Written for “Sweetly Surprised”

There are times in life when a person is in need of a little pick-me-up. (This happens to be a long-standing, daily philosophy of mine). And, if a person’s inclined to be picked up, I see no reason in settling for less than the very best pick up, no matter the time it takes, nor the price.

Perhaps there are moments when ‘time is money,’ yet there are times when price equals value. And, quality isn’t just a perk; it’s an absolute must. With all that said, time is an illusion and my pocket’s full of gold, pretty much every day, during the trip I take to a place that hands out some amazing pick-me-ups. But of course, this place is Starbucks.

Starbucks & I go way back; yet, our time together never grows old. If need be, we can always spice things up; and, we do this by including a little change in our lives.

For the first two years of college, I’d order a Grande Sugar-free, Nonfat Vanilla Latte; thereafter, I switched to a Grande, Nonfat Chai. In LA, I’d opt for a Grande Mocha Frappuccino (Light), which meshed well with the weather. Now that I’m in Portland, I order the same, even if it means taking the drink (and laptop) to the car, in order to feel warm while writing. We make it work, Starbucks & I.

Starbucks is pretty reliable. As I reacquaint myself with Portland, I feel comfort in the fact that I can always rely on Starbucks to help guide me a little.

While growing up, I rarely crossed the Willamette, thus there’s a good amount I haven’t seen, on the other side of the river. Likewise, Portland’s grown a lot, & there are a lot of new restaurants, bars (and Starbucks) in areas that I used to know well. If I want a small adventure, all I have to do is roam to a random area & find the nearest Starbucks.

Towards the end of 2010, I found my favorite coffee shop, The Living Room; unfortunately, this occurred during a weekend getaway in La Jolla. The Living Room was special; they had complimentary Wi-Fi, late hours, coffee, beer, wine, & food. And, I felt entirely comfortable sitting inside, by myself. Since then, I have been looking to find a place that’s somewhat similar, and I’m Sweetly Surprised to have found that in Portland.

Thus far, my favorite Starbucks in Portland is located in the Pearl District at 1039 NW Couch Street (a.k.a. the Brewery Blocks). Back in August, I entered this very Starbucks during a lunch break, while I was on set of Leverage. Although I liked the location and the energy, I didn’t have much time to notice the particularly unique aspects about this location.

Wonderfully placed right down the street from Whole Foods, this Starbucks is on the larger side -with very tall ceilings and many places to sit. Once you’re in line & ordering a drink, you might feel oh so Sweetly Surprised to notice a bunch of Wine bottles, to your left. That’s because this is the only Starbucks in Oregon that serves all your favorite drinks -plus a (larger than usual) selection of food, accompanied with beer and wine

Beer and wine are sold from 2pm to 10:30pm (last call), on weekdays, and from 12pm to 11:30pm, during the weekend. In other words, this Starbucks is divine.

This is the perfect place to go if you need to get a little work done, in a stress-free, relaxing sort of way. Why not enjoy a little coffee, work for a few hours, and treat yourself to an IPA during the last hour that you’re there? Even better -you can grab something easy for dinner at Whole Foods, before heading home. Sounds like a perfect plan to me.

Not only do they serve alcohol, but you can also listen to some live music -and, what’s not to love about a place that offers live music? Typically, music is played on Monday and Thursday evenings, from 6pm to 8pm. Check out the Starbucks Brewery Blocks Twitter page, in order to find out the details, as well as information on special deals (e.g., “Mention this tweet and receive a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte for $2”).

Life is Sweet when you’re Surprised in wonderful ways. Just when you think you’ve moved out of a city that offers the greatest (for me, that would be Los Angeles), you come to find that your hometown offers something that you couldn’t have even enjoyed in LA.

Perhaps everything really does happen for a reason. Nevertheless, if you come upon a day in which you cease to have as much faith in such a thing as a “divine plan,” you might as well try your best to take it easy -perhaps at Starbucks in the Pearl District, enjoying a glass of wine.

Written by admin