Monday, 6 January 2014

The Distance Between Me and Joe

The attractiveness of a neighbourhood for longterm habitation is in direct proportion to the density and proximity of its coffee joints. This is a principle that Paul and I have applied (with variable success) when selecting locations/accommodations for our writing getaways in recent years. And the café density quotient (CDQ) of various neighbourhoods was, of course, an important consideration in our recent move.  

Paradoxically, we don't actually go out for coffee all that often — certainly not every day — but that doesn't matter, for a neighbourhood's CDQ measures more than just the distance between our own location and a decent decaf americano.

CDQ is also a useful indicator of a neighbourhood's overall commercial density & variety, walkability, and general grooviness. Not surprisingly, CDQ strongly correlates with an area's MSQ (Manhattan Similarity Quotient in the U.S. / Montreal Similarity Quotient in Canada).

Nofo's CDQ is pretty good. Officially, I think it's a 7.5; I'm inclined to give it a 9, simply in contrast to our old neighbourhood.

Many argue that Starbucks, ubiquitous phenomenon that it is, should not be factored into the calculation of a neighbourhood's CDQ, and I tend to agree. However, this location at Cornwall and Yew, with its busy outdoor seating and ocean view, does have a certain je ne sais quoi to it, and I'm glad it's there.

I do think that CDQ calculations need to take into account a café's hours of business — an unfortunate failing of so many west-side Vancouver establishments, and one that has a devastating effect on the city's MSQ year after year. I don't necessarily want to go out for coffee at midnight, but I do occasionally want to do so at 10 p.m. ... and I'd like to know that I could get a barista-made cappuccino at midnight, sometime, if I felt like it, in theory.

"Rubber boots aren't great for walking."
[I know!]
"Wanna get a coffee?"
"Yeah, sure."

"I'm goin' across for a coffee. You want anything?"
"Yeah, sure. Get me a mocha — no whip. Thanks, man."

Not cool, Starbuckies. Not cool at all.

How is this piece of driftwood like a café that closed five minutes before you arrived?

So close, but oh so far!

Frickin' ice! I want my coffee!
(Maybe you should walk? :))

Replica of Squizzlestump, Saskatchewan, CDQ "0"
(No offence to Squizzlestumpers; some of my favourite people hale from SK!)

Art imitates ice
(Table of our own rooftop café)

And finally, a groovy coffee-related phenomenon: Suspended Coffees
Check it out!
(called to my attention by Bren in Laflèche, SK :-))

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