In downtown Tulsa, in an artsy little district commonly referred to as the Cherry Street District,–so named for the street running through it–sandwiched between a bike shop and a Gothic style cathedral, is a tiny local coffee shop decorated with twinkly Christmas lights year round. The Coffee House on Cherry Street, lovingly nicknamed CHOCS by the employees and regulars, is one place I always feel completely at ease. Walking in, I’m greeted by the melodious hum of the coffee machines churning out the brew of the day and the whirring of milk being frothed for countless lattes. Just inside the door, I see my favorite barista standing behind the monstrous pastry case, which is packed with gluten free and vegan treats, and the enticing aroma of freshly pulled espresso envelops me in redolent embrace. The whole experience is like stepping into a hot shower: warm and inviting, shrouding me with an overwhelming sense of security and comfort.
The Coffee House on Cherry Street has always served as a home away from home, and I almost feel more at ease sitting at my favorite table, sipping a latte and reading a novel, than I do sitting in my own living room. The welcoming atmosphere of the coffee shop has provided a setting for events from all facets of my life. It has been the backdrop for first–and last–dates, a hideout for me to escape from the distractions of social media to devote an afternoon to studying for the SAT or researching colleges, and a place of reconciliation for old friends that have long since lost touch and wish to reconnect. The wise baristas have witnessed some of the highs and lows of my life all throughout high school, from laughter filled assemblages with friends, to my tearful admission to close confidants of struggling with severe anxiety and an increasingly more prevalent eating disorder, followed by the prompt resolution to seek help.
No matter the issue, I know I can always find solace and comfort in the warm embrace of the coffee scented air at The Coffee House on Cherry Street. It will always serve as a sanctuary for me, and even once I’ve moved away and long since discovered new haunts, I can always rest assured knowing the quaint little coffee house by the bike shop will always bear meaning to me and be waiting for me to order a latte, curl up with an F.Scott Fitzgerald novel, and come home.