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  • Writer's pictureUlrike Nichols

Coffee past midnight

For three days I have been in Canada, six hours behind my usual time zone. After two days of hiking, exploring, and sight seeing, jetlag is really kicking in. My computer screen tells me that it is a quarter to one in the morning, but it is only 7.45pm. Yet, I am sooo tired. Usually, I would never drink a coffee at this hour but I am in this amazing place, called the Crew Cafe to work on a project that is due soon. The ceiling is high with beautiful patterns, arches, domes. It used to be a bank, opulent, rich, majestic. While it invites a sense of awe, with its many tables and outlets, exclusive areas for Crew members and booths to work in, it also makes it OK just to work instead of having a coffee break with friends. Or is it "just" work when you are in such a beautiful space? It feels as if it demands more productivity to do justice to all the work that went into the building, the ceilings, the chandeliers. "Socially responsible interior architecture is an essential factor in providing the conditions for the wellbeing of individuals and communities." (Smith, Metcalfe, Lommerse). While the writers of this quote talk about interior design as a tool for social justice, the re-invention of a bank into a cafe heightens the experience of having a coffee and turns work into a more pleasant experience. Did I say I am tired?

So, naturally, I have to have a coffee in this fabulous space. Despite the time.

I have always admired the beauty of a cappuccino in cafes. "The cappuccino is a luscious mix of espresso and hot milk, with a wonderfully frothy finish." OK, well. While this is true, I have never been able to create the flowers, hearts, or other shapes in my own cup. (Compare the coffee I made in the picture on the left with the professional coffees in my other pictures). I am still in awe how milk mixed with coffee can be turned into such pretty patterns. I could take pictures of it all the time. (I do!) And now I am having a coffee in a beautiful building after a beautiful day.

My tired brain is getting a rush from the caffeine, the beauty around me and in the cup. Perfect. And I am sure I will sleep wonderfully too.

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