Up Over Down Under by Micol Ostow

Up Over Down Under by Micol Ostow

Author:Micol Ostow
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Group US
Published: 2010-03-28T16:00:00+00:00

Adams Morgan was officially considered to be the “funky” D.C. neighborhood. It was located only two miles from the White House, and easily accessible via the Metro. As Billie and the others stepped out and into the sunny afternoon, she immediately noticed the bright, colorful cafés dotting the streets, and took in the sea of ethnic restaurants. It reminded her a great deal of Brunswick Street back home.

“Tell me we’re not going to Starbucks,” Billie pleaded. There had to be more interesting places to get coffee in this part of town.

“Give me at least a little credit,” Parker replied, rolling his eyes. He pointed to an awning halfway up the street. “That’s it,” he said.

“Okay, enough playing tour guide. We have to get there ASAP, or there won’t be any couches left!” Heather winked at Billie to show that she was kidding…sort of.

Heather, Parker, and another news-writer friend of theirs, Kenneth, apparently took their “coffeehousing” (they’d even somehow managed to create their own verb) very seriously. As Parker explained, they met once a week after school to head to Adams Morgan to write, drink fancy coffee drinks that didn’t taste much of caffeine, and tap away at their laptops or scribble ideas into tiny spiral-bound notebooks. It sounded very literary, and Billie was all for hanging out. Today she brought a book with her to read, since she’d come to school with neither a special writing journal nor a computer. Talk about unprepared.

“Does it get very crowded at the shop?” she asked.

Parker nodded. “Georgetown students love to camp out on the couches and pretend like they’re slumming.”

Billie laughed. “Really? That’s so bogan. Er, I guess you’d say, ‘trashy,’” she amended, seeing Parker’s confused expression. It wasn’t a perfect translation, but it was the best she could do.

Ahead, Heather quickened her pace, and ducked into the café that Parker had pointed out. Parker, Kenneth, and Billie followed shortly after her.

Parker held the door for Billie, bowing at the waist with a flourish. “After you,” he insisted.

Billie quickly discovered that she was delighted by the extremely indie coffee shop. It was nothing like a Starbucks at all. For starters, it was twice the size of any chain coffeehouse, and despite Heather’s concerns, it looked like there was ample seating. The floor was cluttered with so many overstuffed chairs and sofas that walking became a bit of a maze challenge.

Heather immediately flopped down onto a love seat in a quiet corner, tossing her books onto the couch that sat kitty-corner. “I’ll guard the seats,” she said. “If someone will be kind enough to grab me a café mocha. Extra large, extra chocolatey, please.” She smiled, flashing white, even teeth.

“That sounds good,” Billie chimed in. Normally she was a black-coffee sort of girl, but when in Adams Morgan… Anyway, what could it hurt her to branch out a little bit now and then? “I’ll have the same. Stay put,” she insisted, waving at Heather. “I’ll fetch them for us.”

“No, Billie, this is your maiden coffeehousing voyage,” Parker protested.


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