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Wild Bean – Lewisburg, WV

27 Mar

It’s a first! I was inspired today to start writing about food  & drink stuff I discover, love, or loathe, and the charming little places from whence the aforementioned stuff comes. How apropos that my first comes from the quaint village of Lewisburg, West Virginia, and its local coffee shop/eatery/hippie central: The Wild Bean.

Food & Drink: The menu boasts an impressive and creative mix of specialty drinks and the old coffee house stand-bys. I decided to try a Sugar Maple latte, but modified.  Half the syrup (I like my drinks on the mildly sweet side), an extra shot (for caffeine and stronger flavor), and with whipped cream (because it makes everything better).  I can’t imagine how tooth-achingly sweet one with the full dosage of pure maple syrup would have. Mine was perfect. The taste of the maple highlights the smokiness of the amazing espresso shots. Extra point for a great barista who knew how to (and took the time to) pull great shots.

I saw after I already ordered that they have almond syrup. Since its discontinuation from the Starbucks lineup, I always get excited to see it in other shops. So yummy, but I’ll have to do it another time.  Other menu items that caught my eye: Stout Chai — a 20 oz. chai latte with a doubleshot of espresso; and Swift Kick — 8 oz. of espresso with brown sugar cream stirred in (okay, I may actually get one of those before I leave here).

Wild Bean has a kitchen and sports a small but interesting food menu that is super veggie-friendly.  I am sorely tempted to try the Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana, or the Ultimate Grilled Cheese. As I write this, they are baking chocolate chip cookies that almost make me drool on my keyboard.

Local Color: Artwork from local schools and local artists line the walls, along with vintage coffee makers, burlap bags, and pictures.  There’s a stage up front that is used for a raised seating area when it’s not being used by one of the bands or artists whose upcoming performances are listed on chalkboards by the front door.

Wild Bean has a nice selection of coffee and accessories, including hand-thrown coffee mugs and plates from a local potter.  Stone jewelry and photog postcards are also available, along with CDs and some books.

The Little Things: The only downside I found with Wild Bean is that their wi-fi access is not free or unlimited. You have to get a code for a one or two hour access window with your purchase. It makes sense to keep people from living up here online without buying things, but it’s kinda annoying.

The music is eclectic and loud enough that you can enjoy it without feeling like someone is beating the notes in to your head (Hello, Starbucks. Tell your stoner employees to leave the volume dial alone when they get to work.) It’s also at a volume where you can have a conversation in a normal tone of voice without feeling like everyone around you is eavesdropping. There is a good mix of people — hipsters, middle-aged marrieds, the requisite strange 50-something fat white guy, and maybe even a gay person besides me.

Seating areas are mixed and comfortable.  There’s a section with couches, a coffee table, and a fake fireplace. And toward the back of the shop you’ll find a kid’s play area with toys, a soft floor, and books. Nice touch.

They recycle! Gotta love that there are separate bins for plastics/glass/paper. Why every coffee shop does not do this is beyond me.  It just makes sense.

All-in-All: 4.5 out of 5 beans. I could totally see myself hanging out here and writing or meeting up with friends for a bite to eat.



8 Sep

Sometimes I think I’d be better off relegating myself to a life of being single.  Oh, I’d still have intimate relationships.  But they’d be with the understanding that I’m beholden to no one, I don’t share a house with anyone, and you can take me as I am or see yourself out.

Sometimes the things I write in my head never make it to paper or blog.  They die a slow and painful death, expiring in snippets as I remember less and less of them throughout the day.  They’re like little daydreams that never survive past the world between awake and asleep.

Sometimes I question my sexuality.  I try to remember how long I’ve felt this way, and whether or not what I feel is what I really feel or just what I think I should feel.  And the older I get, the more lesbian-oriented I get.  By the time I’m 50, I’ll be the biggest dyke ever.  I’ll be the aunt at the family reunions who brings her “roommate.” My husband and I will just be really good (probably divorced) friends who happen to have a (really awesome) kid together.  Then I think about living a life without having heterosexual sex ever again, and it makes me a little sad. I guess I’m destined to a life in limbo.

“Sometimes is never quite enough,” according to Alanis Morrisette.  I couldn’t agree more.  People think I’m so demanding sometimes.  Ha.  Try living in my head.  I’m uber-demanding of myself every second of every day.  I guess I never got over the “if you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love” mindset that was so ingrained in me.

Sometimes I look at my blood relatives and I wonder how on earth it is I came from the same tidal basin of the gene pool. Maybe I’m adopted.  There are days when I don’t want to speak to my family again, unless I can tell them exactly what I think and how I feel for once without being called selfish for doing so.  I frequently can’t believe I made it out of my home/hometown/home state with my sanity in tact. Clearly, they did not.

Sometimes I wish I could be oblivious.  Stupid, even. What must it be like to live a life of contentment, of never wanting more? To just not know any better?  To never question, to just fall in to line and be happy with the status quo.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to just be dead. I don’t mean that in a “Oh, look at me, my life sucks, someone hear my cries for help,” kind of way.  I just mean it in a very factual sense.  I think about how peaceful and quiet death is going to be, and I sorta look forward to it.  Then I feel like a major asshole for thinking things like that when I have so many amazing people and opportunities in my life.


18 Mar

So, I went to a concert last night at Wolftrap.

First of all, it’s pathetic that I have lived here for 4.5 years and never been to Wolftrap for anything. Second, it made me remember how much I love music. Having a stressful day today is what makes me want to think about it again.  I love that music can take me away to someplace beyond my current state of mind.

Anyway… I digress: the concert was Eliane Elias, a Brazilian-born jazz pianist. It was fabulous. She was so much fun to watch and the musicians accompanying her were amazing. I sat there with goose-bumps through at least three-quarters of the concert. It made me miss the kind of enjoyment of music that only comes with being in the music and playing. I’m totally inspired to start playing and singing again, so we shall see.