SF vs LA, a study in coffeePosted: 2013/01/11
a funny thing happened while i was in LA over the holiday break. while out for coffee one morning, i had a very interesting moment of almost-de-ja-vous *_*
on Christmas Eve we woke up early, ready for our day of sunshine and fun. but being not very bright eyed, nor bushy tailed, we stopped for coffee on our way out. being true to our own (our family also has a strong tradition of very serious coffee drinking), my cousin took me to Intelligentsia. and bless her soul, it was just what we needed!
these people are serious coffee connoisseurs: they have a nice variety of beans, sourced humanely/fairly/greenly from all corners of the globe. there are young bright faces brewing each cup, individually, to order. and there were even lovely pastries from some local bakery i’m sure. i had the curried apricot scone :*) it was delightful.
so, with all this very serious attention being paid to hand crafted drinks, there was, of course, a very long line. i’ll admit that for most of the time i didn’t do much but stare at my feet, avoiding the glaring sun. it was 63F in late December and i was hung over. but there was a moment when i felt like i had been there before..
now i have been to LA quite a few times before this visit. i’ve been for work, to visit friends from college, on road trips with friends, and on my own just because. i know i have not ever been to this cafe before…but i have been to Philz in San Francisco.
take a moment and check out the websites of those cafes.. they seem similar, right? they offer a very similar product. high-falutin coffee products, made with lots of attention and dedication. and for a serious coffee drinker like myself, of course i enjoy the craftsmanship (hehe!). but can i tell you? the only difference between these two, was that they were perfect little windows into their respective communities.
at Intelligentsia on Sunset Blvd in Silverlake, i was surrounded by very clean, hairless, fresh faced (um, glowing really!), almost naturally beautiful hipsters. they were accessorized impeccably, and all had interesting haircuts. the room was open with few things cluttering the walls, and the patio outside furnished simply. up north at Philz, i recalled the average day there on 24th Street in the Mission – also very hip looking youth, but with a more natural natural beauty (they’re not so afraid of body hair and use far less makeup). the recycling and compost bins sit prominently in the center of the room, surrounded by a variety of vintage couches and chairs, with large palm-like plants in the windows. take a picture and put them side-by-side and you’d have SF vs LA in a nutshell (dang, wish i did have better pics :*P ha! El Barto..)
oh yeah i suppose the other, more obvious, take-away is that Californians on both ends of the state love their eco-fair-trade-high-quality food stuffs ;*)