Tag Archives: cafe

It’s Not a Cafe, It’s Tart to Tart

imageThere’s a place near me in the Inner Sunset called Tart to Tart. It’s a bakery/coffee place/Mexican food distributor (kind of.)

Nothing cool has happened here in years. Maybe nothing cool has ever happened here. I don’t know how long this place has been open, but I do remember seeing it the first time I came to San Francisco. I was walking along Irving street in January 2012 and I saw this place and I thought to myself, “That looks so cute.” But I didn’t know anything then, even about the things I thought I knew something. About those things I was especially ignorant.

Tart to Tart is not cute. It’s not adorable, or whimsical. All cuteness about it stops at the name. Keep in mind that I’m speaking only of the Inner Sunset location, and not about any other one. Nowadays I don’t talk so much about things I don’t know, or at least I try to avoid it.

Tart to Tart is a place of supreme function. It stretches out behind its windows into a dark, cave-like interior where all the furniture wobbles and has either been here a long time or was purchased second-hand. Students can camp out here safely. Old friends meet and talk and see other people they know. They say hello and describe the road trip they just took through Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and some other places.

There are no pretensions here. If you have pretensions, they will be ignored. Maybe that makes it a place where you’re safe from the person you pretend to be sometimes, and that’s kind of nice.

This is a place to come if you love coffee so much you don’t care what it tastes like, where you like looking at pastries almost as much as eating a pastry that actually tastes good, where you don’t mind a bathroom that reminds you of gas stations in middle America. Even the word cafe doesn’t really fit – it’s just Tart to Tart, a place you go when you need to go somewhere. That’s all.

Bring cash if you’re buying something that costs less than $3. Or maybe it’s $5. Just bring some cash. It’s the right thing to do.

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I’m Addicted to Coffee but I Wouldn’t Dream of Changing

coffee

coffee coffee coffee

What is dependency? What is addiction? If I can’t force myself to leave the house without the promise of coffee, is that a problem? If I buy more than one, sometimes more than two, and rarely but not too rarely more than three coffees a day, is that really so terrible? Is it childlike and irresponsible, or is it supremely adultlike and admirable?

If I, after arriving in Boston (the city of my alma mater and priceless collegiate memories), think only of bed and of ending everything because there is no coffee in the house and the nearest coffee shop is across a bridge and through the rain, what does that mean?

My brain is made up of chemicals. My body is an assemblage of elements and amino acids. My hair is a collection of grease, sweat, and whatever kind of weird shampoo I used this morning. Also, it is made of keratin. But my heart is made of coffee. It is coffee that runs through my veins and brings light into the world.

Entire worldviews have shifted because of caffeine-deprivation. Wars have started and / or ended because of the magic bean. And it is the magic bean.

Oh coffee, you make my heart beat faster. You make my veins constrict and make it difficult to focus and my hands shake. You open up entire worlds of possibilities and the ability to love. You make it possible to run across freeways in the sun and find shelter in the rain.

I think I’m addicted, but I don’t want to be any other way.

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