Coffee in the Alternate Universe: Haley House Bakery Cafe

In the Summer of 2016 I ventured out for breakfast while in Boston.

Originally, I thought I was going to Dunkin Donuts, however, after misinterpreting a woman’s directions I found myself far from it. So, as any 20-something in 2016 would do, I turned to my GPS for guidance. I looked for a “mom and pop” shop unique to where I was. I clicked the name and I was well on my way.

I was impressed when I finally made it to Haley House Bakery Cafe. There was a large parking lot and plants were around the building.

The first thing I’ve noticed was that customer service started at the door. There was a woman sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette. She looked to be on break. She smiled, “Hello, how are you today?”

“I’m well,” I responded noticing how warm and contagious her smile was, “how are you?”

I walked into the coffee shop and took in the atmosphere. I’ve never been in a coffee shop where almost all the employees were people of color. This new world was filled with neo soul, posters of upcoming events, the aromas of coffee and pastries, and of course, overall good vibes.

I figured I could just get my personal favorites: a coffee cake muffin and a coffee.  It was my turn to order and the cashier was extremely polite. Before I requested my favorite breakfast item, I asked if anything contained nuts. The cashier warmed my heart by going to the back to speak with whoever prepared the food. She came back a few moments later to confirm that my coffee cake muffin was safe and another employee came to confirm. I ordered my breakfast in confidence. The coffee was nice, bold and flavorful- just how I like it.

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Poetry Time: “Misty Eyes”

Eh Hem
Sorry I’m a little misty eyed
With a snotty nose
It’s this life that He chose
For me
Some days I feel like a can’t take it or will never make it
Sins on top of sin
Failings on top of failings
Some days it’s like I’m flying and sailing
But others
I’m just contemplating
Whether it is best to walk amongst the living
Or lay down and die
So I’m sorry
I’m a little misty eyed
With a snotty nose
It’s this life He chose
For me
The people I see
I think about them too much
GOD knows I’d rather not
Now with my nose full of snot
My mind fills with the beautiful memories
Which are nothing without the pain
I guess for everyone the story is the same
There’s the storms and hurricanes
Before the rainbows and the sunshines and the flowers
I guess its true
Everyone has their hour
When life, people, and world turns cold, mean and sour
And then that hour of love, life, laugher and joy comes
There remains the scar
Too fast, I say, the joy is gone too fast
That is why
I’m SO sorry I’m stand here misty eyed
With a snotty nose
It’s this life He chose
For me

Kou T. Nyan

$20 for a Small Pizza

I bubbled with excitement as I ran up to Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza on Friday. It was extremely crowded when I entered the foyer. I stood with several other people who looked as though they’ve been waiting for a while. I saw a woman with a clipboard at the door. She looked, seemingly, over my head at the outer door and back at the clipboard. A couple walked in and strolled by me. She welcomed them warmly. I stormed pass the three of them to a man in a burgundy Anthony’s Coal Fire Shirt. Once he was through speaking with one of the guest I got his attention, “Do you do takeout?”

“Of course we do,” his genuine excitement brought me back to a better mood, “Please, follow me!”

Sliding through the tight crowd of guests and employees he lead me to the back where they took takeout orders. The waitress who took my order was kind, patient and meant business. Not understanding the menu, I requested a small chicken and pepperoni pizza. It couldn’t be expensive could it?

“Twenty five, fifty,” she told me.

Twenty? I gave her my card in hopes that they would bring out a large pizza and I could say, “I actually ordered a small.”

I stood against the wall with other people who were waiting. The smell of alcohol mixed with, what I would guess, burning dough filled the air.

A young waitress walked up to us, the people waiting for their orders, and asked if we wanted water. She walked to the back and returned with glasses of ice water and straws. I was impressed. I knew that it had to be a long wait and I was in love with the idea that we were treated with the same hospitality as those who dined in.

Yet, I was still concerned about the price. I texted my friend who waited outside. He suggested that perhaps they were creating two pizzas instead of one. I marched right up to the takeout counter and asked for an itemized version of my receipt. I learned that it was “part specialized”, plus state and county tax.

I finally received my small box of pizza and met my friend in the car. When we opened the box we saw pepperoni thrown on on the flattened bread with bits of chicken here and there slapped with some grease and sauce. We took our slices. Parts of our crust were burnt and the chicken was unseasoned. Disappointed, I learned that store bought pizza was definitely better.

Overall, the service was good but the pizza- at least the one I had, was not worth the hype…but ESPECIALLY not the price.