The venture east to the Atlantic Coast: a barren rustic mind-numbing diagonal segue speckled with cows, occasional cargo trains huffing through threads of brush, a roadside meat smoker here and there with pluming black clouds curling upwards. Sometime after the aforementioned smoker, I lost track of where I was on the map and glided into autopilot, steering straight, shades of taupe and umber blotting into misty gray, sliding over and under things I think were fences. I got hungry. I got bored. Two hours to go. Intervals of deceleration into 35 miles per hour, gradual climb to 65. A car passes me – humans exist here?! What a wonder! What solace! A gas station bathroom-yoga sequence. A cramped leg. Is it DVT, or has the nothing of the landscape made me dizzy with desire to hyperinflate any feeling I experience? One hour to go. Thirty minutes. Where do I park? No Parking Any Time. But others are parked here? Screw it. I didn’t go through time warp to reroute.
I met an old coworker at Subculture Coffee, quite unexpectedly. We cordially chatted between photographs & shot pulls. I sipped a cortado out of a latte mug & soon detached from West Palm in favor of Fort Lauderdale. That drive was easy: the clunking lovesong of I-95 for short of an hour and two turns into the hotel lot. I would not again forego the Turnpike, I concluded while bending and twisting between sun salutation and scorpion before a bursting AC and a mirror. I affirmed this while eating a pesto-goat cheese pizza on the couch. I repeated the mantra as I drifted to sleep in my hoodie.
This trip was the simplest set of wanderings between coffee shops. Each morning I awoke predawn, shuffled through my morning rituals, showered and scampered to Switchbox on day one for a soy cappuccino, to Warsaw on day two for an al fresco cortado on their fairy-lit patio. At midday I refreshed, respectively, at Brew Urban and The Seed (Boca Raton) and in Jupiter before I departed for home (a tale for another post) at Oceana. I got called out for photographing at the former, but the manager graciously gave me the nod to continue. Not one cup I could call bad, regardless of blend or origin – though, I was partial to the V60 poured at The Seed, partly due to the dreamy Yirgacheffe I infused with lavender, partly due to it being the very last one they’d ever serve. At or between stops I propped myself at a table to edit the photos I’d captured. Wednesday night I observed sundown while a worker in the Hampton Inn laid faux candles on each table and filled a tray with cookies for lobby passersby, and there for a time I edited with the beige-blue glow of the adornments highlighting my surrounds. I sang with the radio, old pop and modern alternative. My days and my night, practicing slowness, buried in my craft, and aching with joy at the freedom of my being in those little moments flickering like the candles before me.
I could travel anywhere and be content merely or mostly tracing lines from cafe to cafe. As my view of a befitting lifestyle for myself settles, I know at least as a local traveler that escaping my city and taking time to ease up on the typical daily pace, colored with some outings, is enough. I returned home longing for the East – it feels different out there, I can’t explain it properly (quite a happy irony considering my site name). I’m readying myself for the highways again. But not those blank ones, not yet anyway.
Find my recommendations for coffee in West Palm/Jupiter and Fort Lauderdale below, and keep an eye out for a few other posts in the trip series: Morikami Museum + a guide to fashioning home out of hotel.
coffee guide | west palm/jupiter & fort lauderdale, fl
West Palm Beach/Jupiter:
- Subculture Coffee
- Oceana Coffee Lounge // choose either location: US 1 or Old Dixie (the roastery)
- Switchbox Coffee Roasters
- Brew Urban Next Door
- Warsaw Coffee Company
- The Seed (Boca Raton)
Warsaw Coffee Company
Switchbox Coffee Roasters
Brew Urban Next Door
Oceana (US 1)
//Not sponsored, opinions are my own