"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke (©julenisse/Fotolia)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Than One Word About Plastic.

People ask writers all the time, Where do your ideas come from? Or, Why did you write about that? From a short piece for a blog or a newsletter to the Great American Novel, the ideas usually come from everyday occurrences that somehow strike us as funny, odd, profound or just plain interesting.

Random ideas come to me when I’m supposed to be writing about something else (Squirrel!). I get stumped or stuck or bored or distracted. I start looking around… order a refill on my coffee… critique the art on the walls… notice a little framed postcard talking about recycled materials. The latter is why I’m about to tell you three things about The Roasterie, a coffeehouse here in Leawood (there’s another in Kansas City’s Brookside neighborhood).

Before I start lauding The Roasterie, I want to make it clear that I am not a basher of the great big coffee chain based in Seattle. I love their places—on every corner in some cities—so this is nothing against them. It’s just that, as Jon Kabat-zinn says Wherever you go, there you are, and today I happen to be at The Roasterie.

One. The Roasterie has chairs made of recycled plastic bottles. Officially, it’s the 111 Navy Chair and it’s made by Emeco, which has a partnership with Coca-Cola. Maybe I’m sitting on 111 of those Diet Sprite bottles that found their way to Coke’s recycling plant in South Carolina. If you’re into the technical aspects of this, you can find out more by clicking here.

Two. The Roasterie has a power strip that runs the entire perimeter of the seating area of the café—creating a sort of wainscoting effect, a veritable chair rail for the aforementioned 111 Navies. If you’re the type who hangs out in cafés with your laptop, you know the value of having a place to plug in. Here there’s a plug about every 12 inches.

Three. The Roasterie is locally owned. Need I say more?

Obviously, I am not finishing the Great American Novel or my fascinating life story today, but I’m enjoying a local hangout and not bugging my partner about when he’ll be ready to leave.

p.s. The staff at The Roasterie are uber-friendly. They don’t seem to mind if you use their electricity and they make pretty designs with the milk in your latte.


  1. Nice piece, Mimsy. I recently spent an unplanned night at O'Hare and was surprised at the absence of outlets. Its nice to know that some folks arent afraid to give away some electricity -- though Kristen Fowler had a funny pic a while back of someone who was sitting on her side stoop, phone plugged in to an external outlet. How's that for chutzpah?!?

  2. Mimsy, love your story. Big question ~ are you all packed?


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