Saturday, March 16, 2013

Coffee Shop Crawl (#springbreak2013)

Since my spring break plans to visit alma mater Taylor U. didn't pan out as planned, I tried to make the most of the week doing what I do best: relaxing, reading, listening to music. What better place to so than a local coffee shop? So I thought I'd tack on a tour of the local coffee shops, most of which I had yet to visit.

What follows are one sentence reviews of the six places I visited in the last week.

LITTLE AMPS || harrisburg, uptown || website || best overall
This being the one shop that I had been to before, I knew I was going to experience an expertly made drink (a pour-over) in a minimalistic, friendly environment with vinyl playing in the background.

YELLOW BIRD || harrisburg, midtown || website || best food, cutest
This newly opened shop is really a bakery and soup/sandwich place (that serves Little Amps coffee) but it made this list due to its charming interior, crazy good fresh bread, and laid back coffee shop vibe.

THE CRIMSON FROG || camp hill || website || biggest, most hippies
I enjoyed my iced coffee while sitting on a comfortable duct-taped couch, next to a large plant, with the faint smell of smoke wafting through the air.

JUICE & JAVA || mechanicsburg || website || best use of space
While the Steve Harvey talk show inexplicably blasted on their overly large TV, I enjoyed the ambiance otherwise, my French roast coffee was mediocre, and I'm excited to return for one of their many smoothies.

SQUARE BEAN || dillsburg || website || friendliest, most small-town
I wondered into this coffee shop (originally mistaking it for a residential house) and was pleasantly greeted with warm service (not too overbearing), a good iced coffee and a simple sitting area inhabited by groups of elderly folks and well-meaning high school students.

OLDE TOWNE BOOKS & BREW || mechanicsburg || website || saddest
Located in downtown Mechanicsburg, this place had potential for having the most character yet I walked into the shop to find some not so pretty book shelves, a weird tasting vanilla latte, and an announcement of their closing in a week.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Faith and Jazz

"... I live with the tension - that I am called to tell others that they are called, yet I don't know precisely what my calling is. A jazz-shaped faith needs to be content with tension and paradox, even when it is close to home."
Robert Gelinas visited Taylor University a little while ago. After seeing a number of Taylor Tweets and hearing a recommendation from StAustin on his credibility, I thought I'd check out his book, Finding the Groove. I really loved Gelinas' analogy for our faith, helping to frame the way we can approach our faith akin to jazz. Perhaps my favorite aspect of the analogy is the commitment to being highly skilled (read: practiced, experienced, dedicated) Christians who also have the freedom to improvise.

The book read quickly, covered a variety of jazz and faith aspects, and used jazz and civil rights heroes effectively in communicating its message. Check Robert Gelinas out on his blog or give his book a read.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Quote from Bully

"If it was up to me. If I was the king of the United States, I'd make it to where there was no popularity. Everyone was equal. Cause that's how it should be." -Trey Wallace
It's Spring Break and I'm reading and watching movies. The latest being the appropriately titled documentary, Bully. A fantastic collection of stories of youths who have experienced bullying. Trey, quoted above, lost his 11-year old best friend to suicide after being bullied. It wasn't exactly an uplifting movie, but it was honest. And touching. Check out the website or you should be able to find it at a Redbox.