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I want to send a well-deserved shoutout to Joe’s Coffee in University City. I’m sitting here between classes, as I often am when I want a good cuppa tea and don’t have the time to run back to my apartment. I sat down to work on a post, and started listening to Bob Dylan. That’s also a frequent occurrence. Some album in his catalog is always the perfect accompaniment to my mood and task.

Then, I heard Fleetwood Mac playing, so I took off my earbuds in favor of the music and the atmosphere. The thing is, I wasn’t just listening to “Second Hand News,” they were playing Rumours in its entirety. This coffee shop appreciates the experience that you only get by listening to an album. A playlist just isn’t the same. An album, at least a good one, creates a palpable atmosphere.

I choose to believe it was only a coincidence, but the barista/DJ picked the perfect album to take me out of my midday all day many day funk. My wonderful cup of Earl Grey—brewed from very good loose leaf, sweetened generously with raw sugar, and enriched with the perfect amount of cream—just wasn’t enough. Weird, I know. What can I say? It’s been kind of a biggish funk, and I’m also feeling a little under the weather.

This isn’t an isolated occurrence, either. On a similar afternoon last year, I was drinking a similarly delicious cuppa in a similarly bad mood. I was tired and only had an hour to kill before a difficult biochem exam. Except the biochem-induced mood was even more irreparable than today’s. Then, “Tangled Up in Blue” filled the shop. No matter how many times I hear it, all the tension is released from my body when I hear anything from Bob Dylan’s most poetic album. The opening song was followed by the rest of Blood on the Tracks, and my day was made.

I aced the exam, and ended up with an A in the class. Thanks, Bob Dylan! This album is magical, poetic, moody and soulful. It’s my favorite of all time, and knowing that someone else has the same appreciation gives me warm fuzzy feelings. So thank you, Joe’s Coffee. Now, I don’t think twice when I need a quiet place to seek shelter from the storm. It’s all right. I have Joe’s.

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2 thoughts on “The Coffee Shop Atmosphere I Dig

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