Thursday, September 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes

I'm back in Chicago after a fabulous weekend with some of the people I love, and I've got something special in store for today's post. If you've ever caught yourself thinking "these style-related posts are fine and all, but how does she write them?," then today is your lucky day! I'm taking you behind the scenes to my all-time favorite spot to work. A wholly unscientific study* of my nine-month blogging career shows that approximately 75% of my posts have been written at the cafe around the corner, and further, 50% of my photos were taken within a 100-yard radius of my favorite table.

*e.g. me estimating off the top of my head.

The top-left table is my favorite! It gives me a perfect view of all the aesthetically-pleasing red chairs!
Ever since I was a grad student, I've been in the habit of going out to work. It's so much easier for me to focus when I'm not in my apartment, with all of the distractions there, and while I was doing nothing but write my dissertation, it provided variety, a bare minimum of human contact, and the semblance of structure in my workday.

This cafe is in a performing-arts building on a college campus, which means that 1) the walls serve as a rotating gallery of interesting things, and 2) I overhear all sorts of interesting/amusing conversations while I work. Fun fact: 90%* of people who use the term 'postmodern' do not actually know what it means. It also means that there are plenty of outlets and (during the school year) an endless supply of caffeine and snacks available for reasonable-ish prices. (Pro tip: when working on a computer, go for cookies, not brownies. Cookie crumbs are easier to clean up than smears of chocolate!)

I am not sure what statement these stained-glass pieces are making. Symbolism and I are not friends.
Look, it's my faithful computer!

Our apartment doesn't get much sunlight, so I like coming here and basking in natural light from the safety of a climate-controlled environment. It's especially to come here during the summer, because the campus is a quasi-ghost town and I don't have to worry about finding a spot.

Bonus of a deserted cafe: no one to judge you for selfie-ing out!
Hard at work on a recent post!
Directly to my left: food! (At least during the school year, that is.)

The best part, at least during the summer months, is the air conditioning, which is set somewhere between 'stuck inside a walk-in fridge' and 'arctic.' I lose the ability to do much of anything when I'm overheated, so I spent much of this summer escaping here until the sun went down!

A close second for my favorite thing about this cafe are the various well-shaded photo-op spots nearby. While it may have taken me a few months to learn that direct sunlight is the enemy of good blog photos, as soon as I'd sorted that out, the brick walls around the cafe became my new best friends!

Exhibit A: the brick building that served as backdrop for my Paris Jenny and blue Bernie Dexter Kelly posts.
Apparently I already captioned this one… and went a wee bit Snap-happy! I've lost count of how many posts I've shot in front of that wall.

So that's where I've written most of my posts! If you have a blog, where do you do your writing?

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  1. This is so cool!! I loved getting a little peek into your blogging process, and what an awesome cafe! It seems like the absolute perfect place to work on a blog.

    By the way, your blog is one of my very very favorites. Your writing voice is so darn fun!

    1. Aw, thank you so much! That is the loveliest compliment ever -- it's been so freeing to write this blog. I spent almost a decade writing exclusively in my 'serious-business academic' voice, and it's so much more natural to write the way I think/talk!

      There are so many lovely places in my neighborhood, and I'm so much more productive when I leave the apartment.

    2. That last sentence was my way of saying 'come visit Hyde Park! There are beautiful gothic buildings to photograph!' ;).

  2. Emmy, your 'stories' and pics are so much fun! Love it! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

  3. Emmy, your 'stories' and pics are so much fun! Love it! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