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Monday, December 16, 2013

Coffee Shop Review


Hi readers! I am working on a Fort Worth coffee shop review. Comment below, or email me (foodtravelfortworth@gmail.com) to tell me all about your favorite coffee shop in Fort Worth. 


I will help get you started by listing a few local watering holes for the caffeine addict. 




  • Avoca: friendly, loud music, hipster, love the bright atmosphere, great coffee, purists, no toaster oven for their baked goods (just a toaster, which the bagel weenie doesn't fit in), fast internet, have milk alternatives*.
  • Brewed: very friendly, business as mission, warm and inviting atmosphere, good coffee, expensive, music at reasonable volume, fast internet in bar area, food too expensive for what you're getting, have milk alternatives. 
  • Buon Giorno: strip center, fast internet, friendly, quiet, good coffee, not-so-good atmosphere, have milk alternatives. 
  • The Cup: amazing frozen hot chocolate, don't bring your messy toddler because the owner might say something, not-so-good atmosphere, expensive, great snacks, Illy coffee, inconsistent and short hours (7 a.m.-12 p.m. for now), no internet because owner doesn't want people parked in shop for too long, convenient location, local hangout, have milk alternatives. *The Cup now has a side business called Sip. They serve wine and heavy hors d'oeuvres
  • Paris Coffee Shop: diner, familiar, comfortable, friendlyno internet, not-so-good coffee, no milk alternatives, some of the best pies in the U.S. according to Bon Apetit magazine. 
  • The Kimbell Art Museum CafĂ©: drip coffee is only option, but delicious, wonderful food, atmosphere is perfection and designed by the noted Louis Kahn, no internet, short hours (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), no milk alternatives.
* Milk alternatives are coconut, almond, soy or hemp milk. 

Am I missing anything? If so, let me know.




You don't have to have or be a little girl to see the Nutcracker


I don't care how cool or mature you think you are, you have a little kid inside of you that loves to play. If you don't, he or she has run off and you need to find them. 


Mine is hyper and needs fun things to do often, so naturally my sister and I gathered a group of willing grown kiddos to go see Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker at Bass Hall


We left the boyfriends, husbands and actual children at home. Before the show our group met at Del Frisco's Grille for some bar snacks and wine. It is always great to catch up with friends no matter the occasion. This is a Fort Worth event I recommend for everyone, except my husband, father, son and father-in-law. 

Parents who look at this like a burden you must endure year after year with your child, stop. The music is more sophisticated and beautiful than anything you will hear on your favorite top 40 station. They sell adult beverages if you need a little help with your restless leg syndrome, and the dancers with Texas Ballet Theater are the real deal. The show takes you out of your monotonous daily routine and into a little girl's dream of an Arabian prince and princess, waltzing flowers, fighting rats and a sugar plum fairy. 


WHAT: The Nutcracker
WHEN: Dec. 13-Dec. 27
WHERE: The Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas
WHY: Because some culture with girlfriends never hurt. 
HOW MUCH: Ticket's start at $20 and go up to $105 on the lowest balcony. 

S





Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fort Worth's Ice Storm Stops the Noise



The ice starts to melt, and I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to the way things were before. 


For three days we’ve lived in a city laminated in ice. The temperature never climbed above freezing until this easy Sunday afternoon. The sheets of freezing rain that fell Thursday begin to soften. 


For reasons still unknown, this North Texas ice storm enchanted me. Maybe it’s that the world slowed down long enough for me to see it passing. Or the time I spent with my new little family. Maybe it's the desolate roads, taking me to another place or time. Whatever it is, it prodded me to stop and think about why this weekend was so different from most. Please allow me this platform to make a few guesses, and see if it means anything to you as a person probably wondering the same.


The world stopped. But our overly productive selves never stop except on those rare holidays—Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Black Friday started on Thanksgiving night this year, and Starbucks now stays open year around. 

This ice storm left me three days to be at home with the possibility to not be productive. Wait, that's impossible. I have so much to do. I. Never. Stop. 

But I thought I would practice. 

A morning spent trying to keep my 22-month-old fireball entertained left me whipped. I tried to nap during my toddler’s three-hour siesta, but instead I lay there disappointed that I wasn’t being productive. I could write that travel article, get ahead or clean this house a second time. What about those homemade chocolate chip cookies I wanted to make? But sitting and just being was a waste of time, I wistfully thought.
...

This morning I woke up to my Sunday morning e-newsletter, Brainpickings Weekly, and after my failed napping experience it slapped me in the face.

“’How we spend our days,’ Annie Dillard wrote in her timelessly beautiful meditation on presence over productivity, ‘is, of course, how we spend our lives.’ And nowhere do we fail at the art of presence most miserably and most tragically than in urban life – in the city, high on the cult of productivity, where we float past each other, past the buildings and trees and the little boy in the purple pants, past life itself, cut off from the breathing of the world by iPhone earbuds and solipsism… But while this might make us more efficient in our goal-oriented day-to-day, it also makes us inhabit a largely unlived – and unremembered – life, day in and day out.”

We don’t know how to slow down, and we unwittingly balk at leisure, which is something I say I value when seeking life in an ivory tower.


But this weekend it wasn’t safe to drive on the glossy roads, so this busy city and busy girl were forced to stay in. 

My husband stayed home from work Friday, and the two of us spent the weekend sharing sweet and simple moments with our baby boy. The snow outside was quiet, and our house even quieter. It is as if the ice muffled the obnoxious buzzing of the outside world, which is especially loud during the holiday season. 


...

We went to the store this morning. Everyone was unusually friendly. Strangers even spoke to each other. People must have been tired of being alone. The same butcher that normally bellows “NEXT” to an army of customers engaged me in small talk about driving on ice. He was cheerful, not stressed. It was as if I was living in a different world for a few moments.


Is this what life could be like if I spent my days differently? I wish to practice presence over productivity more than I have. So I thank this ice storm for forcing me to stop chasing goals and rest with the achievements right under my nose.