Most people like to keep their work life separate from their home and social lives. For me, all three were rolled into one for the last five years.
Outside Second Cup on Spring Garden Road
Despite my current endeavour to move on to bigger and better things, I still continue to enjoy working at Second Cup in downtown Halifax. Cafe culture is something I love and there was no better place for it than where I’ve worked since October 2008.
But even as my place of work, Second Cup has always been a destination beyond that.
It was the meet-up spot for planned gatherings. “Let’s meet at the cup” was the common and easiest plan of action before a heading out to the club, going to a movie or games night at someone’s house.
It was the unintentional hangout. I could drop by at any given time and run into someone I know where an intended five-minute drop-in would easily turn into an unplanned evening of talking and laughing, during which at least half a dozen more people would come and go over the course of the evening.
It was a place to go when I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be. I could take a walk from my house and wander aimlessly for hours downtown knowing that at any time I could just drop in.
During my time there, co-workers became friends. Customers became friends. Friends of co-workers and customers became friends. It was an ongoing cycle where the social circle was always expanding.
It was my security blanket.
It was my home away from home. As cliche as it is, it became a constant during change. Moving apartments. New jobs. New school. New friends. But the cafe was always reliably there and inviting.
The 2009 Holiday Parade of Lights at Second Cup
Working during the Pride Parade
Decorated for Pride Week 2010
All of that will come to an end on December 30th when the shop closes for good.
Nearly everyone I’ve been close with while living in Halifax has had some sort of connection here, whether simply as a hang-out spot or something else. We all have memories attached to this place. Moments that blossomed. Ups and downs.
I’ll miss the regulars. The ease of the work schedule. Working with my friends. Having that one place to go to by default. The sitcom coffee shop environment. I’ll even miss the broken machines. Most of all, I’ll miss the atmosphere that I have never experienced anywhere else, and probably never will again.