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July 2005

Community Displays at Common Grounds Coffee Company

There's a great little drive-up espresso stand that recently opened down the road with a friendly and outgoing proprietor (Stephanie) and tasty organic espresso (Kalani).  Another feature I like about the place are the low-tech community displays -- photos of customers snapped by Stephanie that she's mounted on cardboard and placed in the windows of the espresso stand.

Commongroundscommunitydisplay1_1 Commongroundscommunitydisplay2_2

She snapped my photo a few weeks ago, and I look for it every time I drive up (alas, it has not yet appeared).  I suspect I'm not the only one who enjoys seeing myself highlighted in some way.  It will be interesting to see how Stephanie adapts these displays as her customer base grows -- there is a finite amount of space for the displays, and the individual photos on the displays.  One possibility may be to adopt the motif of posters in urban areas, where older photos (posters) are simply covered up by newer ones ... though I wonder what impact this may have on customers whose photos get overlaid.

Another aspect I've  noticed when I pass by the place is the community of people that increasingly appears to gather there: pedestrians hanging out by one or both windows, or sitting down at the picnic table they have there.


I've often thought that this area could benefit from a third place where people could hang out and chat.  I never would have suspected an espresso stand would qualify, but I guess great good places can come in small packages.