Wednesday: A Short Tale of Anxiety

Broad and Walnut, okay, uhhh where am I going again?

COFFEE, RIGHT. But where? Square One…ooh or maybe Plenty Cafe. Toast, even? Let’s go with Plenty, yeah. That’s on Pine, right? Totes, let’s go to Pine. Okay am I going up or down? I think it’s by 13th Street. No, no 16th Street. No. Yes…Uhhh, yes, yes whatever I’m going this way.

Okay…it’s not here. Where did it go? I know it’s at 16th and Pine. Wait, no that’s that other place I like. Well what the hell, it’s somewhere around here right??? 16th Street FOR. SUREBut if not Pine…then what? Agh I swear this place just got up and moved to spite me. I’m going to find you Plenty Cafe, you can run but you can’t hide!

Oh, it’s on Spruce. I knew that. Heh..

People…coming from the opposite direction… They look like they’re about to go inside too. There’s three of them. There’s not enough room for all of us in there. I’m going to speed up and get a seat before them. HAH, yesssss one seat left upstairs. It’s mine, ALL MINE. 

It is, I put my bag down. That’s only like…the universal sign of NOT YOURS, TRY AGAIN. Phew that was a close one. Now for coffee.

Lines… I can tell these people are not of the coffeeshop scene. They’re actually reading the menu. How do they not know what they want already? All I want is an iced dirty chai latte and they’re so…in my way. And they’re paying separately??? Didn’t they spend enough time telling this poor barista everything they wanted as if it were one bill? THE AGONY I’M SO CLOSE TO COFFEE YET SO FAR. I DO NOT HAVE THE PATIENCE FOR THIS…I HAVEN’T CONSUMED IT YET, BECAUSE. OF. YOU. PEOPLE.

FINALLY IT’S MY TIME TO ORDER. Iced dirty chai please and thank you. I can sit now, and be merry and set up my workspace.

This is my happy place.

This is what being responsible looks like. Laptop out. Charger in. Phone charging too. Book and notes laying beside my computer. Yes, here we go. Access Internet. Go to musicplaces.online annnnnd, my headphones…

Where are my headphones?

Pocket? Pocket? Pouch? Other pocket? Hidden pocket? Side pocket? Other side pocket? WHERE ARE THEY???

You. Idiot.

You knew you didn’t have them. You haven’t seen them since you got back from vacation.

But I refuse to believe they’re lost or that I left them. I’ve had many dark periods where I couldn’t find my headphones, but I never lost hope! And eventually, whether it be days or months later, I would always find them again. This time can’t be the time I lose them for real. No. NO. Let me check again.

Aaaaaaaaaghhhhhhh. I told myself to get a new pair before I got here. Oh my gosh they’re playing The Bird is the Word why Plenty Cafe, WHYYYYYYY.

I feel so…trapped. I need my music. How am I going to focus? How am I going to non-verbally tell people not to talk to me? I feel the stress, crawling out of the dark abysmal corner of my mind. It’s coming to take me away. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Should I just leave and go buy a new pair? But what if my spot isn’t here when I return? What then? Where to go, what to do? Oh my gosh, there’s no way out. No way out.

Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery

I haven’t made a coffee post in quite some time..

So, Chapterhouse.

Chapterhouse Cafe & Gallery is actually the first not-Starbucks coffee shop my friend and I visited when we began our little Philly coffee tour, where for months, we would meet up at a different local shop to do artsy things every Thursday. I would write, and she would draw. Until recently, I hadn’t been back since that first time.

Chapterhouse Cafe

This was over a year ago. Happy to be back.

Coffee

Their espresso is really good, I enjoy it. They have a lot of specialty lattes that are amazing like the nutella latte! It’s my favorite, although I don’t think I’ve had the same thing twice yet. Smooth, not bitter. The drip coffee is meh. I definitely prefer espresso here. They also have a lot of choice in teas. I haven’t had any yet, but I always think about it. I’ll get to them eventually.

Service

All of the baristas at Chapterhouse are super friendly and personable. They smile too! It’s crazy how happy they are. And really patient. Almost too patient and too friendly. It makes me nervous, because there’s so many choices on their menu and I take forever trying to decide and THERE THEY ARE…WAITING…WITH SMILES AND PATIENCE. The pressure! I can’t take it!

Oh, it should be noted they have a $10 minimum on cards. I only carry a card most days, and I constantly forget this fact. So I usually walk up to South St and make a cash back transaction at Whole Foods and head back. I could call this an inconvenience but I like this place and so I will look at the positive, which is that thanks to them I get a bottle of water and it might be the only water I drink all day. Also, they are open until 10pm every day, which makes them one of my favorite spaces in the city.

Variety

Chapterhouse has one of those menus that border on being too much. It isn’t too much, but it’s close. I don’t know about other people, but I get really overwhelmed when I have too many options to choose from. I like small menus that almost make my choice for me already. But anyway, they have some nice sandwiches and a lot of pastries and snackage items to buy. I’m not sure if they allow outside food, but they are only a block away from South Street if you wanted any food, as well as being right on Bainbridge, which has some nice restaurants along the street too.

Atmosphere

Chapterhouse has a great layout. It’s probably the most spacious cafe I’ve been in. I usually walk through the front area, through the second area of seating, and sit in the back in the third room of tables and chairs. The first two seating areas are a mix of lounge-y sofa chairs and tables, and the sofa chairs usually have an accompanying side table to put things. I think they cater to the artsy crowd, considering Chapterhouse doubles as an art gallery. I like the crowd that comes in.

I’ve never had a problem finding electrical outlets for my computer, even when a good amount of people are there. The music is never up too loud, I like what they play even though I always listen to my own music. But it isn’t distracting if you aren’t providing your own tunes. The wifi is always reliable as far as I’ve experienced. They do change their password rather often. I’m not sure why or if it’s that necessary, but it can be a little fun to ask what the latest password is.

There’s a lot of natural light in the daytime. When it starts getting dark, there is ample lighting, but not where I usually sit, in the back. I end up moving to another room with more light. There’s a basement, and I’m pretty sure there’s more seating down there, but I’ve never been down there. I don’t want to wander curiously and find out it’s for employees only or a private residence, or maybe the entrance to the underground society of tunnel rat people, who’s to know? I just sit down upstairs where everything makes sense, and leave my questions unanswered. If I finally work the nerve to venture downstairs, I’ll tell you about it.

Bathroom

I like Chapterhouse’s bathroom. It’s nice in there. Clean, small but not cramped. What I like the most is that they always keep it stocked with toilet paper and paper towels. They have them all stacked on the back of the toilet, right there in the open. And they make it easy for you, the holders for these things only require that you slide them right on the little bar. I seriously appreciate this notion, because do you know what isn’t fun? Running out of toilet paper in a public restroom and feeling nosy trying to rummage through cabinets or shelves, if they have any, for extra rolls. And you don’t want to be the person to use the last of the paper, or walk in to see none, and alert the already too busy employee that they have more work. Or to not be that person, and that one person who does nothing is nobody’s friend. Don’t be that guy, who uses the last of everything and just LEAVES. How are you going to just leave your fellow man hanging, stuck after having used the facilities to find no more paper? We’ve all been there, so why would you not warn someone or let the staff know? Is that funny to you? Do you revel in suffering? Woah I digress.. Plus it doesn’t matter anyways since you don’t have to worry about these domestic terrorists at Chapterhouse. They’ve got you covered. And I think it’s really considerate and rad of them.