We strolled out this morning in search of a new and different place for breakfast in Laguna Beach, and happened upon the Laguna Coffee Company, just south of the village on Pacific Coast Highway. I had been here for coffee before, but the place seems recently to have become quite a community attraction--and I do love community. Saturday mornings, there's a live jazz band in the tiny space--this morning, a bunch of oldsters, not the band that's featured on the link, above, but fine instrumentalists who still play together and obviously have a great time doing it. We sat and chatted with the trumpet player, Gary, a man of a respectable 78 years, who sadly quit this morning after the first couple of numbers, grumbling about messing up. A bandmate tells us that Gary doesn't practice as much as he should, to keep the chops. At 78!
Meantime, the cafe filled with people, young and old, many of whom seemed to know each other. The umbrella lady stopped by--a familiar sight in Laguna Beach, she's never seen without an umbrella to shade her, whether from sun or rain. She dresses up in outrageous costumes, colorful striped stockings, motley layers of dangling draperies, much too heavy for today's warm weather, and strides purposefully about town, though with no apparent destination. I don't know her story, but it's hard to tell whether she's a performance artist who never leaves her role, a delightful eccentric, or a crazy person on the loose.
And there were families with young children; we never fail, these days, to ask the age of the littlest children and to think at the same time of our little Luka. Gay men and lesbians, elderly couples nodding their heads to the beat of the music, solitary runners with their headsets, stopping by for a quick jolt of joe. There's a limited number of tables inside, but we had to sit outside in any case, because George was with us. Still, we were near enough to the door to be able to listen to the music and enjoy that sense of community--people taking pleasure in each other's company, enjoying the good coffee and muffins--baked on the premises!--and feeling right at home. I'm sure that we'll be back.