Thursday, February 2, 2012

Crossroads Coffeehouse

When I was 18, I moved to Los Angeles. There was a coffee shop near FIDM called Fusion, that had lots of neat things like boba and cappuccinos and muffins and a big bulletin board of things that bands would put up. Sometimes there would be Singles ads, and once there was an offer to learn Korean; I didn't call, but it was neat that someone was taking initiative enough to teach someone and make their own way.

Breakfast of Champions, yo
 I remember being 18 in Los Angeles, right there with my beautiful canvas bag, high heels and big sunglasses thinking "This is where I belong." I felt so grown up, so independent. Reality always set in, but by the time I was 20, older and wiser, I still loved that coffee shop because it reminded me what it felt like to be 18 again and in the city for the first time.

 Call me a little crazy, but I think that coffee shops sort of cast a spell on you - at least, independent ones do. I sometimes like Starbucks(let's face it, when you're 18 you carry around that coffee cup like it's a status symbol), but I will always love and support independent coffee shops if I can. Not only will it remind me of why I love coffee, but it will give me that same sense of being independent and grown up.

 At the moment I'm sitting at this coffee shop called Crossroads Coffeehouse on Southwest Blvd and Central in  Kansas City. It was nearly nothing like Fusion, all white and clean-cut with bamboo flooring and the neat paper lanterns hanging, but it gave me that sudden overwhelming feeling of being a grown-up - a strong, independent woman in a new city. Even though I've lived here for over a year, I still don't feel like this is my home. At least, I didn't - until I walked into this coffee shop.

Crossroads Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon
 There's something about a good, independent coffee shop that just emulates the vibe of a city - or at least a part of a big city. Fusion was very LA because it was so eclectic and new and clean-cut and upbeat yet with that wonderful Asian-fusion/we're-going-to-the-future together kind of thing.

Crossroads Coffeehouse is so Kansas City! Maybe it's the exposed brick wall? Maybe it's the beautiful art on the walls done by local artists(something that Kansas City is not short on? Maybe it's the smell of roasting coffee beans(downtown KC boasts the old Folgers coffee plant, which is sadly being torn down)? Maybe it's the combination of wood with concrete floors and the beautiful black chairs that just seem so somehow scream "jazz, sex, and rock and roll" in the most subtle of ways? I don't know what it is about this place, but I finally get Kansas City. And I have to say I don't hate it.
The view from my table

 It's funny how places can connect you to places. If I ever go back to Los Angeles in the future, I'll probably go to Fusion first and order a sandwich and mocha with soy like I always did. When I go back to Tucson, I'll get a coffee at the Chocolate Iguana on 4th Ave. And if I don't end up staying in Kansas City forever, I'll come back to this place, get a Purple Haze(a delicious concoction of coffee with caramel, hazelnut and chocolate) and remember what made me finally fall in love with it after a long, drawn-out affair of going between affection and didsain.