An afternoon at Small World

Not the Disney ride, but one of the two independent coffee shops in Princeton. It's a cash only place where the baristas are always cheerful instead of surly, like every single coffee shop employee working in Philly. I have the next two weeks off from work, and so am out in the world at 3 p.m. on a Monday. I fully expected the place to be quiet send deserted, but instead, it's hopping with white people, almost exclusively, some old, some young, some in between. Perhaps they are also off work because of the holidays, or else there are a lot more people in town with leisure time than I ever knew. It's standing room only, so I am sitting at the counter part rather than a table, next to a woman who appears to be reading a book that requires her to underline sentences. How she can focus on words with the trio of girls next to her is hard to fathom. The girls are all brunettes, either skipping seventh period high school or possibly college students, though their topics of conversation (ranging from whether women are repressed because they don't have large pockets in their clothes like men do, to the hotness of David Bowie in the movie Labyrinthine, to what the girl should name her new iPod) do not help me determine their ages. Seventy five percent of the young men in here have some kind of facial hair, long sideburns included, and the women have that messy ponytail look. Other than those two observations, I see nothing else of note.

I do love this town, and I love that I can get to the center in less than ten minutes by foot. I stopped at the Arts Council on my way in and the women in there were so nice, opening up the art sale shop even though it closed on Saturday, and so I was able to pick up two very cool gifts, and they gave me both gift boxes and gift bags to go with them.

The town is magical and my fear then is that I'm not taking full advantage of it. Every night that goes by when I'm not out attending a lecture by a famous brilliant person or hearing a world-renowned choral performance or watching an independent film at the small theater feels like I am squandering my lifestyle. But the truth is that we have been more active here than in Plainsboro and have gone to movies and a concert at the Princeton Chapel and I am in the coffee shops every weekend and I go to the library Saturday without fail to check out more books. What I need to start doing is bringing my camera on my walks--I can start taking pictures again like I used to in Philly, though I have noticed a very distinct lack of cats in windows in this town. The one drawback.