Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Morning (and Mothers' Day) on Cherry Street

Blogger: Natasha
(Photo credit: Sarah Nicodemus)

Cherry Street Farmers’ Market
This morning was the first Saturday morning in a very long time that I didn’t sleep in until some un-Godly hour that I’m too embarrassed to specify.
What made this Saturday morning any different? I was on a mission, that’s what.
Step 1: Trip over fan cord en-route to turn off alarm clock, which read 6:45 a.m.
Step 2: Sleep through shower and pretty much entire grooming process, since I don’t remember getting ready to leave the house.
Step 3: Chug a cup of coffee before setting out for Cherry Street Farmers’ Market at 15th and Peoria.
Step 4: Arrive at CSFM. Smile and chatter non-stop at The Husband 1.0 for the entire trek from the car to the first booth in Lincoln Plaza about how awesome this adventure is going to be.
Aaron and I decided to go to the farmers’ market today because we decided to make baskets full of locally-grown veggies and local crafts for our moms for Mothers’ Day. I feel pretty safe in saying that here, since I’m pretty sure my mom has read the blog maybe once since it started, and Aaron’s mom is scared to visit and find I’ve started a porn site, since the name of the blog harkens back to a member of said movie genre.
Items we were crazy enough about to buy at CSFM, in order of purchase:
  • Purple passion asparagus: Curiosity forced me to ask the vendor what was different about purple passion asparagus as opposed to plain ol’ green asparagus. The answer? “It doesn’t give you as much gas.” Two, please.
  • Lavender plants: Aaron’s mom, my mom and I can’t get lavender seeds to grow, for whatever reason. I think starter plants will green their thumbs.
  • Toffee and strawberry/raspberry mini cheesecakes: The salesman at this booth (sorry, but I was naughty reporter today and didn’t get the vendor’s name) was by far the most charming of the vendors with whom we did business this morning. Pretty sure he could sell ice to Eskimos. He gave us a taste of his toffee; we nearly passed out. It was true love.
  • Romaine lettuce, broccoli, and some type of colorful lettuce-looking stuff that the vendor person said was a “perennial spinach:” The colorful lettuce-looking stuff is gorgeous – reds and oranges and greens, oh my!
  • Lavender soap (sorry, soap lady at Pearl Farmers’ Market, but I couldn’t find you at CSFM – I’ll catch you later, I swear): We bought one that’s just lavender-scented, and two others blended with ylang-ylang and chamomile. I heart all that is lavender.
There was this really cool bluegrass band at the edge of the market that played one of my all-time favorite church songs, I’ll Fly Away. I got to sing along to that as I soaked up the sunshine, petted people’s dogs, sniffed live herb plants and talked to anyone who would talk back to me. I was one happy girl.

The Coffee House on Cherry Street
After Aaron and I rushed home to put our perishables in the fridge, we met Party Brenda and her husband Kyle for brunch at The Coffee House on Cherry Street, 1502 E. 15th St.
Aaron ordered an everything bagel with what I think he said was chive cream cheese, and I bought a slice of something-and-basil quiche. We also bought café mochas. Brenda and Kyle had just coffee, I think.
Aaron didn’t say much about his bagel, but my quiche was pretty good. A little heavy on the onion for my taste, but the crust rivaled my grandmother’s (shh! she doesn’t need to know that). Neither the bagel nor the quiche was enough to fill us up, so Aaron sent me back for sausage rolls. They were pretty good, especially since they were the cheesy kind and the bread was pretty, but they still didn’t compare to the sausage rolls at Teri’s. Oh well.
I didn’t arrange brunch at The Coffee House on Cherry Street because I was hungry, though. I go there because the coffee is good, the people who work there don’t get freaked out that I like to talk (the owner of the CHCS is completely awesome – more about her in a second), and the atmosphere is conducive to overhearing other people’s conversations.
I want to talk about Cheri Asher, the owner of CHCS, for a second. When I was standing in line for sausage rolls, she came out from the back with two pies fresh from the oven, one on each arm. As she was putting them into the display case by the cash register, the customer in front of me was talking about how cool the coffee shop was and asked who was the owner. Before she’d finished unloading the pies, Cheri jumped right in, introduced herself and shook the guy’s hand. They talked for several minutes, since Cheri asked him if he’d been in before, what brought him to Cherry Street, and joked with him about new ways to make the CHCS grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard, by the way – I’m definitely going to try it next time I’m there). Not only do I see Cheri talking to or serving customers herself, even though it's obvious she employs a small fleet of workers, every stinkin’ time I go to CHCS – we all know now how Natasha feels about business owners like this - but she is nice enough to let my church group meet at her establishment every Tuesday night to talk about questions we’re too scared to ask in church (i.e., what’s with “once saved always saved,” what’s up with Jesus being the only way, why do bad things happen to good people, etc.). After all, not every business in Tulsa is open to hosting a group of college-age kids who will probably pray together amongst its customers. Cheri is, so I hope Tulsa does right by her.
What I mean when I say the atmosphere is conducive to overhearing other people’s conversations is, it’s easy to meet new people in places like CHCS where the seating is arranged less like that in a restaurant and more like that in a living space. As such, it’s easy to strike up conversations with people you don’t know. When I’m at CHCS, the space makes me feel like I’m having coffee in my house, and that all my friends have decided to come over to hang out. Not all coffee houses desire to foster communitas like that, if you know what I mean.
Kyle got to play the Jumanji board game that lives on the top shelf of a bookcase at CSCH and do the crossword in the back of this week’s Urban Tulsa; Brenda got to muse at this red collage (Study in Red, she decided to call it) on the wall; Aaron and I read the new local rags, Spektrum and Square magazines (both serve the y.p. demographic, with Spektrum focused on bringing culture at the macro level to Tulsa, and Square focused on cool places cool people go to have a beer or five and to forget college is over and that the real world has set in), all while basking in the sunlight coming in through the French doors that face 15th St. and the snippets of conversation coming from the patrons around us that made us feel like all was well, everywhere.
Kyle said, “I could stay here all day.”
"Didn't you already say that?"
"Yeah. I guess I did."

None of us got to stay all day. However, we’re checking our schedules now for a day when we can.

2 comments:

Dan Paden said...

Nice post. Pity, though, that you didn't have an opportunity to come to my Sunday School class when I was teaching. It was all about answering questions just like the ones you brought up.

Eventually, we'll settle into a new church home and eventually, I'll be teaching again. Love to have you visit.

AMY said...

I have spent many hours and many dollars here-to the point where many staffers know what I want before I order. But after my last visit I will never be back. They claim to welcome dogs. Even after seeing several dogs of all sizes I still checked with the staff before bringing mine in. I was told no problem. I had brought my dogs on several occations and had the staff and other customers comment on how well behaved they were. Well, this past Sunday my husband, myself, and my 2 dogs went to spend a nice morning at what was our favorite hangout. We were all in a room off to the side, away from all other customers, and were there not even 5 minutes when an employee told us the owner was on the phone saying we had to leave! She said a customer complained about our dogs being there. Then I was told they only allow small dogs inside the building-which is a complete lie! I have personally seen a great dane inside with its owner at least twice. We left and I gave the employee my name and number for the owner to contact me. The owner apparently didn't even care enough to call me.I will never go there again, and I will spread the word to everyone I know, especially dog lovers, to not go there either!

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