What Money Will Buy You:

Posted: October 20, 2012 in getting personal, LA, Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This morning, I ventured to Silverlake to satisfy my belly growls. I stopped at a corner cafe to excite my breakfast taste buds. I ended up with an almond croissant and a mysterious fruit salad. I say mysterious because I had to ask if they had it whereas the croissant was right in front of my eyes. The cashier told me “that’ll be $12.” I didn’t want to make a scene or inquire. I just hoped everything would be delicious to the max as I settled into the Xavier Pauchard cafe chair. Expensive chair. Expensive breakfast? The fruit salad was presented to me with a sprig of mint on top…like that was supposed to help the sad salad. It was more like a small canned fruit soup drowning in it’s own liquid. To say the most, it was promptly returned and my $8.50 was given back. You just can’t mess with fruit salad when you’re in LA. This is where the fruit salad was born!

A few storefronts down lies a coffee mecca–home of the “didn’t make your espresso drink perfectly, so I’ll throw it out 4 times till I get it right.” Also, home of the young, hip and well-dressed crowd who knows their Stilton from their Taleggio. I sat down once again (surprisingly, in another Pauchard French model A chair). This time, I specifically told myself I was going to order the cheapest thing. In any coffee shop, what is the cheapest drink? A coffee. A regular, standard good ‘ol cup o’ joe. This time my father waits in the long line to rattle off my demand. I’m outside with the dog–meanwhile, I notice Alexa Chung (fashion icon…if you don’t follow fashion closely, you won’t know who this Brit is) in a purple lace dress and gold shoes is sitting next to me. I contain my excitement, which is hard when she’s only a couple feet away–even harder yet because I know that 99% of the cafe doesn’t realize she’s here. 

Papa comes out with my coffee–half of a cup is full of coffee, the rest is in a small glass pitcher next to it. Okay…strange. Then he starts clamoring “Guess how much this coffee was?!” “How much?,” I reply without interest (still thinking of Alexa Chung). “5 dollars! I asked them how much and they said ‘5 dollars. Do you want to know why?’ and I said ‘ no, I don’t. ‘” My focus finally turned away from Alexa and towards the pricey cup of coffee.

Don’t get me wrong. It was good. Not bitter at all. But I’ve been satisfied by coffee that’s a few bucks cheaper. I briefly looked up why the coffee was so expensive, and I saw such words as they use “fiji water,” it comes from some “far away rain forest,” “hand picked,” “hand poured.” But $5…dayum.

A week ago, I got tickets with my mom and pop to see Grizzly Bear at The Greek Theater. Amazing show. They’re truly great artists with great live vocal harmonizations. The show didn’t disappoint. The seats were so far away, though! We snagged closer seats that were empty and much easier to see the crazy glowing “jellyfish” that moved with the music on stage. I can’t imagine what the people in the very front were paying. Sometimes, I wonder if the artists “feel more” for the people in the back or if they are just focused on the people in the very front because they coughed up the most money. Are they “rooting for the underdogs” in the nose-bleed seats or are they just thankful for the people in the pit? It would be nice is some of the starving artists/musicians in the back could have a row in the front…after all, the people on stage were probably in our seats at one time or another.

Anyway, they played songs from their new album, Shields, and it gave me a much bigger appreciation for it.


**correct cafe names withheld**

  1. tricia says:

    thanks for sharing Ms Stella!
    Ive never paid $5 dollar for a coffee but ‘do some online surveys to earn a Starbucks debit card. Actually i prefer my own in-home coffee maker( and believe it or not Food Lion’s bagged allColumbian ) but i like Starbucks + their lemon pound cake for a treat : )
    ‘Cali’ weather here in NC this week. Spent 1/2 day yesterday raking acorns and then had a medium-sized fire in the cool shade with a couple little Tulip poplars that fell down in the Spring.
    I rent that Stokesdale property, and now share a house with “welder-woman” Kathy in G’boro.
    Not sure if i mentioned it before but a jewelry artist + her husband & new baby have the Englewood house and studio.
    best wishes

  2. hey tricia, thanks for reading an the comment! I guess part of the money goes to the atmosphere of being around a lot of people, but I was just shocked. next time, I’ll order a latte–which actually would have been less expensive and prettier! 🙂

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