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This is how I start the morning:

Cafe' La Maude, a must in the morning.

Every morning, by 7:40, I'm at the school bus stop, with Nina.  Four of the neighborhood kids go to the same school, (GAMP), so a small group of us convene at the corner of 6th and Fairmount.  When the bus comes we smile and wave to the driver so that he'll like us and drive our kids to school with care.  

Everything is sparkling clean at La Maude

Then, we head over to the best coffee shop in Northern Liberties, (our neighborhood), to start our morning in earnest.

La Maude is what a neighborhood coffee shop is all about.  Yes, the coffee is good and strong, the pastries are fresh and flaky, and the people are a blast!  

The same group gathers every morning, two of the fathers from the bus stop, the local police sergeant, the odd artist, a local hot shot lawyer and a few other interesting folks. (Think "Cheers", but with coffee, not beer...)

Jesse Gardner, one of the dads, and a fixture of our neighborhood

Cute Devon is there every morning, looking way too good for that early in the AM

Oh, and you should hear us!  We debate solutions to the world's woes, we poke fun at each other, we listen to fascinating stories about Natalie's life in Africa, (Natalie is the wonderful owner of La Maude), and we laugh.  Can you think of a better way to start a day? 

The coffee mugs are by a wonderful local ceramic artist, Liz Kinder

So, if you are coming to Philadelphia, want a good cup of coffee, know how to lower the unemployment rate and would like to say hi to me...  be at La Maude at 7:45.  I'll be at the table in the far corner ready to split a croissant with you.

Jesse J. Gardner  – (March 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM)  

Hey, I used to be called a neighborhood activist, now I'm a neighborhood fixture! I think I like this better. Orna, this is a sweet little piece of writing--hope you can do this again with more of the regulars--gotta get Jimmy Binn's image with the Seargent!

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©Orna Willis
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