coffee to go

This is Sam James Coffee Bar, located at Harbord and Manning. It's a tiny little place, and it is beloved. This place makes really, really good coffee, which comes in nice cups. I ride past it nearly every day and I usually sniff the air and wish I had time to stop in and sit in the window. Unfortunately, I am perpetually running late.

Last week Geoff bought me this as a present: a ring cupholder from Electra (purchased at Sweet Pete's bike shop), perfect for holding a tapered cup of coffee. I tested it yesterday and it worked pretty well! I did ride my bike over a bump which caused the coffee to splash out, but I'd still consider it a success.

And yes, that is a tomato (or strawberry) bell on my of a bike, and a Permanent Vacation tote bag inside the basket.


Thank you all for your very kind comments -- I almost didn't write those things because I don't want anyone to think I was looking for compliments. I most certainly wasn't, and besides, being complimented and actually believing the compliment are worlds apart. I'm not quite there yet.

CARLY WAITO: Yes! They can be magic. Just don't try taking pictures of a snowfall in the dark with them -- you'll just get a shot of grain, apparently. And thank you, that means a lot! Hooray for sparkling rosé.

nice-etc.com / caitlin: What do you think I should do with them? I didn't get prints made so I'm not sure how they would look as prints. Oh, I'm for sure glad I went!

Lexie, Little Boat: I do love magnolias! So beautiful. And thank you, happy spring to you as well.

shelia day: Oh yes, please do!

shin ae: Thank you... The one feeling I come away with most of the time is that people see right through you, after the ol' "up-down" look. It's pretty painful.

Juli: I find that so hard to believe! I guess we never consider that other people are thinking the exact same thing... although a friend told me that when she realized that when you go to these things, most people there are feeling the EXACT same way you are and are so busy worrying about how others are looking at them. Kind of crazy. And girl, when we hang out, you'll realize that I am pretty normal and totally not the sort to make others feel insecure, not even a little!

Jenny: Thank you! I hope you've been able to take advantage of the beautiful blooms in New York.

kater: Thank you!

erica-knits: Aw, I'm glad you like them, especially since they were a total accident. I understand the Whole Foods thing -- I used to feel so anxious walking around Yorkville. I mean, most of the time I don't care, but I would have my moments, especially when I was already having a bad day in the first place. It's hard to relate to people as human beings when they look right through you. And thank you. Again, I'm glad you got to see the cherries, because by Monday the ones at Robarts were already bare!

jody mcdowell: Thank you! The funny thing is that our "good" cameras produced pictures that weren't as surprising as these ones! I'm sure if we had taken our digital camera the pictures would have been quite boring.

iris: Thank you so much -- I'm often quick to point out that I don't know what I'm doing, so that is very sweet of you to say.

Ashley Ann: Oh, thank you so much.

Hello Lindello: It's funny, what we do to ourselves! Thank you.


  1. Wow that is AWEsome! how sweet and thoughtful of Geoff:). I think I
    need to get one of those becuase it is really difficult/hazardous to sip a mocha while riding a bike(I know because I do it nearly every day..hehe).

    By the way, thanks for your kind words about my collection. The dress I'm wearing in the photoshoot I made shorter especially for me( I like my dresses mini). The actual dress hits right above the knee.

  2. i LOVE the cupholder! not for me, but for matthew, who is addicted to coffee and bicycles.

  3. That cupholder idea is pretty sleek... I should think about getting one except Baltimore roads are full of bumps so probably not realistic.

  4. Oh Sam James, I hardly knew ye. Thankfully, we have a new cool little coffee shop around the corner called The Good Neighbour. How cute!

    And that little bike attachment is awesome! You should just grab one of those Starbucks swizzle sticks (minus the Starbucks coffee, of course) that you put in the hole to prevent coffee from splashing out. Then you'd have a perfect set up.

  5. Hahaha, cupholder is really awsome :D Someone had a great idea

  6. I've been practicing my one-handed-biking-with-a-cup-of-coffee thing for a while now. Just when I have it down pat, (or close), THIS??
    Actually, I remember you emailing me a link to something similar about a year or so ago! I've been wanting one since!

  7. oh my goodness, i though i had my bike pimped with a pretty bell and a front/back basket but you have a cup holder!!! WOW!!!i am sooo jealous

  8. I would KILL to ride my bike to work (or anywhere for that matter)! I miss Chicago so much because bike riding is generally an accepted form of transportation. This is not the case in the suburbs...and especially on the tip of ruralness where we live. There aren't sidewalks and people have no idea what to do when you ride on the street. I am jealous of your ride!!

  9. I think I saw you on your bike today when I was leaving Harbord bakery! White helmet?

    I told me sister (who also reads your blog) and she was so excited: "like seeing a celebrity!" Haha I hope that doesn't sound crazy, but we both really like your blog!

  10. i need one of those coffee cup holders! that is fantastic!

  11. My coffee shop has these little toothpick looking things that have a wide part that is exactly the size of the opening on the lid to pop in the lid of your coffee to prevent spills. They're really handy, although if you have one in and squeeze your cup, sometimes coffee comes shooting out of the little vent hole.

  12. These photos are quiet lovely, did you use a film camera? I love the tomato/strawberry bell, I want one!

  13. that little bell is incredible!! I've been meaning to try Sam James coffee for a while... so many great indie coffee places in Toronto, we're so spoiled.

  14. The coffee holder is fantastic! Too bad I live in a super hilly pothole ridden city.

  15. yay! i went yesterday and tried to order a regular coffee, but he offered me an americano for the same price! delish...will definitely stop by again!

  16. another great place near where i used to work is wagamama (on king and tecumseth). the girls that run it are really great, and they make great food and treats.