Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Of coffeeshops

A "coffee shop" used to be a place like Denny's. Now it's a place like Starbucks, but more like the "coffee house" of the sixties and before. I think we don't call them coffee houses because they don't all push poetry readings. But some do. And some others come up with other hooks.

I am sitting in one in "The Village of Arroyo Grande" right now. The Village is a portion of this small central coast city in California that has been preserved like the Main Streets of yesterday. It was when the street was threatened with demolition that the forces came out that led to the preservation of the old buildings lining both sides of a fairly wide road that also leads to other places.

This place is called Cafe Andreini. It offers the usual coffee beverages plus lunch and breakfast items, has a few couches at the back, and some shelves with odds and ends of things for sale. What I notice about this one is that many of the goods for sale are "Christian" in nature. Signs that say "God bless this house", little knickknacky pottery that say "Live, Laugh, Pray"... The shop is inside a larger old building with high ceilings covered with a material that I think is painted tin. The embossed type thin ceiling material that was popular - when? About 100 years ago?

The other day I was out "scouting" for good photographic locations and wanted to get a little hike in as well. I drove partway up Cuesta Grade to pull off on Reservoir Canyon Road. Took a little hike there. When I was done I decided to continue up the grade, and I took the Santa Margarita exit. Santa Margarita is not a full city yet, barely a town, but civilization has encroached. In one of the rather western looking old buildings there was a little cafe. I grabbed a stack of magazines from my car, destined for the library (so they could resell them), because I had a feeling. I was right. There was a rack in the cafe that held books and magazines that were offered for sale on the honor system, proceeds to the Santa Margarita Friends of the Library. I bought two paperbacks and left my pile of magazines. But what was unusual about this place was the wall. Painted on a large side wall was a decorated rectangle, large, that was advertised as a movie screen. On Friday nights the cafe screens movies there. Last friday's fare was Happy Feet, the penguin movie I didn't see (or want to). I wish I had taken a picture of this.

In San Luis Obispo, there is a coffee place near my home that is another God Cafe. Higher Grounds coffee shop, it calls itself. Maybe they want us high on God rather than coffee. It offers free wi fi also, has couches, tables, and something I'd like to see in more places: a little children's play area.

There is no real point to this post. No aha moment. Just observations that I hope I will augment with pictures later, when I'm back home.

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