Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Anglophile in Wien-derland

Every writer should have a coffee shop. One that’s mostly empty, plays music without lyrics, and has big tables over which to spread avalanching piles of notes. Ideally, this coffee shop is in a small country town, owned by people who greet patrons by name. It should have window panes that swirl and sag with age, and French doors through which warm breezes and daisy yellow light pours. Every writer should work in a place like that. No, not as a barista. None of those “Liberal arts major” jokes here.

In downtown L.A., Wien on Wilshire is the closest I’ve come to that ideal. At lunchtime in the middle of the week I am one of two people taking up one of its many large tables. Classical and Opera music drown out the sounds of traffic and the light that manages to blaze a trail through smog, tall buildings and tempered glass may not be honey-hued—but it’s not brown either. An improvement.

The untroubled atmosphere lulls me into a mood for reverie and helps me gain focus at the same time. Or maybe that’s the coffee and mango mousse clarifying my mind. Either way, Wien is an oasis of serenity. A world thinly peopled with Asians who sustain their slight figures on weird Korean/Viennese pastries, like the green pinwheel striped “pea pan” and sweet potato cake. Europe meets Korea meets Alice in Wonderland’s tea party – why does that seem so like Los Angeles?

1234 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles


alexandra said...

you are funny. love your description of Wien. it sounds like it has good feng shui. i'm still looking for a place like this in my town. in another lifetime, i would love to open a place like Wien, or someplace freelancers could linger all day, drinking coffee, taking smoke breaks and eating delicious pinwheel pastries.

LV said...

I wish you would - I'll be your first regular. Your food blog is one of my favorites-CSA huh? I though Socal was behind the times when it comes to CSA availability.