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Ten years ago, I was fresh out of high school, working as a barista, and opening the coffee house at 4:30 in the morning. I remember filling the pastry case, before the sun came up the smell of the espresso and my tired eyes sorting prices for scones and croissants for the early morning commuters of Rancho Santa Margarita; quintessential Californian suburbia. My mind would wander a lot, probably because my thoughts were so close to REM state. One January morning, the song, “It Never Entered My Mind” by Miles Davis began to play on our store’s set music rotation. It was the first time I’d heard the song, as well as one of the first seasons of my life that I’d been exposed to jazz. As far away as it was, and even though I’d never been there before, I pictured myself in a coffee house in New York, watching snow fall in the dark. I wondered what it would be like to live in a big city; a city with seasons.


2014, and this is my view from the Starbucks in Union Square tonight.

I’m leaving New York for Japan at the end of this month.

I can’t wait to see what happens there.


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