I went to school in Santa Barbara and we used to ride our bikes everywhere. There was something so relaxing, even comforting about riding with the moist beach air streaming through my hair, I would ride without hands and stretch my arms out on either side, feeling as weightless as possible. I have never (until then or even since then) felt like I have had so much opportunity and so much of an unobscured future to explore. Thinking now about this feeling of limitless possibility that soaked my college years makes me feel both privileged and oppressed. Privileged to have felt that way at one time in my life (which is more than most of the world's population can say) and oppressed by the daily grind of the corporate environment I have found myself in since entering the workforce.
There's a children's book called "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," I'm sure you've heard of it, but it's about a mischievous little mouse who convinces a young boy of a whole string of things that he needs to go with the cookie the boy was kind enough to share. His list of requests goes from milk to a mirror to a trim of his hair to a box of crayons to draw with.
I get this way when I find a new book...
Once I find the next book to lose myself in, I will need a quirky, independent cafe with a comfy chair and good music to sit at while I read. I will also need to have an extra hot cappuccino in hand and a couple snacks to munch on (a variety of salty and sweet is preferred). I will need a sharp pencil for marking off good quotes, interesting facts and well-composed sentences. It's also helpful to have a friend or two convinced to read the same book (for people to discuss with of course).
So it's probably no surprise that I have a list of my favorite independent cafes and coffeeshops...
- Northstar Cafe :: State St. Santa Barbara
- Java Jones :: State St. Santa Barbara
- Coffee Cat :: Anacapa St. Santa Barbara
- Muddy Waters :: E. Haley. Santa Barbara
- Aroma Cafe :: Tujunga. Studio City
- Beanscene :: Lindero. Thousand Oaks
- Doan's Bakery :: Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills
- Muddhouse Coffee :: Roscoe. San Fernando Valley
- Les Artisans :: Avenue Daumesnil. Paris
- Les Arts :: Rue Mouffetard. Paris
This idea of shopping locally has grown in popularity in recent years. Honestly, I hadn't given it much thought until I began reading a book called: