java joints with kate and juanita!

i’ve got no preamble for you today, i just want to start talking!

on good friday afternoon, i fairly sprinted down the street, so eager was i to pay my first visit to death valley’s little brother, my hood’s latest coffee spot.

a very unassuming storefront: there is no highly visible signage, only the wood-framed blackboard that you see on the left, there

glad they were open for good friday - our back-up spot was tim horton's which does not have quite the same ambiance!

i arrived a few minutes early so that i could snap some photos – i had a feeling this place would be pretty unique. and i was right! [i was really wishing i had a fancy camera that could take panoramic photos; you cannot capture a vast area with a point ‘n’ shoot!]. the space was A LOT larger inside than i had anticipated – the room extends to the back quite impressively.

the communal work table, immediately to your right, upon entering...

care for a seat in a vintage theatre chair??

blackboard drawings (notations? doodlings?) on the back wall...

who puts a piano in a whiskey + coffee bar?!

see the whiskey, see the coffee and tea choices...

i like the artsy yet also symmetrical arrangement of cups - very pleasing to my type a eye

first impression: wow, this is one hip and cool spot. seriously, dvlb exudes the type of “confident in its unconventionalism” atmosphere found in toronto’s best indy coffee shops [there are two in the brother and sil ana’s area that i am using as my reference points]. when i arrived at dvlb, nearly every table was filled, but the room was tranquil…honestly, the adjective “hip” is how i can best describe this place, and that’s the ultimate in compliments.

so, who was i meeting? cousin kate! when i put out the call for someone to go to dvlb with me, kate was the first to volunteer!

our first-ever coffee visit, together!

i was so honoured that kate could meet up on friday…because it was her 30th birthday! it was a joy to spend an hour of celebration with my oldest cousin.

from my photo album archives: april, 1982 -> my first time holding my brand new - and much cherished! - cousin kate.

i picked a rooibos tea to drink. it came served up in one of those china mugs. locals, be forewarned – the only sweeteners available at dvlb are honey or sugar. how *cool!*

i can’t wait to return – i’d love to hang out at that work table and blog an afternoon away. or chat with a friend and sip a hot beverage.



(easter) saturday morning found me at the opposite end of uptown’s section of king street – back at “the old faithful…”

so corporate!

our uptown s’bux was renovated within the past month – gone is the comfy couch, the series of small work tables lining the far wall, and the old earth-toned colour scheme. instead, we find:

new artwork...

single seating where the "friends"-type couch used to reside

i commend s’bux for keeping the colour scheme muted (thank goodness it’s not fastfood red + yellow) but in chatting with friends, we all agree that the vibe has gone from “make us your office-away-from home!” to “we want you to enjoy your coffee…in 37 minutes then kindly take your leave.” the fresh paint, updated paintings and new furniture are very nice, however.

so who was i meeting? childhood friend juanita!

our first visit in nearly 20 years!

i was so excited to see juanita. i can best describe our relationship as “ebb and flow.” we became best chums back in grade four, and our friendship was solid right through grade eight. then, we went to different high schools and lost touch. the first day of university orientation, juanita and i met on the lawns of u of w -> we discovered we were in the same program and even had courses together over the next two years. we lost touch again a few years after university (except for annual xmas card exchanges). then, facebook reconnected us almost two years ago, followed by this blog!

back when i requested input for what i could do for this year’s kikiproject, it was juanita who blog-commented, and suggested meeting up with 42 friends. [i loved this idea, but thought there was no way i could find 42 people to go out with, so i modified the goal to twelve. well, now 42 seems not so unattainable!].

juanita’s bday is also in april, so i thought a reunion this month would be fitting.

speaking of birthdays…

at my 10th bday party: juanita, me, gina!

12th birthday! that is vfbf joanne in the back; juanita is beside me in the front

it was so awesome to chat with juanita – our conversation flowed and it sure did not seem like eons had passed since we last saw each other. with true friends you can just pick right up from where you last left off, regardless of the passage of time.


who was your very first best friend? the story of vfbf joanne is documented here! going back to juanita…she has a younger brother, and he and MY brother became best friends their very first day of kindergarten when they stood side-by-side in line to go into school and noticed that they were both wearing the very same pair of star wars shoes. you just never know when or how you’ll meet a friend.

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  • Gina Unger  On April 12, 2012 at 8:58 am

    fun times in the coffee shops for you! fun looking at the old photos, too! neat. πŸ™‚ vfbf? well, i think it’s YOU, Cath! unless i met my childhood classmate/friend jennifer hammer before you, but i think i only met her in kindergarten and met you when we first came to wanner church in 1973. lisa mahoney was also one of my vfbf’s too! i have neat memories of ALL my friends! πŸ™‚

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

      oh, that is sweet that i was your vfbf – yes, we sure do go way back. you are def my vfbf #2 (ok that makes no sense but you know what i mean) and i am so so happy we are still dear friends to this day. so many great and fun memories! it IS fun to think back on good times with all of our different friendships from our life eras, isn’t it?!

  • Stephanie  On April 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Fact: coffee shops are now linked in my mind with you. I went to a coffee shop this morning to drink tea and do some writing, and what was my first thought? “If Kiki were here, she would love this place! And then I would totally be on her blog!” Ha!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      haha! oh, i love this, stephanie. so i am “coffee shop kiki” now, eh?! i hope you had a productive writing session. wish i could have joined you…and you betcha i would put a meet-up with you on the blog!

  • g2-55680831163e76fec0743a15184137d2  On April 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I have got to get a camera soon so I can share photos with you and the blog world. I love reading in coffee shops.

    • cathy@1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      go for it!!! i would love to see photos of your neighbourhood, coffee shops…and anything else, johanna!
      keep your eyes open for a camera sale??

  • Dianna Fielding  On April 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Very cool post! There should be more cool places like this in the world.

    Good luck with the challenge!

    Dianna Fielding

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      thanks, dianna! i’m lucky to have some neat places in and around my ‘hood! 10 days in on the challenge – it feels longer, haha!

  • transitionalwoman1  On April 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Nothing quite like an independently operated coffee shop. Enjoy.

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      thanks! i so agree – the atmosphere and options are much more unique. and it’s nice to support the “little guy!”

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count  On April 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I Love the new coffe shop. I think you’ll enjoy spending time there. Great that you go to see your cousin and your old friend. My very first best friend is still my best friend. This is the story our Moms told us. I’m six weeks older than Gail. When her Mom brought her home from the hospital, My Mom took me for a visit. They put us in the play pen together and the rest as they say is history!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

      oh, fran, i love that story about you and gail (and i recognize her name from your blog). wow, that is just awesome that you are still friends to this day. the new coffee shop – i can’t wait to take my computer and hang out there and blog for a while some time…that big work table is calling to me!!

  • Juanita  On April 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Wow! Loving the old pictures!! I’m going to have to send my Mom to your blog to see them. I can hardly to meet up for coffee again and enjoy a patio somewhere. Thanks for a great Saturday morning Cathy!

    • 1970kikiproject  On April 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

      and i’ve got even MORE old photos, too – like our grade 6 camping trip! i can’t wait to get together again, too, juanita – we should try dvlb maybe?!!

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