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The Food Connections

How food defines our lives and our community

(page 2 of 5)

The Niche

Scenes from a Coffee Shop

By Audrey Kirk


A girl walks into Java on Fourth, stands in line, and when it’s her turn to order she says, “One Bowl please.” The cashier rings her up, she pays, and then heads to a table-for-two by the window. After some time, a boy comes in, waves at the girl, and follows her same routine. He joins her at the table, and they exchange their “how-are-you’s” and proceed to have a conversation. Two hours later, they are still there and are not making any indications of leaving.

Throughout the morning, a line snakes its way around the counter and almost out the door. People wait to place their orders and either take a seat or move on to other activities. A man and his two young sons are among the people in line. The boys are hungry and impatient—they nag their father and dance around with the proverbial ants in their pants. When they are finally able to order, the father gets a Cocoa Blanco and The Usual, two hot chocolates for the boys and two orders of Cap’n Crunch. They find a table in the back room and the boys gulp down their hot cocoas and munch on their Crunch Berries while the father reads the Idaho Mountain Express and sips his coffee drink.

For this family, the morning routine wasn’t about going out for a big fancy meal that they couldn’t necessarily make at home. No, for this trio it’s about a place where the kids can get out of the house and where dad can read his paper and not worry about scolding his boys about their manners. They are a part of Java’s atmosphere.

Later in the morning, as the line starts to dwindle down, another group of people walk in the door and the line extends back to where it was. A young man, maybe in his twenties, with a thick novel tucked under his arm, walks in with this group, but doesn’t stand in line to order.

Instead, he walks over to one of the tables by the fireplace, sits down, opens the book and starts to read. He is fully engaged in his novel for about thirty minutes, then looks up, sees that the line has receded, sets his cell phone inside the book to keep his place, and orders a piping hot Pan Fired Green Tea and one of Java’s famous raspberry muffins. He then goes back over to the table and resumes reading right where he left off.

As humans, we are creatures of social habits and tendencies. Many times our social lives, and even our personal lives, revolve around food and drink. In the Wood River Valley, we are provided with many places in which we can satisfy those habits through good food and company. Java is one of the many restaurants and cafes where we can enjoy a comfortable atmosphere and foster relationships over a raspberry muffin and a Bowl of Soul.




Old to new | New to old
Jun 17, 2010 11:25 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Great essays! Very enjoyable!

Jul 7, 2010 02:39 pm
 Posted by  KetchumCooks

Thanks so much Sun Valley Magazine, for giving these engaging young writers the opportunity to publish their reflections! What a great opportunity for the community to hear our students’ thoughts on food & how it ties us as families, friends, & as a community.

Jul 7, 2010 03:13 pm
 Posted by  Jen

The comments regarding shared family dinners provided by Carson Caraluzzi are quite insightful. The writing is luminous and he gives insights not only to our culture and habits, but others too - of which I was unaware.

The implication for me as an outsider is that your community must boast of good schools, good values and one terrific place to live!

As for the writer, I anticipate a future career for him at the New Yorker magazine...

-J. Belton

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