This blog has been a long time in coming, and though I’ve made two or three attempts so far to write this series of entries, I’ve had trouble each time for varying reasons.
But without further a-do, I’ll present to you one of the most influential aspects of my life to date: the Wired Coffee House experience.
First, I should like to distinguish among a few commonly used words to explain exactly what I mean and why I prefer the term “coffee house” to others; properly, a coffee house is what Wired was and will always be in my heart, a place for relaxing, a place that has numerous people meet and greet, a place that is a home away from home. A coffee shop is more generic in nature and is something that is more or less like Starbucks; a get-in, get-out ordeal. A café, still, may not even necessarily serve coffee but specializes more in a cafeteria style hot-sandwich-and-drink style.
So despite the various names Wired took on, ultimately it was a coffee house, or at least that was the form under which I knew it.
The legacy of Wired began my second day of college and lasted until my final days at the local community college. The second day of school, a guy named Michael turned to me in my English class and began inquiring about me. My typically shy but polite nature required me to respond to his questions, and upon discovering my penchant for languages, he told me about Wired and how a Turkish woman ran it.
My mind only conceived of a Starbucks-like establishment and would never have dreamt of what I would later find; I didn’t think too terribly much about Wired at this point.
Several months later, a friend of mine and I went looking for Michael and stopped in at the coffee house, then known as the Wired Coffee Company. My mind was blown by what I saw in the small business: there were very few tables and chairs, and instead huge couches with decorative coverings and enormous pillows were situated around tables coffee tables. In an alcove, there were two guys playing chess. Music flowed through the coffee house, and art, painted by local artists, hung on the walls for sale.
Then came Lily.
She burst through a bead curtain, her dark hair, bright eyes, and olive complexion shining with that smile that only Lily could give; she greeted us warmly and told us about her coffee house, showing us her hand which had red markings on it that I didn’t understand until she explained that her daughter did henna tattoos, and suddenly what I thought were red blotches appeared as intricate patterns of beauty.
Lily’s slight Turkish accent was beautiful and melodic on English, hinting at her exotic nature.
That day, I ordered a meatball sub.
And it was good.
For those of you gasping, recall that this was 2003, and I was not, at that moment, a demi-veg as I am today. So stop gasping.
Lily encouraged us to return to the coffee house, to come see her and to come hang out, and we reassured her that we would; she promised us that there was a brand-new surprise coming the very next week and to be sure to check it out.
This is how the phenomenon of Wired began.