You've probably seen one or more of these photos scattered throughout my work in the last few months, but today I'm compelled to publish them all in one place. Together they show the collective magic that is Le Marche St. George, a cafe and small market located in Vancouver, Canada. It's the kind of place we all romanticize about owning one day. A cafe where the guests come for the people just as much as they do the coffee. A place where the owners travel and hand-select luxury goods to sell in small quantities. Where the texture on the walls authentically screams of weathered age, and where the marble top tables transport you to 1920's Paris. The ceiling-to-floor shelves stocked with local staples -- coffee, jam, pickles, and crackers.
I sat here for hours my first time in Vancouver. I sipped on a cappuccino. I split my flaky croissant piece by piece to nibble on its airy richness. Beside me sat a foursome of middle-aged women. They talked about using their bikes to get around and someone they knew who developed diabetes. Mothers with strollers made their way up to the door. I watched it all through speckled light cast through the trees. Little shadows danced on their children's faces as they waited patiently in their strollers. The table in front of me was a beautiful still life all its own.
This experience welcomed me to Vancouver. It gave me pause -- moments to gather my thoughts, realize where I was, and get ready for something new. Who I was, there at that cafe, preparing for it all, is not who I turned into after the experience. That trip, those adventures, the way they changed me was like being branded on the brain with a scolding hot iron. My eyes will never see the same. Everything holds a different hue than ever before. I hold that moment at Le Marche St. George in my heart as a glimpse of who I was, a person on the brink of something new.