It’s no secret I’ve been a foodie since the day I was born. I truly and completely love every hidden hole-in-the-wall restaurant and world famous burger. This is a love I can trace back to my upbringing; traveling for my family always meant avoiding any kind of meal we could get back home and trying out the local spots. However, it’s just as special to try out the places that make your city special as it is while traveling. One particular bakery Knoxville holds is Makers Donuts, a gourmet donut place that offers different unique donuts each week from one with a combination of cherry, coke, and popcorn to their famous maple bacon. Last Friday night, Makers offered a ‘Donuts After Dark’ party, which simply meant they sold donuts through the evening instead of the usual closing time around noon. Hundreds showed up, leaving hour long wait lines.
While waiting in line, it was easy to question what brought all those people out that night. But, you know, that’s the beauty of good food: it brings people together. People go and do wild things not only for food, but for the community. Everyone in the line at Makers was there for donuts, although each of their days were different and brought them there from different paths. Whether it’s around the Thanksgiving table or in line for donuts at eleven at night, food is a really special thing we have to enjoy together. So, let’s enjoy the little things and go eat donuts at midnight or whatever adventure life might offer next.
Coffee shop culture is an uprising roar of late. For writers, it’s equal to the office. Ink-stained fingers are replaced for coffee stained desks (or for me, I still have both). The atmosphere of people coming-and-going, the hum of city streets, and the bitter caffeinated lips on cold cups makes for a blank canvas; a canvas crying for cathedrals to be built by the loose cement of words.
There’s something new about trying new coffee shops to find new types of stories, however there is the same draw in finding your favorite corners. If you’re ever in Chelsea, go to Intelligentsia’s coffee bar in The Highline Hotel. Whether in the cozy inside or outside facing the city or in the enchanting garden area out back, this coffee shop is asking for the adventurous to build their cathedrals and everyone to share a drink and a conversation. After only an hour, this place left me in wonders, as all good coffee shops should.
These are, as Walt Whitman wrote, ‘the days that must happen to you’. School work, tests, college applications, confusion, joy. The feeling of knowing who you are one second, but being entirely uncertain the next. Yet, as I’ve always known, I never want to leave living life this way. I never want to settle in the way I think and the way I dream. I pray I never lose the questions and the striving towards tomorrow and the never ending nights of weighing what it might be to fall in love or die. I never want to lose pondering who I will be someday, the feeling of looking of starry skies, the love of Christmas I’ve had since childhood, the aches of a sore body after dancing, the nights of my family tucked in bed reading stories. I never want to lose the wonder.
Photos from the midst of autumn 2015.