Mug Life

The Coffee House Diaries


Sumptuous Saturday

March 16, 2013

When you think of Saturday - what do you think of? Relaxing? Chores around the house? Maybe a day hanging out with friends?

My Saturdays tend to be more than a little different.....

My daughter often works weekends, so I drive her into the city, drop her at work, and while there I do errands if necessary. The shops are crowded, the streets are hectic, and the parking is often a nightmare. Early mornings in LA, on the weekend are so blissfully peaceful that I just WANT to drive around and enjoy the beauty...but hit about 9:30am or later and the city wakes up and gets going. Some work....many shop...lots socialize...EVERYONE seems to be out and about.

Every weekend is different...for me...for most...and certainly in the vibe of the city.

Today began as a challenge and then went through a magical transformation. As with any recipe, any work of art, our day as well, requires the right ingredients... the right items, the right temperature, the right quality...and you can ALWAYS tell when you cut corners....your end product is never right.

I woke up - as I often do - with a brewing headache, knotted neck and exhausted. The day was popping with energy and it felt like it was a huge incoming tidal wave that planned to pull me under.

I dropped my daughter off at work and with just a short amount of time before I had to pick her again, the trek home in Saturday traffic was a waste of time and gas. I decided to head to Starbuck's, use their free WiFi and get some work done over a cup of coffee. The local spot was busy and noisy, overflowing with everyone starting and/or refueling their day. Top it all of with the smell of burnt coffee in the air and I knew they were too busy to be cleaning their machines. So, out I went... sat in my car outside and tried to use the internet in the peace of my Jeep. Let's just say it cut in and out more than nervous boys at their first prom!

Whether I felt that I looked presentable, or could be comfortable around people - I knew where I had to go....and really, had known it the whole time. That place where it is home...even when not home. I say that phrase a lot, I know, but I am one of those people who cannot just be comfortable anywhere. Sensitive to environment, atmosphere, the energy whirling around me, not to mention the quality of the coffee....there was only one place I wanted to be.that would do - and do nicely.

And THAT was the turning point in my day... the key ingredient to calming my head, quieting my mind, and channeling the high energy day into a great one instead of mental chaos central.


I headed down Melrose Avenue to my favorite spot... Fratelli Cafe. I love it here.... the food is extraordinary - pleasing to the palate, and the eye, and to good health; The location - I love Melrose, West Hollywood, and this corner locale is ideal... the atmosphere is always at ease even when busy to overflowing, warm, welcoming. The service is that ideal balance of attentive yet not intrusive; and the people - from the owner to the wait staff to the cooks to the clientele - just a great bunch of people....which creates a wonderfully vibrant yet comfortable atmosphere.

Lunch....fed body and soul....

 And of course a huge cup of their delightful Italian coffee.


 As I enjoyed my meal, worked peacefully on my laptop, and chatted with the owners, my mood shifted, my headache lifted...the right input - soul as well as body nutrition - is very important.

Observing my fellow diners, recognizing many of the regulars, spotting newcomers delight in a new favorite place...I watched the same transformation occur in others. A frustrated young man was encouraged by his family and friends, a nervous business meeting turned into fun lunch laughter for two other folks...and on and on.

We put so much focus on what we wear, what our job or title is, and what we eat....but do we pay enough attention to what we feed our heart and soul? Who we call and who calls us friend and family and love? Do we dress ourselves in energy and choices that are flattering to who we really are?

Just a thought or two I sip my coffee...and enjoy the view! 


Why the Coffee House?

March 5, 2013

In coffee houses around the world, people of all types stop for coffee....a muffin...a sandwich...tea...and more many times throughout the day.

Social classes, professions, race, cultures, and genders all intersect and connect.

People make new friends, meet with old friends, do business, and sometimes come in just to be warmed by the familiar atmosphere even more than by the hot beverages. 

I do some of my best work in my favorite cafe. I will share about this magical place in anoth...

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