Recently I've been trying out a new location, Volta. I'm still rather conflicted on it for many reasons:
1. Coffee is expensive, and I'm not close enough to any of the employees to get it for my "special" price.
2. It's downtown, and very urban. There is outdoor seating, but on the sidewalk directly next to a street. There are clubs/bars surrounding it and they are often loudly doing things during the day. There are also often beer trucks outside, which are noisy and make me want a beer.
3. Its very trendy-chic and not quite my style. 2nd Street was quirky and very much my eclectic, soft, natural taste. Volta is very modern, industrial. Hard, clean lines. Black, white and stained wood. They also recently put large colorful sticker things on the tables which I'm not sure if I like. The stickers are very LA art. Interesting and lovely in their own right, but really not my thing. Loud and abrupt.
However I do very much admire and love the photography they have up right now. Go figure, it's of India and makes me feel home-sick for a time when I didn't see myself in a mirror, worry about what I looked like, was dirty and happy, and walked about the fields with mud between my toes. I can't recall the last time I was legitimately dirty, as in covered in dirt and grime, but I'm wanting some it right about now.
4. I also don't feel like I fit in here. I'm not in with this hip, cool crowd. I mean I don't think I was really "in" with the 2nd Street crowd, but I feel like I'm being judged and evaluated every time I go in Volta. However, the owner is nice, even if I do find hims slightly pompous.
These above things will not change the fact that I will continue to frequent the establishment. There really is nowhere else I can go. I try to avoid Starbucks for many reasons, but have been going more frequently because I have a lot of gift cards. I don't like Maude's, which is also downtown. It smells bad, is often loud, the food/coffee is terrible, and the staff is VERY unfriendly. Perhaps a rule for working there. The Waldo coffee is shop is much more my style, but alas is in Waldo and is quite a gas commitment I'm usually not willing to make.
I know it may seem silly for me to complain about a lack of place to go for coffee but, I spend a TON of time in coffee shops working/studying. I don't like going to the library anymore because it's always too loud (weird huh) and full of people that generally suck and enrage me. I don't enjoy going to the shops near/on campus because I run into too many people that I find distracting. I run into people at Volta, but we usually have the same goals if we're there; get shit done.
I didn't think I could be this loyal to any business but I suppose I was/am when I feel happy at the place. It is my escape from myself. Somewhere I can go and recharge and relax while working.
Maybe something else will fill my void and vacuum. Until then, I'll sit on the hard chairs and feel too lame (not to mention poor) to drink $5.00 hot chocolate/americanos.