Coffee Shopping Around 2014

Time for my round-up of local coffee spots starting a little north of the Danforth with the Last Drop Cafe – 549 Sammon Ave. I hit this spot four or five times a year – it’s usually not on my walking route. Good coffee though, great caramel butter tart and always friendly service. Accessible but washrooms are in the basement – duck your head on the way down.

South, I sometimes get to Bandit – 1925 Gerrard St. E. Recently changed management, I think. Usually hit this spot on Sunday’s. Fine coffee, good cookies – really enjoy the Oreo cookie cookie. Accessible, washrooms large and on the same floor.

table the patio is open

Recently opened Brickyard Grounds – 1289 Gerrard St. E. is a welcome addition to that corner. Bright, for a change, nice to have a spot that doesn’t feel like a cave. Good coffee, good service. On site bakery for some things, but sometimes no muffins or cookies by 10:30 a.m. If you want, you can have a whole roast chicken with your latte. The Super mint tea is excellent. Frequent flyer card as well. Accessible, washrooms on the same floor but not sure how easy it would be to get wheelchairs to the back area.

I get to Cake Town – 2039 Danforth Ave. nearly every other week to meet up with a recovery buddy. Good service, good coffee, great breakfast bagel, nice butter tart as well. Frequently flyer card. Accessible, washrooms on same floor but pretty narrow for wheelchairs to get back there. Can be a bit noisy if  children are there.

headless headless

Celena’s Bakery – 2036 Danforth Ave. – across the street from Cake Town. As you might guess, has in house bakery, great muffins, great breads as well & a good date square. Good coffee. Rarely eat in there though, so have never checked the washroom, which I think are in the basement.

Crema – 508 Danforth Ave. – has some of the hottest bearded baristas serving their excellent coffees. This is always a take out spot for me & have never needed to use the washrooms. Accessible but narrow & probably not a great space for wheelchairs. Good muffins & cookies but nothing great. Frequent flyer card though & even a gift card that offers a small discount with every purchase. I keep mine topped up.

frame picture this

The Only Cafe – 972 Danforth Ave. – I hit this spot a few times a year & always enjoy it. Nicely funky decor, hippies never fade away they just open coffee shops. No brewed coffee though – all Americanas, lattes etc. The breakfast bagel is great here. Too cluttered to be easily accessable & I’ve never used the washrooms. Accessible but another cafe so cluttered inside it’s hard to get a round

Closest to me is the Red Rocket Cafe – 1364 Danforth Ave. I’m in there five or six times a month – most Saturdays for my morning coffee & usually a rice crispies square, but sometimes the great zucchini muffin. Good coffee, great service, (hot bearded barista here too), in house baked goods. I never let my gift card dip below $10.00. Accessible but narrow & cluttered – I’ve knocked things off tables struggling to get to the service area.

samples

Heart

“Did you see it?”

“How could I have not seen it.”

“It’s horrible.”

“Yes.”

“Is that all you feel?”

“It’s horrible. What more do you want me to feel.”

“Anger.”

“Some, but for me it’s more like helplessness. It’s not as if I can get there and do anything practical.”

“I wish they’d stop showing that footage over and over.”

“I stopped watching it.”

“You stopped! Why? How could you? Don’t you care?”

“I care, but that doesn’t mean I have to watch every frame every time it comes on.”

“Sometimes I wonder if you have a heart, you know. That is the coldest thing I’ve heard you say.”

“What? That I can’t bare to watch something that horrible? I think it’s pretty callous to keep watching it. Sick. You get some sort of thrill every time you see it.”

“Thrill! No! How could you think such a thing? No one would get a thrill out of seeing that!”

“Then why watch it.”

“So I won’t forget it. No one should forget that moment.”

“I won’t forget it.”

“I bet you’re one of those who think they had it coming.”

“They?”

“The U S of A.”

“I don’t think anything except it was horrible.”

“I doubt it. If you thought that then you would want to do something, take some sort of action. Some action other than turning off your TV because it made you uncomfortable.”

“Sorry, but I did have to go to the can.”

“You know what I mean. You can’t hide in the sand. If you try to hide you are merely approving the actions of those terrorists. You have to take some action.”

“And what action are you taking? Talking about it? Watching it? Have you left the house or sent a donation to the Red Cross, given blood, made a poster to walk up and down the street with that rallies other’s to action? Have you?”

“No, but at least I care.”

