The fine folks at the Erasable Podcast recently conducted a coffee exchange among their fans. While Ted would never accept food (or beverage) from a stranger because of a scarring incident in his youth, I'm down to sign myself up for tasks I don't really have time to complete. Andy Welfle paired up participants who sent each other a locally roasted whole bean coffee and whatever extras we could come up with.
The package I received from painter Sarah Hunter was delightful on all accounts and inspirational in a way I'll get to at the end.
First, the coffee I received from Philadelphia was Reanimator's Pangoa Lot 1, a mysterious single origin coffee from Peru that has been scrubbed from their website. I think this is the best coffee I've tasted, and I make it a point to drink snobby coffee. It's so good that I cut out the milk and I'm taking it black.
Second, Sarah sent me a few beautiful pencils (pictured above and at bottom):
- Status Club
- Chung HWA
- Philadelphia Museum of Art
Finally, the inspirational part of the package was a letter in which Sarah explained the source of each pencil. (I tend to be tardy with these exchanges, so my package was sent in a panic without any explanation as to the bizarre postcards or the pencil my wife and I had made for the 2017 eclipse. Super rare, super mediocre pencil.) Sarah mentioned OMOI, her stationery shop, and that two of the pencils came from Chinatown.
With that letter, the world of pencils opened up to me again. I've been a bit myopic. My routine is the same: I run by Kinokuniya bookshop, I follow every Blackwing obsessive on Instagram, and I sign up to be notified when the pencils I already like come back in stock at CW. I should be searching Chicago's Chinatown (and Ukranian Village, etc.) for pencils, I should get to Greer Stationery like I've been meaning to. I can continue to like what I know I like, or I can get out there and explore.