Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Portland coffeehouse with everything...but coffee

Yesterday morning, before we needed to head to the airport, Josh, Z, Baby A and I tagged along with Franny and her 3 month old to Urban Grind, where one of her playgroups regularly meets. It's an ideal space for parents and tots to gather as it has two well-equipped playrooms and a cavernous main space furnished with couches, chairs and tables. The playrooms have toys galore as well as gliders and rocking chairs for the comfort of nursing moms. The bathrooms have changing tables. There's free wifi and computers you can log onto for free. There's even a ping-pong room and a conference room, but those were being used by people's whose job description does not include dispensing snacks and sippy cups!

Yet Urban Grind is not utopia in a coffeeshop for one simple reason. No coffee. That's right, there were "no beans" and the shop was not serving any coffee or espresso-based drinks. Which meant I settled for a prefab chai latte. And while Oregonians are in general a laid-back lot, I was a bit taken aback when an employee responded to Franny's request for a panini with "Are you in a hurry, or can it wait until after I have a cigarette?"

But put aside the amenities and the mysterious lack of coffee for a minute. There's a more important reason I will never forget my 45 minute visit to Urban Grind: it is the site where Baby A first walked. Yes, my chubby little 13 month old stood up and toddled 5 steps to a light-up steering wheel toy she'd had her eye on.

She was thrilled and probably would have loved to spend the rest of the day practicing her new skill. Unfortunately the rest of her day involved lots of being strapped into an airplane.

And that's a whole other blog post...

Standing at Mt Scott Park
Baby A, standing in the Mt Scott Park fountain just 2 days before she walked