NaBloPoMo. And more coffee.

I am a slow writer. In academia this was mostly a detriment; my obsessiveness with getting words right did produce some decent pieces of writing, but I was always writing right up to every single deadline. In blogging, writing slowly and obsessively is definitely a hazard, as it’s really hard to build momentum and keep readers interested when writing an entry a month (which is pretty much the pace I’ve been at). So I’ve decided to take part in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month): a post a day for a month challenge. And true to form pushing deadlines, here I am on the first day, writing just before midnight.

And since my obsessiveness extends to more than writing, I’m going to write about coffee shops again. I really want to write more about coffee in Saskatoon (my coffee roots) and Ottawa (still my coffee home), but I’m trying to make peace with Edmonton, so I will say this: there are two good coffee shops here. In a city of a million people. Just saying. (And already the bitterness is surfacing. No pun intended). And we had to drive 26 minutes to get there (so much for making peace).

But at least the coffee’s good! Today we were at Transcend in Garneau (the other good one is Credo). I love that both names have a religious tone: you know they’re serious about coffee. In fact, Transcend has a manifesto of sorts on the wall, which is always a good sign in a coffee shop (and really nowhere else). To be clear, there are two locations; the other is in a sort of industrial area and is nowhere near as cool. When we first moved here, I drove past the Garneau one and loved the old building it’s located in, but when we tried to go back on the weekend, my husband entered Transcend in the GPS and we ended up at the boring strip mall version in the industrial area. I sat in the car and cried because I missed good coffee shops in old buildings so much (and because I was hyped up on pregnancy hormones).

I’m a sucker for exposed brick, so I loved this place with its Art Deco feel the moment I walked in. It’s in the same building as the Garneau Theatre (built in 1940): in a city where everything feels like it was built in the 80s, I can’t say how much I appreciated this space. And the bathrooms are large with ample counter space for baby changing. Bonus.

But because I was hung over on Halloween candy today, I didn’t even have coffee. Jeff was a couple doors down at Garneau Hair (we had to combine tasks to justify the drive), so I just sat and drank a peppermint lavender tea with Claire and watched the all the young hip people, mostly students. (More accurately: I watched Claire guzzle my tea from a tiny white tea cup, as it turns out she loves peppermint lavender tea). It was strangely surreal to watch the baristas racing about and students lounging around drinking coffee — like watching the earlier versions of myself. And although I miss many, many things in this new place, as I sat there sharing tea with this beautiful, tiny little person, I didn’t miss my old student life or my old barista self for a moment.

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