Playground PHX

Homebrew
My mother was dying of cancer. My brother and I were moving back to Arizona — him from Florida, me from New York City. We were circling the wagons. We were coming closer to home, and we were losing her.

We buried my mom on a Tuesday. I found myself in Phoenix on Friday. It was 108 degrees and I was driving around looking for a place to live. I had no business trying to make decisions like this. I kept saying to myself, "What are you doing?" But I had to make sure my young daughter had a smooth transition. I had a recommendation for a good school, but little else.

I felt so overwhelmed that I pulled the car into a parking lot to have a good cry, thinking, "There is so much I don't know right now."

Everything felt surreal: the heat, the desert, my loss. I needed an iced coffee. In Brooklyn, a good coffee house had been my touchstone for the neighborhood I'd lived in. I wasn't sure where I would find such a mix of thinking, working, and hanging out here in Phoenix.

By chance, I found that iced coffee — and I found my place. It was a turning point. Here, I could get great coffee and the paper. There was thinking going on here, and conversation and creativity.

It was here that I thought there are just a couple of things I'm sure of, and I'm going to stick close to them. I've found a good school and a coffee shop that feels like home. Maybe that's it. Maybe this is all I need.

I knew I was going to be okay. The next day I rented an apartment that sits directly behind Lux.

LUX: 4404 N. Central Ave., 602-696-9976, Luxcoffee.com

 
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2 comments
Roberta Duff Schamber
Roberta Duff Schamber

No way. That was one of my favorite spots. Then Chris Bianco moved in next door with his sandwich shop, and it was my favorite spots! Haven't been there in forever. Are they still there? I love reading your writing.

 
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