Civilization

Last week I had a nice little mid-winter break from school.

I had to get some work done, and Denver makes that nearly impossible, so I’ve adopted the ritual of going to a coffee shop in town for a few hours of productivity. For the past month or so, I would walk across my little town of Tremont to a great spot called Loop. It’s coffee shop/record store in a quaint old 2-story house.  They have killer coffee, delicious pastries, and a great tea selection, including a variety of mate teas. I also love this spot because it has a lot of natural light and is open and airy and it’s usually pretty calm and quiet, which makes it easy to work. An added bonus is that they sell records! They have quite a range of genres and prices, including a $1 section, which is awesome if you’re like me and like to try things you’ve never heard before.

Well, Loop and I had a pretty good thing going, until one day, I walked up to the second story to find that there were no tables. No place to rest my weary bones and spread out with my computer! So, I left and decided to try out the other coffee shop in town– Civilization.

Even though Civilization is closer to our apartment than Loop, I was always hesitant to go in to do homework because it’s a smaller space. I like to feel anonymous when I’m in a coffee shop, and especially when I need to focus.

I hesitantly went in, and immediately felt warmed by the dark wooden interior and plethora of sandwiches and pastries that greeted me.  I promptly ordered a cup of Earl Grey and an apple & honey muffin. My mouth watered with anticipation until I noticed a little paper taped to the cash register– cash or check only. Panic struck! Bashfully, I admitted to the cashier that I’d need to run home to grab my checkbook. He cooly replied, “Or I can just write your name down and you can just pay us back next time you’re here.” Seriously?? I mean, I know this establishment has been around for over 100 years and has quaint and charming beginnings, but it’s 2013 now and sometimes it’s hard to trust anyone! But he was serious– an older man was behind me in line and laughed, “Oh yeah, I forget my money once a week! Don’t worry about it!”. I was humbled and so grateful.

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I walked over to a nice cozy table in the back of the shop, unpacked my bag, and started in on my tea. And you know something? I felt better than anonymous.

I felt at home.

That is not always a feeling that is easy to create, but leave it to Civilization. As I sat there working, I’d glance up to see different people coming in and out of the shop and all of them seemed to have a connection to the place and the people in it. It was an experience that, at least for that day, truly restored my faith in humanity…or in this case Civilization.

And though I had never been to Civilization before that day, you can bet I was back in there the very next day with my checkbook in hand.

And this morning too.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Loop. The two spots are very unique to one another and offer completely different, but both lovely experiences. There aren’t many coffee shops that sell records and have a listening station, but there also aren’t many coffee shops that are so trusting and generous that they will pay for your goodies even if they’ve never seen you before.

Yet another reason I love Tremont.

Until next time!

~Steph

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