As some of you know, I’m a devotee of sorts to Julia Cameron’s creativity programs. One of her recommendations is that you find a “spot” some public place that connects you to your community. When I lived in smaller towns, this was easy enough: there was usually only one spot that suited said needs. Nowadays, however, I live in the Twin Cities which is, ultimately, a network of neighborhoods, only distinguishable once you learn to recognize the hallmarks of “good” “bad” and “transitioning.” While I love the district I live in – far northeast – I’m running into some problems I did not anticipate.
There are three coffee shops on Central. One I hate on principle: it has lousy seating where there is light, and no natural light where there is adequate seating. Also, I always feel slightly dizzy/sick when I go in there, which warns me I do NOT belong in there for whatever reason. The other two I have to bus to: one has replaced Big Gay Coffeeshop Vera’s, and is of much the same overpriced fare. The other has no A/C in summer, and while friendly and community oriented, has an owner who thinks it’s OK to argue with me about my allergies (UNCOOL) and the last time I was there I could swear I saw fruit flies come out of the lettuce in the sandwich I ordered. Also uncool, even though not controllable. The place is fine in winter, but for summer, doesn’t make a good workspace.
Also, since I live on the street with three buildings owned by Holy Land and a Mosque, it’s understandable if not happy that the Holy Land corporation has continued to buy up all the liquor licenses on the street. There are no bars that are open for standard bar hours. While there are a broad variety of restaurants, the popular one, Adelita’s, does not appeal to me at all. Sen Yai Lek is great for meeting friends for dinner, but not really a great hangout – and I know it’s weird, but for a place I’m going to go write and participate, I feel it should in some way be dedicated to Americana.
So while I can walk to an infinite variety of grocery options and the post office, I have virtually no options within walking distance for the two community anchors I would use the most. (The library across the street is being renovated, also ruling that out.) Certainly I can take the bus to a lot of places (I share a car, and Mike gets it for work) but when you’re lugging a laptop that does have its limits.
I realize much of this is sheer cussed pickiness. But a place must be JUST right. And safe. Safe is way important these days.