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  • Writer's pictureLexi Bruce

One of My Favorite Things To Do Before the Pandemic

One of my favorite things to do before the pandemic was to wander down to a cafe with a book or my laptop and hang out, reading, writing, or just socializing over a delicious beverage.

I'd go to a Caffe Aroma for a cup of coffee and a bagel before my shift at a store up the street, or I'd stop by after my shift for a beer or a cocktail. I'd make plans to meet up with friends there, or I'd make new friends with the other regulars. In cold weather I'd squeeze inside, in the warmth, and in warm weather I'd lounge on the patio, watching the bustle of Elmwood Village.

Here's a photo I took one rainy spring evening in 2007:

When I started working in North Buffalo, Roots Coffee and Tea became my go-to coffee shop. Right across from work, it was so easy to pop in before a late shift, or on my way home from an early shift. It was quieter and less cramped than Aroma, and has a very cute aesthetic. I pretty quickly became a regular there, and enjoyed good coffee, Turmeric Golden (oat) Milk, and their delicious London Fog.

I usually take my coffee black these days:

And then, shortly before I left Buffalo, JAM Parkside opened up in my neighborhood! With great coffee, espresso, tea, and baked goods, they really added something that was missing from my neighborhood! I started hanging out there, and worked as a barista there. I finished creating my website there, and have definitely gotten some writing and editing done there. I never quite got the hang of making latte art, but I did learn a great deal about brewing coffee, pulling an espresso shot, steaming milk, and how a good cappuccino can change someone's day for the better.

Just before the pandemic hit, I left Buffalo. I discovered a couple promising cafes and coffee shops in my new home, but just as I was beginning to get comfortable, the pandemic dug in and everything closed.

I'm lucky, the coronavirus hasn't dug in down here the way it has many places. I have a job at a bookstore, and a good living situation. I miss writing in cafes, but I'm working on plans to make my home workstation a little more like a cafe. I already have the bagels and good coffee at home, now I just need to cultivate the look, and crank up the ambient noise.

I'm really digging this mug, designed by Debbie Sun, for my at-home cafe!

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