Monthly Archives: June 2009

St. Clair Boardwalk and Coffee

Emma in front of the church.

Emma in front of the church.

The eighth grade class at Holy Cross Elementary graduated today and my sister, Emma, was among the happy graduates. Emma received awards in both Reading and Penmanship—however, the coveted creative writing award went to another girl. My attempts to cheer her up – reminding her that Edgar Allan Poe died penniless and Van Gogh killed himself—fell short of doing the job.

 

A sailboat on the St. Clair River.

A sailboat on the St. Clair River.

So, we changed our clothes, grabbed our dolls and camera, and headed out to enjoy the lovely summer weather. Our destination? The boardwalk in downtown St. Clair. The water shone brilliantly and it was clear enough to see schools of tiny minnows swimming near the seawall. I was surprised by how peaceful it felt.

 

Afterwards, the two of us headed across the street and visited a few of the shops at the Riverview Plaza. We bought a smiley-faced sugar cookie at a pastry shop and then headed into Sue’s Coffee House for drinks. The coffee house opened up several years ago but this was the first time I had the opportunity to visit and I am glad that we did.

The prices are reasonable and comparable to what you would pay for a drink at a place like Starbucks. They offer a variety of beverages ranging from hot and iced coffees, teas, smoothies, and hot chocolate. They also offer soups, salads, bagels, and pastries. Emma ordered a mango smoothie and I had an iced mocha. Emma’s smoothie tasted absolutely blissful—very rich, thick, and not at all watery. My iced mocha was also very good—presented with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

 

If you squint, you might be able to see men on the deck.

If you squint, you might be able to see men on the deck.

The staff of Sue’s Coffee House made the experience all the more pleasant—they were friendly and went out of their way to make you comfortable. The coffee house also offers Internet to their patrons in the form of a couple of computers and free WiFi for laptops. On occasion, the coffee house features live entertainment, open mic nights, bible studies, and a cooking class. It also faces the river, with a few places to sit outside and a very large window to offer a view of passing freighters and sailboats.

 

If you happen to be in the area, I highly recommend stopping by both the boardwalk and Sue’s Coffee House.

April in the Flowers.

april1

April, after a visit to the neighbor’s to borrow a new outfit, prances about in the yard. 

On My iPod: Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King

bigwhiskepThe Dave Matthews has been my favorite musical group for as long as I can remember. Their album Before These Crowded Streets happens to be my favorite album of all time. One of my silly traditions is to listen to this album each and every New Year’s. The Dave Matthews Band has accompanied me on many trips and filled the air as I set out on many an artistic adventure. So it pleases me to say that their newest album, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King, was released today—it is their first studio album since Stand Up (2005).

Before I talk about the album, I want to share a segment that aired on CBS’s Sunday Morning this weekend. In his interview of the band, Anthony Mason covers topics ranging from the album itself, to the death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore, to the band’s near break-up. The piece is very well done. The Dave Matthews Band has always struck me as being very down-to-earth. I admire that the concentration is on their music, rather than flashy promotional videos, fame, and fashion.

This album does not disappoint. I would go so far to say that I have not quite loved anything like it since I first discovered Before These Crowded Streets. The Dave Matthews band has created another work of art in that familiar, well-loved, and unique sound—something that no other band has really come close to. Despite the heavy themes and emotions housed in the lyrics, I could not help coming away feeling good about life and the world after listening to this album. In a sentence: This album leaves me feeling optimistic.

There is not a song on this album that I did not enjoy. A few of my favorites include “Squirm,” “Lying in the Hands of God,” and “Seven.”