I want to embrace the freedoms that I’ve worked for and have been afforded to me. More midday trips to the park. More random afternoons of play. More exploring and coffee shop working. More meeting up with like minded women, moms, writers, and entrepreneurs for lunch. ~ Things I Want to Do in 2018
We’ve barely started the year and already I’m noticing a difference in how it’s been progressing. Typically around this time of the month, I find myself wondering where the time has gone but, right now, I feel different. I feel good. Like the month is progressing at a nice pace and that I’ve accomplished a ton. Which I have. Between launching my podcast, showing up here in this space often, and landing a new branding client, it feels good to be following the intentions I set for the year.
Exploring my city and taking advantage of the freedom freelancing provides is one thing I’m focusing on, so when my friend/business partner asked to meet up for a late working lunch last week, I packed up my laptop and headed to her suggestion: Uncle Bobbie’s.
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is a coffee shop meets black bookstore that opened up in the Historic Germantown section of Philadelphia at the end of last year. It’s the manifested dream of Temple University (TU!!!) professor and social commentator Marc Lamont Hill. Both of my parents spent a good portion of their childhoods and early adult lives in Germantown and I have many memories visiting grandparents and family there. To visit and see a black bookstore and coffee shop flourishing here brought warmth, hope, and pride to my heart.
As soon as we entered, we knew this was something special. Head wraps and natural hair were in abundance, black folk from babies to elders were present, as well as all the black books you could want. Bookish friends, you understand the joy this brought. My friend wanted some insight and help with launching her blog (I am BEYOND excited for her new venture. It will be everything and I can’t wait for her to share) so it was her treat. I appreciate good friends who appreciate my work and experience in this space. Grilled panini with mozzarella, tomato, and spinach hit every spot I needed. Philly in January is notoriously cold so we warmed up with–wait for it–French Vanilla Banana Hot Chocolate with almond milk. I LIVE.
We got there pretty late in the afternoon and settled in at a table near outlets (nothing we had was charged smh), but there were lounge chairs and couches, longer tables in front of windows to work and people watch, and a cozy room in the back with more space for collaborative work and exploration. The atmosphere was dope. So warm and inviting. It felt like home here and as the evening progressed, more people arrived and it soon felt like one big gathering of friends and family. We were so comfortable, we didn’t wind up leaving until around 8pm.
Before we left, we knew we’d found a new regular spot. Discovering black owned spaces like this in Philly has become a new adventure for us and this one did not disappoint. I fully intend on making this a routine stop during my coffee shop working days or whenever they’re having dope events. If you’re in the Philadelphia area or visiting, stop by, grab a book and a hot chocolate on your way. ~xoxo
Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.