Entering the Mo Java cafe for the final microplace assignment was slightly bittersweet. I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the coffee shop, though more recently I feel as though I’ve appreciated it more.
When I last visited a few weeks ago, Mo Java was full of patrons clustered in their own respective spaces, each group attending to a different activity. One one side of the shop has the register and plenty of stainless steel carafes with half and half and cream in them for patron use. The folks on this side are typically college students like myself. The shop was truly buzzing with lively voices – it was just close enough to finals week that Mo Java was more crowded than I’ve seen it, but far away enough that there still was more chatting than actual studying. The other side of Mo Java, which has a nice, open space for patrons to pick up their food orders, just had two groups of older folks chatting. One group, whom I presume to be a couple, were chatting over elegant glasses of white wine. The other is a pair of old friends, who talked amicably about their children.
I would like to remember the cafe like this: teeming with people of varying ages and race, with each group appearing at ease due to the mug in their hand or the company that they were with. These moments and observations are attainable at any old coffee shop, sure, but in a city where there seems to be a Starbucks on every corner, it is refreshing and exciting to sit in a mom-and-pop shop. Where else am I able to order off a chalkboard menu, or become truly familiar and pleasant with the baristas, or simply find a space on my own to contemplate the art and how the atmosphere makes me feel? My mircoplace is truly significant because of its place.
Writing about the same place again and again proved difficult, because Mo Java is small enough that it was hard to find new, innovative ways to describe the same furniture. However, if I could do it all again I believe I would still visit the shop. Not only is it cozy, it’s also close to my house, and the baristas sure know how to make a good cup of coffee. Additionally, the more practice that I’d have describing the atmosphere would help strengthen my writing – what better place to get some practice in than a shop as homey and comfortable as Mo Java?
Over the semester, I tried to focus on the atmosphere and how it made me feel in the present moment. I think this is what made it difficult to write a post sometimes; I wasn’t always feeling in the mood to write, or even leave my house! However, as I wrote about the people or the art or what I had nabbed from the bakery, I wanted to write descriptively but also discuss how my emotions changed each time I went. I liked having this diverse yet focused way of analyzing the place and how I felt a community within it.
I didn’t notice any particular changes in myself as an observer. I was happy to have found that going in the evening put me in a brighter spirit, but in general I liked exploring the same ideas and themes on the blog when I visited Mo Java.
As her most recent album isn’t on Spotify, here is a performance by Adele, singing “When We Were Young”. It is just lovely. Her new album is stunning and has really moved me in the last few weeks.
Now here it is at last, the final Mo Java playlist. These songs are the ones I’ve bopped to the most while sipping coffee or typing away… I believe that these artists have had the most impact on me not only while working on this blog, but throughout the semester as a whole. Here are the songs I always come back to, and the ones that make me feel like anywhere can be a home.
Mo Java: Greatest Hits Edition