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Back Buzz - 17 March, 2019

Stone Way Cafe / Affirmations in the Workplace

When I met my friend Rick for a few days in Seattle last September, for our final breakfast we decided to try out the Stone Way Cafe. Located another short walk from our wonderfully convenient B&B, we were pleasantly surprised to find a proper Artist's Republic of Fremont-style coffee and breakfast house completely devoid of corporate feeling. In fact, it reminded me quite a bit of the old Still Life in Fremont that I knew back in the 1990s, with the same distinctly creative and bohemian atmosphere as opposed to that of a caffeine-refuelling station before a day of intense networking.

A family-owned cafe, Stone Way offers coffee, beer, wine, food, and pastries, so it seems an ideal arty locale for breakfast, lunch, or a late afternoon pint. As our preliminary breakfast Rick and I both ordered bagels with cream cheese, and I had a cortado and Rick a filter coffee. And we were both very pleased, as finally we experienced a really decent coffee that was satisfyingly robust and strong. As I recall from my years as a resident, this is what Seattle's supposed to be about.

As we sat enjoying our bagels and coffee I perused the menu on the wall. Everything looked tempting: breakfast burritos, salmon tacos, spicy mac and cheese, muffulettas, Cuban sandwiches, Cajun Benedict, cheddar and jalapeño biscuits, toasted savoury muffins, waffles, fritatta, and plenty of yummy-sounding meaty and vegan dishes. Aside from coffee they have plenty of craft beer on tap as well as wines and Kombucha. And they feature open mike sessions and live music in the evenings, which would provide a perfect occasion to explore the beers. There is outside seating as well, with views of the Ship Canal and the Aurora Bridge. The cafe has that wonderfully Fremont funky atmosphere, and I felt really comfortable here. If I lived in Fremont today I could happily turn this into a regular hangout. In fact, if I still lived where I used to, across the Fremont Bridge in Lower Queen Anne, this would have been a favourite place for breakfast or lunch. There was nothing the least bit corporate about it, no blaring white modern-office feel, just arty center-of-the-universe Fremont vibes.

When we first approached the cafe, and again when we left, we passed the cafe’s mural covered neighbour, Hashtag Cannabis, which is a popular cannabis dispensary. In the spring of 2019 it was reported by The Stranger that both the cafe and the dispensary were in danger of having to move locations because of plans to tear down the entire block to make room for a 5-storey office building. Fortunately this hasn’t happened yet, as the Hashtag Cannabis website is currently announcing that they disinfect shared surfaces every hour, which is obviously in reference to the coronavirus pandemic. And on the Stone Way Cafe’s Facebook page they’re advertising music events for next month. As there is a plan for developing the entire Stone Way Corridor, there have been ongoing battles to save some of the current buildings, so hopefully the cafe and the dispensary will survive. We can only hope so.

Speaking of hope reminds me of a recent Facebook posting session about affirmative messages posted at a friend's workplace:

[At work] Wellness Month drones on. And on. And it’s making me feel less and less well. I think I am coming down with a particularly debilitating case of affirmation fatigue syndrome (AFS).

It's interesting that Wellness Month coincides with the month democracy died in this country.

This one makes me want to kill. Is that a positive stress? I think that depends upon who you want to kill.... hopefully not me for posting these affirmations. Although I wouldn't blame you! RM, you are safe because I am placing sole responsibility on the sign makers for this one. They are dead to me. I want to rip a wig off whoever put this up. Such bullshit. The others were stupid; this is self-destruction. This one is about defecation. We're all gonna die of coronavirus! But then we'll stop making animals extinct! Thumbs up! Yay!! Translation: If you’re unhappy it’s your own damn fault. Namaste! Doesn't that really mean, "Oh quit whining...?" The more I think about it, the more I'm confused. Stress is stress. Who needs either positive or negative? That one is just #clunky. Those work signs are just so funny and you lurking behind one has me giggling out loud on the bus....people are starting to move away.