Posts Tagged ‘Respite Cafe’

Coffee shop, SHOUTY LADY: Recent locally sourced eavesdropping

February 3, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 3, 2016

As is only proper for a 21st-century college town, Durham has a number of fine coffee shops, and as I wrote recently, one of my favorites is Respite Cafe.

But man, was I ever taken by surprise on a recent visit to Respite. Just the other day, when I walked in, I did a double take. There were a bunch of people in one of the back rooms, evidently because there had been some sort of leak, and one of the shop’s patrons — I could not immediately identify who it was — WAS SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF HIS OR HER LUNGS. The amount of hustle and bustle in the joint surprised me, and THE VOLUME OF THE CONVERSATION — OR MAYBE IT WAS MORE OF A MONOLOGUE? — took me aback.

I occupied my regular spot, doffing my jacket and pulling out my laptop computer. I ordered a pot of tea and an apple pastry and settled down.

SHOUTY LADY — for indeed it was a lady who was shouting, or AT LEAST TALKING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS — was impossible to ignore. I surreptitiously recorded a short video that captured her voice (and my armpit, my sweater and the coffee shop’s tile floor) and began tweeting some of her exchanges with her companion.

SHOUTY LADY was sitting with a quiet companion and relating, at length, a story about her misadventures in a university in the state of Arizona. I joined the discussion in medias res, so I don’t know how the whole thing started, but for some reason, a cabal of sinister university administrators allegedly arranged to have SL mugged and/or to have her backpack stolen; to impugn her sanity; to have police officers confiscate her guns (yes, multiple guns); and to have her first attorney act in cahoots with them.

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Things to go, see and do in Durham: Part 3

December 14, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 14, 2015

Recently, I was asked about things to visit and do in Durham, where I’ve lived for about seven and a half years. I’ve split my response, which has been lightly edited, into three blog posts. The first one was about Duke-related places; the second was about Durham’s non-Duke stuff; and finally this one covers a few miscellaneous items. Enjoy!


The website of the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau should be your first stop when you have questions about visiting the city and county of Durham or any of its attractions, restaurants or events.

Durham has some excellent coffee shops, about which I could write many many words. One of the coolest is Cocoa Cinnamon, which has a lovely outdoor seating area. Unfortunately, the limited indoor seating means that the shop can be very crowded when rain or cold temperatures prevail. Cocoa Cinnamon is located in a relatively new entertainment district north of Durham Central Park, which itself is north of downtown. (This part of town lacks a widely agreed-upon name, to the best of my knowledge.) The owners of Cocoa Cinnamon are preparing to open a second location in Western Durham. I also highly recommend Respite Cafe near the Brightleaf Square shopping and dining complex, which is between downtown Durham and East Campus.

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