the track is underneath a chestnut tree. today, a busted open shell had me remembering family walks in europe. crispy autumn air, pink woolen coat, my hand in a parent’s firm hand; either for comfort or to urge my lazy legs to keep moving. and, of course, i hadn’t left the house without a hanky in my pocket. those were horse chestnuts in the woods and dad would make up an absurd explanation for the name that we would all believe well into adulthood.

nuts

although i am allergic to all nuts, i always appreciate bakeries like crixa and fournee here in berkeley that offer up traditional european desserts with chestnut flour, hazelnuts, and almond crust or pastry cream. i might have to attempt hazelnut cakes from my swiss cooking book for my sister’s birthday next time because it meets her gluten & dairy-free requirements. i am not an emotional eater but i do notice myself stuffing my cheeks like an anxious squirrel when my bank account dwindles. as i ran in circles up at the top, small children of various nationalities, herded by their caretakers, flocked to the water fountain. they chortled and were merry, as children always are around water, and i overheard them discussing ‘habitat’. lower down the hill workmen were chewing up dangerous trees. good job.

firenze

coffee & dates

In coffee on September 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm

i spent the month of august pretending to be outgoing and wrote about it, everyday. lots of pretty pictures to look at too:¬† http://brownsugarsocial.wordpress.com/. caught up with actual friends and made some new virtual friends. i also started an indiegogo campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/publish-children-s-book. please feel free to move about the cabin and take a peek. cheery sun struggled to break through this late afternoon and we cheered every time it did. we were having an impromptu little jazzy cake & coffee gathering at the farmers’ market amidst all the invigorating greenery and summer fruits. i didn’t know actual dates were such a feminine ivory berry when they started out.

dates

mama

circus

boxes

rise

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