Thursday, February 23, 2006

Coffee and Chess

There's a coffee shop in the town where I live that's practically close enough to walk to. It's actually an old grain warehouse that's been converted into a business but I love the atmosphere there. It's never empty, but big enough to never feel crowded, with plenty of room to spread out and read or study or surf the net (if I remember to bring a computer) yet the people there are always friendly and chatty enough that sometimes you just have to sit with a group of regulars and talk about whatever is on anyone's mind. Good food, great coffee, wonderful people, and completely unpretentious - it's the exact antithesis of Starsmucks. It's one of the few downtown locales I know of that actually reflects the demographic makeup of the town proper (one-thirds black, white, and latino) whereas the majority of the downtown shops and resturants cater to the uber-rich equestrian types that live on their estate farms outside of town. I love it, because to me - the coffee shop is the town - and by going there I feel a part of a community again.

Today, in one of the upstairs nooks was a group of old men playing chess at a handful of tables. They invited me and a few of the comparatively younger patrons to join them. It'd been a long time since I'd played and I'd never played too seriously, but thankfully there were a few of us from about every skill level imaginable. After winning or losing a few games you were likely to get matched up with some honest competition. I lost two games and won one, but had a lot of fun and learned quite a bit in the process. Apparently Thursday evenings has been consecrated as chess night. I'll be back.


Post a Comment

<< Home