I’ve got a coffee shop. In Brooklyn. No, I don’t own it, but I frequent it so much, I’m a “regular.”
If I had my own show like “Friends” this would be my Central Perk. Although, my coffee shop blows all THOSE coffee shops out the water. Don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite things to do is test out coffee shops. I wander in and order a cappuccino and then sit down and drink it. While I sit and drink, I often times decide whether or not I enjoy the atmosphere and the setting. Is it more down-to-earth, or pretentious? I tend to like the quirky ones. The ones that don’t often match, or have one single focus, aside from their coffee.
When I lived in Astoria, I did not find my coffee shop. I longed for one and yet never found it. Instead I found Root Hill. And it’s been love ever since.
My history with the Root goes back to 2006, when I moved back to NY. Just so you have a bit of history, I was born in a hospital in Queens, NY and spent 11 years of my life in East Brooklyn. My parents packed my brother and I up and moved to Cleveland Heights, Ohio. After graduating and spending a few years in DC, I moved to NYC and have been here since. It was a home coming, although not complete because I do not live in Brooklyn. I moved to Astoria, Queens and now call the Isle of Manhattan home. One of the things that I’ve enjoyed doing in my four years of living in NY is wandering around and stumbling into shops that strike my fancy. Many times those shops happen to be coffee shops and I’m always willing to sit down and test out a cappuccino.
So back to the point…I know the Root because I know one of the owners, Maria. Maria and I worked together at my first job in NYC. I left after only nine months and a year or a year and a half later, she left too, to open a coffee shop with two partners. That shop is what I call my working location away from home. I have been going for so long now, that I can walk in, take up space, start a tab and order all day long while working. I don’t think I’ve had a tab that hasn’t been over $20 for the 7 hours that I’ve sat in the shop and while I’m no where close to being the mayor of the Hill (that’s my buddy Mooney), I am getting familiar with some of the regulars, which makes me happy.
Yesterday, was a typical Root Hill day for me. I got in just around noon, grabbed my favorite spot, ordered breakfast and a cap and then started working. My friend, Mooney, stopped by a bit later and we ordered more food, some snacks and talked, but most importantly, I got a ton of work done. This is where it gets good…see, Root Hill has some of the best texture I’ve seen ever! What I mean is, they have lots of wood surfaces, brick walls, exposed cement, dark bar surfaces and amazing lighting. One of my favorite doors is in this coffee shop! (I have a thing for doors–I love them, how old they can look, how sturdy they can be and how gorgeous so many of them are, even as they disintegrate. To me, doors tell a story, a history. If they could talk, they could tell you about fights, how people looked, how they survived being slammed, or maybe even having sex against them. Doors are a constant open and shut stream of stories.)
So yesterday, I made sure to pack my camera and some pieces that I’m selling in honor of Valentine’s Day on Etsy and took pictures. It was cold and windy, but I’m so glad I used the many textures and surfaces of Root Hill. I think the photos came out amazingly gorgeous (you can see them in my flickr stream. (All the valentine’s day cards, the more recent wedding invitations and the fortune cookie cards.) What I’ve realized is that I like natural textures. I love anything that involves wood, which makes sense since I love paper. But even more involved, I love any naturally wood surface. This is also when I realized that I can never not live near Root Hill because I don’t think I’ll ever love a spot more than that one. Root Hill, is my second home in NYC. It’s my comfort. It’s my friend. It’s my worthy 45 minute journey away from home, heavy bags and all. I love when that happens!