Coffee & Tea Collective

Coffee, Culture

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A few months back we discovered the Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park and it instantly became my favorite coffee shop in San Diego. As I walked through the door it reminded me of the artisan coffee houses in the Pacific Northwest and made me wonder how it had taken me so long to find it.

The Coffee & Tea Collective is where I fell in love with the pour-over. Although I usually take cream and a little bit of sugar with my coffee, these pour-overs have such a clean taste that they don’t need any help. The minimalist atmosphere has become my favorite place to reflect, plan and write.

The Coffee & Tea Collective was recently ranked by Eater.com as one of “The 21 Hottest Coffee Shops Across the US” and for good reason. Here’s a collection of photos to celebrate a pleasant environment and some of San Diego’s finest coffee.

Celebrating an Artist’s Breakthrough

Culture

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When Gayle first began to talk about releasing a full length album it would have been hard to imagine even for a musician just how much it would take to make this happen. The vicissitudes of Gayle’s journey have included moments where it looked like releasing this album would never happen as well as where needed breakthroughs came through in surpising ways and at just the right times. The process that began over a year and a half ago has finally reached its culmination. Gayle’s new album “Make Believe” and best work to date will release this Saturday evening, November 13th. The CD Release Show will be at the Ruby Room in San Diego at 7 PM.

The Trees Don’t Have to be Green

Culture, Reflections

I love artists who develop unique styles that are compelling. Grant Pecoff is a painter who grew up in Encinitas, California and has a gallery in San Diego’s Little Italy. I have often admired his impressionistic style and in particular his paintings of sailboats and local city scenes around San Diego. Noticing the gallery open this evening, I stepped in and to my surprise found Grant there painting. He has spent most of the last ten years traveling and painting from various destinations so I had never met him.

He explained to me that since he was in town for awhile taking care of family matters, he recently decided to take a road trip to New Mexico to see what inspiration he could find in our own region. What has resulted is a series of works that he is currently painting featuring the strong adobe oranges and vibrant sky blues that he loves. At that moment he was painting a picture of a beautiful home in the Santa Fe area.

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Spontaneity and the Merchant of Venice

Culture, Travel

One of the things I love about travel is the increased openness I feel to see and respond to daily opportunities. Travel is an invitation to spontaneity. It is a chance to live how we would like to live if we didn’t feel too busy to do so. In this way it also reminds us to dust off the interests and passions that we have allowed to lay dormant and to live more fully by focusing again on what we love.

Pouring over lists of hostels last week my only concern was to find a place to stay somewhere in between Crater Lake and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Realizing that I would probably leave Crater Lake in the evening I thought it might be nice to have a place to crash after a few days of camping. I also love hostels and jump at opportunities to discover new ones. Finding a hostel in Ashland, Oregon looked perfect for my route.

Planning merely to pass through I discovered that I had stumbled across a gem of a town in Ashland. The hostel proved to be a warm and friendly place. It was an actual home right on Main Street with large common areas to relax and converse with other visitors. While talking with Eric and Roger, two road-tripers from Northern California, I learned that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is not just an event as I had supposed, but that it is ongoing. Curious, I looked up the list of current plays and decided that the Merchant of Venice looked the most interesting. To my delight, it just so happened that this was to be the featured play the following evening.