Observation 2: Historic Murphy Avenue,Sunnyvale

I’m at  Sunnyvale downtown in a cafe called Coffee and More. I order a large decaf ice coffee with room for cream. I walk with my coffee, fill it with cream and seat myself on the long wooden community style table that seats six. I’m perched precariously on one of the far ends. My seat looks out from large bright windows that allow a lot of natural light into the small space, another woman sits perched on the other end.She seems to be working and getting lunch.

I look out from the windows to an old white two storied building with Portuguese style arches on the ground floor. They make lovely deep shadowy spaces from the sunlight.The wooden railings on the top floor spanning six doors and three windows on either side remind me of some old colonial style building in Kolkatta. It reads 111 West Evelyn Avenue in big bold black old Bookman style font. On the far right end under an arch that reads Hardy’s Bavaria, there is  a big wooden door.I wonder if its a good place to have a few drinks with my friends,I make a mental note to check it out.

If  I walk a few paces  towards the left from the white building,I know I will reach the Caltrain station in downtown Sunnyvale but I have never been there. I promise myself that one day I will take the Caltrain to King’s Street,San Francisco and get lost in the city for an entire day by myself. I think it takes about two hours to reach SFO by Caltrain from here. Snail’s pace!

The day is unexpectedly bright, the sky a spotless blue. Though I longed for these sunny days all throughout the winter, it’s starting to give me a headache now. I contemplate whether to wear my sunglasses.Sometimes it’s like looking at the world in high definition.

A girl in her twenties has a messy bun atop her head. She walks across the old white building from right to left. She is dressed in a bubblegum pink top and bubblegum pink stockings and carrying a Target plastic bag. She has a pair of dark wayfarer style glasses on and a dark skirt.She stands out like something bright and modern contrasting with the old arches across the street. The trees are still bare or barely sprouting new leaves; the world is waking up slowly this year.

I have come to this cafe before  a few times on a Saturday morning. It’s fresh bright and pleasant here then. There is a happy bustle of the farmer’s market, people walking with dogs and kids in tow.Music flowing through the corners, sometimes jazz, sometimes reggae, country, sometimes a lost sweet Mayan tune on a pan-flute. Once I met a petite nerdy looking french girl with a large beautiful voice that looked like it came from someone else.Once a blind lady with a Spanish dress and guitar filled the air so brilliantly,I had to buy her CD.

People enjoy the buying and selling of fresh farm produce. Some make kettle corn in a large vat big enough to fit one adult. He always wears huge plastic goggles and something that resembles a hazmat suit.Near the entrance, a middle aged man always sits talking to people. He owns several parakeets.Once I let one of them sit on my hand,I was scared the bird would take a bite.

Lunchtime smells waft throughout the cafe. I can smell the grilled cheese, fried fries, tomatoes, salads and coffees. I have no love or appetite for American food.

I think I am going to leave now and walk up to the parking lot. Won’t come here in the afternoon, the rank smell of oil is making my thoughts queasy and I’m starting to smell like cheese sandwich.


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