Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The End of the Tour

I apologize for the two week gap in posting. I am sure you have all been waiting with bated breath for the Northward Edition of my neighborhood adventure in photography. Well, just two blocks to the north of us is University Avenue which is as major as it sounds. So, we don't walk over that way too often, just because of the whole four lanes of traffic thing. However, there is one little stop at the corner of University on our side that looked worth trying out. Sure, there are Walgreens and grocery stores and gas stations all very much within walking distance in that direction, but I bored you with those types of places on our southern tour. So Frederichs World Coffees was really the only thing I had on my list that might be worthy of a northern honorable mention. And it is!

First of all, let me set the scene. This is the picture you almost got yesterday:

This is actually a reenactment, the brownie pan was full, the glass was full, and it was, as the clock says, just 3:00. I was going to let you in on how very wretched my day had been, and then I thought better. And I couldn't have anyway because the power cord to the computer broke (even as I type, George is out to get a new one- I am starting my post on the ole PC). It was just that kind of day -- the kind of day where someone pees on top of the toilet seat and through their clothes -- the kind of day where you think the neighbors you share a floor and ceiling with, who don't really know you yet, might be thinking of calling child services if you bark one more order or give one more exasperated lecture on the importance of learning to work hard -- the kind of day where that one kid gets under your skin and makes you feel as if you can just get the point across in a more poignant way or command more forcefully, he/she will do what he/she is supposed to do and get a better attitude, but keep dreaming because it never happens that way. To put it simply, it was the kind of day where we were completely out of paper towels- and really, if I had just said that from the beginning, you would understand why Southern Comfort made such an early appearance!

A word about Southern Comfort, it is not a proper bourbon, but actually a liqueur. This bothers me, and yet, having tried all the proper bourbons available in a typical store's selection, I find that Southern Comfort is the tastiest option, and truly worthy of its name. Southern Comfort indeed.

Well, George got wind of my worries and came home to relieve me around 4:00. I was then free to get a few errands done in peace. I went to my favorite place here so far, the Half Price Bookstore (for that is its proper name), sat on the floor in the childrens' department and read to my heart's content. I have decided that my purchases from the Half Price Bookstore will be a regular feature on here. So stay tuned for that. I already have two visits to catch you up on.

But we're supposed to be talking about the coffee shop near my house, right? I realize you probably forgot. I did too for a while there, but now we're back on track. The errands ended with a trip to Target where I picked up chicken fingers and hot wings in the freezer case. Chicken fingers and hot wings are my go to I'm-going-to-strangle-my-children meal. I pop the chicken fingers in the oven and serve them up with french fries and ketchup and veggie sticks and then send the children to bed. They're happy because they had chicken fingers for dinner, and I'm happy because I didn't have to cook or sit with them at dinner. Okay, I sound terrible here. I LOVE my children, but you know, everyone has these days. So after the kids go to bed, George and I get to eat our hot wings and veggie sticks and have our own little date at home.

So, was it the hot wings? Was it Coke too late in the day? I don't know, but I could not get to sleep last night. That's not such a big deal, I have pretty generally had my days and nights mixed up since about a week after we moved here. But the weird thing is, after getting to sleep somewhere between 2:30 and 3 am, I woke up several times and finally woke up for good at about 6:30. That was it. I couldn't sleep. So, after yesterday's issues and because I was working on four hours' sleep, I did not want to grind coffee and wake up the three then sleeping, quiet, and angelic children. I decided it would be a good morning to try out a new coffee place. And then, for reasons unknown, I decided it would be a good idea to walk the 1+ mile round trip to said coffee place. By the time I set out, it was after 8:00 (we non-morning people move slowly), and the weather outside was glorious. I checked the weather on my phone, feeling very much like a disgusting American who can't even walk half a mile in peace without technology, and it was 65 degrees! I had quite the pleasant walk. I met lots of people and canines alike and wished them all a good morning. Don't worry, I wasn't whistling or skipping- but almost!

Upon entering the coffee shop, I was even more elated. They had one of those really cool counters that has the compartments that are all full of coffee beans. And I actually had my camera, so I don't know why I didn't take a picture- there weren't even any grunge-y artists there ;) Well, I'll try to snap a picture some other time, because I will definitely be going back. I have decided that this will be my coffee place. First of all, besides the cozy and inviting atmosphere, and besides the fact that it's not a big chain (yippee!), they have flavored beans. Flavored beans are one of those things that we will never all agree on, and that is okay with me. But as a person who only drinks my coffee black, I very much enjoy the flavored bean. Joe Muggs always had flavored beans. Starbucks does not have flavored beans. But Kaldi's in St. Louis does. And now, to my great delight, Friedrichs of Des Moines also does. Today's flavor was amaretto something or another. I wish I could remember its proper title, but all I know is I taste almond. Maybe it was "almond amaretto," but isn't that redundant?

Okay, and if all of this wasn't enough. If all of this- the easy walking distance, the small local chain-ness, the flavored bean-ness, the cuteness/coziness- does not totally sell you, then perhaps this will:

Folks, do you know what that is? Do you? Perhaps this post will give you a hint. Or this post. Or this post. It's almost smiling at me isn't it? It's saying, "Hello, Abby! It's me, your favorite sweet treat ever. I'm right down the street now, any time you need me." I am just amazed at how this happened! As you will have guessed, this is a Joe Muggs chocolate chip cookie that Joe Muggs actually no longer sells. So how on earth did it end up at my little corner coffee shop? I don't know. But it doesn't matter. All that matters is that these cookies still exist and are part of my life again. What a great end to the tour, right? If you come visit, I'll treat you to one!


Jessie said...

Wait, do they actually call the, "the joe muggs cookie" or are they just exactly like them? I'm fine with either, as long as you have that cookie (I was treated to one, once, I remember WELL!), but I'm just curious about the degree of similarity...

And all that is a great story. I loved it.

Abby said...

See, I think that Joe Muggs must have imported them from some sort of national bakery company. I don't think they did anything but thaw them and serve them in house when they carried them. These ARE the ones. I asked the girl where they got them, but she didn't seem to know- just that they get them from somewhere (don't bake them in house). But, down to the size and variety of the chips and the sprinkling of those big sugar crystals on top, these are the ones! I'd know them anywhere!

Hey, when are you going home? I need to mail stuff to you anyway, maybe some cookies would like to come visit you in Brooklyn! I'll ask them :)

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