The Delight of a Coffee Shop in a New City

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A couple of weeks ago, as an airport on the way to a Vermont wedding, my wife and I spent a quick night in Boston. In the morning, while she jaunted off to a workout, I did the responsible thing and went hunting for scones and coffee. A bit of writing time wouldn’t hurt either.

In that historic downtown, with the various New England hordes finding their ways to work, I checked the old Maps app on the phone and fished around for somewhere interesting. There’s nothing particularly wrong about a Starbucks or a Panera (or, this being New England, a Dunkin’ Donuts), but I find the quirky and non-branded nature of more local haunts to be conducive to creativity. It’s as though the muse finds a kindred spirit in the handwritten specials and the home-cooked recipes. The bags of coffee coming from a variety of sources and all that.

Anyway, I found what I was looking for in the basement of a building at a “Thinking Cup” location (which is apparently a local brand) and pounded out some words while Nicole pounded out some miles. For a day that was going to be spent driving through the fall colors of Vermont and New Hampshire, it was a solid start.

Last weekend, we stopped overnight in La Crosse, WI, a town nestled into the bluffs of the Mississippi River. There to do some hiking, Nicole and I did our usual dodging of the hotel breakfast and went scouting for a quick but interesting joint to salve our morning stomachs. We found “Cabin Coffee” and its wild berry biscuits, a dessert that would do me in if I had regular access to it. We drank our coffee on saddles, because this place carried a western theme to it.

The point being, it’s fun to hunt for unusual cafes. Most are naturally disposed to sipping the steaming stuff and having discussions about who knows what. Or, you know, falling into universes of your own making and seeing what sort of magic you can make.

Also scones. They’re so good.

I may have a problem.