What is CoffeeArtBooks.com?
In this new era of the coronavirus changing all of our lives, I'm rethinking what the definition of this website might be. My original vision will likely not work for some time.
I spent my summer on the hunt for ideal combos of comfy coffeeshops with inviting places to get lost in a book; art galleries and museums a nice walk away, and whenever possible, followed by browsing at the DC area's best bookstores. To me, these days were utterly perfect, indulging in all my favorite things within a few hours. To get started, I thought I'd talk about the elements of these days separately with links to nearby art, coffee and book opportunities.
I started with the most local coffeeshops, here in my hometown of Alexandria, and the key criterion for my approval and desire to return is the presence of cozy armchairs, sofas or otherwise awesome seating. I'm no coffee critic, nor am I an art critic, but I know what I'm looking for! As long as the coffee's good, and I can find a soft place to sit, with interesting surroundings, I'll most likely be back.
I'm also intrigued by the challenge of finding the best coffeeshop, bookstore or art gallery to kill some time in at each metro station. Well, that's unlikely to be feasible, which became clearer after conferring with my friend who is a Metro expert. We'll just call it a long-term goal and see what happens.
So, now what? Bookstores are closed to customers, as are coffeeshops. There is online ordering, curbside pickup, and within the city free delivery, all offered by local businesses trying to survive through this pandemic. I truly hope they can weather this unfortunate challenge, and I know many will likely close entirely soon at least until it is safe to open again. I was about to publish a post about an amazing exhibit at the Renwick, when it was announced that day that all Smithsonian museums would close the next day. This exhibit, organized by Minneapolis Institute of Art, is due to close May 17, and move onto the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa next. I hope it is able to reopen here in Washington, D.C., because it is full of beauty and I had to return for a second time to really take it all in.
It is an amazing time to be at home for an extended period, with so much life online, so I think CoffeeArtBooks.com will be exploring what happens when exhibits cannot be seen in person, when coffee is made by amateurs at home, and when we can support our local bookstores in new ways, or if you're like me and on a book-buying diet, finally make progress on the book piles at home.