“All you care about is some new juicy detail to talk about. That’s the extent of your action. Talk and look. Opinions won’t solve anything. So far all I’ve heard from you are opinions on what other’s should do.”

“At least I have an opinion. All I hear for you is that you didn’t feel the need to watch. To witness the devastation of our lives. So don’t you take that tone with me.”

“Are you going to enlist?”

“Enlist? What for?”

“If there’s going to be war don’t you want be there, in the front line?”

“If it comes to that I’ll be there. Don’t you worry. Will you?”

“I’m too old. I’ll be one of those bandage makers. But you are the right age.”

“This won’t be a foot war.”

“You think not. Does it have to be a war at all – that’s what I’d ask myself. How can we avoid that.”

“We can’t avoid that. We have to take action.”

“Again I’ll ask you what action are you going to take beside button-holing people with your opinions and rants? Or are you happy to just watch at your safe distance and opine as to what you think others should do.”

“I was right, you don’t have a heart.”

patio the patio is very open

Stretching for the #NaNoWriMo Dash

Making the initial little steps in getting in NaNo shape – first by doing short writing sprints in the morning – ten min max – spewing out snippets of scenes that may show up as part of the my NaNo novel start – one of the secrets to NaNo success for me has been not to worry about writing a finished work – there’s always next year to finish it 🙂 focusing on word count lets me shut down part of the editorial brain to just get the quantity out there – out of quantity comes quality. So I’m doing improv with my characters to get used to them and how they talk & act –

never know where the steps we take will lead us

Speaking of improv I took the first of the Make-a-Scene classes Wednesday night at The Centre of Gravity Circus Training Studios. We meet up at The Side Show Cafe at 7:30. There are 11 of us in the class plus Allan Turner our our fearless leader. He explained the intent of the workshop – 4 weeks of improv & theory; then 4 weeks of rehearsals leading up to a show (t.b.a).

Unlike the writing workshops I’ve taken, this one has an even mix of men and women. Some bring experience, some open minds and willingness – the first 30 min are spent in the Cafe chatting & getting acquainted – I had an excellent butter tart (for energy) – but found the music a bit too loud for conversation.

At 8 we went up to Studio G – via the outside fire escape – essentially a large, high-ceiling space with a mirror. Some low benches to sit on. Allan talked about the theory of play and where ideas come from. We did several group improv games – all physical with one that involved some language: the rant choir – each of us was assigned a random topic to talk/rant about when pointed to by Allan as conductor – hand signals for more intensity, quiet – one at a time or three or four at the same time.

My random topic was avant-garde fashion – about which I said “I was walking along Queen West the other day and came across a Lady GaGa pop-up store. She is selling as high fashion surgical bandages – I was able to buy this knee brace ( I was actually wearing one) allowing me to be cutting edge stylish and injured at the same time.” I had more but that’s all I got called on to say.

porch futurism

Having both sides of the brain activated by this workshop will get me in top form for the NaNoWriMo dash in November.

[September 2020 – The Centre of Gravity is no longer at this location at Gerrard/Greenwood, same for Side Show Cafe]

writing sample
writing sample

one of my morning NaNo stretches [plot points revealed before now]

Jim and Birk stood at the rear of the men. MacKlusky was pounding on the front door of the company store. Two other men had gone around to the back to make sure Seldon [the store’s manager] didn’t slip away.

“He ain’ going anywhere.” Birk muttered. “Too much stuff inside. He’d never step away from a profit.”

“Open up Seldon. Man, we know you’re in there.” MacKlusky shouted. “We don’t want to harm you. We know it ain’ your fault wha’s goin’ on [miners are on  strike] but we have families to feed too you know.”

A window on the second floor opened. It was to the left of the front door. A woman’s head stuck out. “Dan’l t’ain’ here.”

It was his wife.

“He’s gone up to the big office. He was sent fer at supper time. He ain here.”

“Then let us in mussus.” MacKlusky stepped back. “We means no harm to you and yours.”

“I canna let you in. It’d be the end of me. He dinna want this to happen. But he’s got no choice He’s sorry he ever let his brother talk him inta runnin’ the cump store. Swore it was easy money. But it isn’t. It isn’t. We has to pay for everything just like you do. Even if it don’ get bought and goes bad we still has to pay for it.”

Birk had never heard Mrs. Seldon talk for so long.

you're no frond of mine so get out of here
you’re no frond of mine, so get out of here