When I got back from my abruptly ended contract working on the Westerdam cruise ship last month, one positive I was looking forward to was getting some great coffee in Philly. The coffee on the ship is plentiful, but it does leave something to be desired. Alas, much of the city was already in some form of shutdown. During those early days when we had no idea what we could or couldn’t do (has that changed?) I decided to forego my trip to my favorite coffee shops in favor of staying home. After a month we know a little more about how to responsibly social distance and still support local businesses. And some days the cup of coffee you make yourself just doesn’t cut it.
So yesterday I parked at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Camden, NJ and started walking across the footpath on the south side. Don’t worry– I wore my mask! It was in the low 50s F (11 C) so when the wind blew across the Delaware River it was pretty chilly. The upside of the cool weather: very few people walking around. I’ve found that despite warnings to stay inside that people have been crowding any outdoor areas available just about every day the sun is out. I can’t blame them; I’m just surprised. But yesterday I had the bridge mostly to myself.
It was about 2.5 miles walking to the Elixr Coffee Roasters on 12th St. When I was a couple blocks away I went to elixrpickup.com and placed my to-go order. Their online interface is super easy to use, and they even offer the option to have your barista wear a mask while they make your coffee. I chose “no preference,” but they wore one anyway.
When I got to the cafe the oat milk was just being added to my latte, and I was the only person there. I walked in, and my drink was promptly placed on the pickup table for me to grab without coming into contact with anyone else except my friendly barista from afar.
Once I walked away from the shop I briefly pulled down my mask to enjoy the amazing roasted flavor of proper coffee and the smooth taste of oat milk perfectly blended together. It has been far too long since I’ve had a great cup of coffee, and this was the perfect welcome back for my taste buds. I slowly walked the empty city streets back to the bridge as the sun began to shine, and I smiled contentedly beneath my surgical mask.
At least we have coffee.
If you’re in the city, check out Elixr for a great cup of coffee and friendly, albeit masked, faces. Be sure to wear your own face covering and observe social distancing as outlined on their website. Thanks, Elixr!