On the corner where our office is, there is a Starbucks. I used to live in Portland, where going to a Starbucks is basically a deportable offense, so I never go there on purpose, really. But I go there sometimes, usually when I don’t have any cash, or if I’m standing right in front of it. Or I can’t be bothered to walk even two feet further than I have to. The iced coffee is so strong that I have to pour a third of it out and add milk and it still tastes gross. I always feel a little bit sad about myself when I leave.
Across the avenue is a deli. There are three men that are almost always working when I go in, nice men with kind eyes who recognize me, or at least pretend to recognize me. Bodegas can be stressful—there’s no room for a proper line, ahhh—but I like those three men. The card minimum is $5, so I have to get a bagel if I don’t have cash. The coffee is disgusting. The bagels are great.
Across the avenue and then across the street again is a new coffee shop, Gregory’s Coffee. It is bright and well-done with good decor. It is no Stumptown, but few places are. They’ve done a good job. The baristas are cute and the owner is cute and the baked goods are arranged in a pleasing way in a wood-and-glass case. The iced coffee is cold-brewed and doesn’t need milk.
Stumptown is some blocks away. The few times I’ve walked there I’ve decided it’s not that far, and a little walk is nice, but: It actually is that far and I have to cross so many streets to get there and then I get there and there is a line and also I think their iced coffee is $4 and they only take cash. Also everyone here is very well-dressed, which situation I’m able to avoid mostly, but this can make me feel bad about myself, depending on the day.
Where will I buy my coffee now, is the question. I’d like to go to the Gregory’s, but I’m just not sure how often I’m going be willing or able to cross two streets to do it. I think I might be done with the bodega though, because if I’m going to cross one street, I might as well cross two and get coffee that doesn’t have notes of soy sauce. But if I’m willing to cross two streets, maybe it’s actually worth it go a bit further to Stumptown, though in that case I’ll have to change my whole lifestyle because I never have cash. I don’t know if I’m ready to change my whole lifestyle. Becoming a loyal Starbucks customer is also a possibility, but I’m rooting against it. Making my own coffee is not an option; don’t be ridiculous.