I’m currently sitting in a small corner cafe called “Spilling The Beans” on the main drag of Oil City, PA, across the street from the library. It’s a picturesque scene, with a strong wind blowing the yellow leaves down from the trees and across the street as old folks stroll past a row of freshly-painted benches. Inside, a gathering of five gray-haired men debate sports, TV, and YouTube. My croissant bacon-egg-cheese was fantastic and freshly made (real egg!). Someone’s whistling consistently resembles the sound of a communicator on Star Trek.
A set decorator with an unlimited budget couldn’t fabricate a more quaint, fall-theme decorated, every-pastry-perfectly-displayed coffee nook in a town far from everywhere. Come to think of it, the wardrobe department would be given a run for their money too. All of the old guys have awesome sweaters and/or vests on. Sweaters made of fleece and with patterns like that of a Native American who’s given in to industry but wants to maintain his heritage in wool. Vests like one would wear hunting though these guys aren’t hunting anything but a bargains and bathrooms every half hour.
As a public speaker for Monster.com’s Making It Count, I travel all over Western Pennsylvania, New York, and Eastern Ohio giving presentations to high school and college students. Needless to say, most of my assignments are hardly noted destination cities – but when I have the time, I like to drive around town and find a local diner or coffee shop and imagine what it’s like to live there. Here what the people talk about, see what they see day to day and how it contrasts with the constantly changing landscapes in my personal viewmaster. I also like to find the perfect breakfast sandwich.
Have you ever had a memorable experience in a place that no one’s ever heard of? A place that you wouldn’t have necessarily considered worth a visit, yet you now look forward to returning? Share in the comment section below.