📝 Notes from Jenn:
Hello! For those who like to go straight to the meat of the newsletter, I’m testing out the button above. I have returned from my three-cities-in-one-week trip and I can safely say that traveling that much in a heat wave is not fun. I also learned that I might have Skeeter Syndrome because apparently, the normal reaction to mosquito bites peaks at 20 minutes?? I got rashes on some on day 3 and usually, the bites last for over a week for me.
❓Source request: Tattoos x coffee! Do you have strong opinions about coffee tattoos? Know anyone with a special coffee tattoo or a collection of them? Know a tattooist who loves specialty coffee or inking coffee tattoos? Send me the names!
🔏 Last week, paid subscribers received an essay on how there’s some beauty in burning it all down and starting from the ashes, much like a controlled burn of forests or prairies.
🍩 What I ate/drank/snacked on: Since I’m including food photos below, I will not be sharing another one here.
Photo Essay: Columbus, Atlanta, Savannah
I am opting to do a photo essay this week in part because I’m sick with a cold and it is likely to worsen tonight or tomorrow before it gets better. My brain and throat are not happy with me today. I tested negative for covid and I still have my sense of taste (knocking on wood).
This trip reminded me of why I don’t like traveling during peak tourist seasons. Not only are the prices higher for lodging and flights, but it’s also just a miserable-as-fuck time to be in, weather-wise. The week before we flew out, flights were getting canceled because of the heat wave. When we landed in Phoenix for the layover, the pilot breezily announced, “And the temperature in Phoenix is 115ºF.” I am emphasizing the weather because it played a large role in the stress of the trip and affected my own desire to photograph.
The heat made me delirious. I didn’t feel like taking out my camera, because I felt like I was going to get burned if I didn’t reapply sunscreen every 10 minutes. Savannah was very pretty, but it also rained for a good chunk of time and if there was no breeze, it felt like a suffocating sauna. It honestly felt like it was too hot to do anything.
The last time I was in Columbus, I was newly graduated from college and on a road trip with my then-boyfriend. I remembered Columbus being cuter than I expected and in some ways, it still is.
We visited Parable Coffee, where I met up with a coffee friend. The two drinks off their summer menu were delicious. I had the Pineapple Express (caramelized pineapple, key lime juice, salt, shaken espresso, dehydrated citrus) and my boyfriend had the Strawberry Malted Matcha (housemade strawberry malt sauce layered with house matcha, over ice). And then brunch at Fox in the Snow Cafe was this enormous breakfast sandwich and a giant cinnamon roll that took me two days to finish.
The Botanical Garden featured an orchid house and a dizzying set of aerial roots.
Also in Atlanta, we met up with another coffee friend at Chrome Yellow. At this point, my boyfriend asked me, “So how do you know these people we’re meeting?” And I replied, “Coffee.” He was not satisfied with this answer so he asked my friend and she also responded with “coffee.” (ha! vindicated!) For most people in this industry, I don’t remember where I first met someone and I guess this is difficult to grasp if you’re not in it.
By the time we reached Savannah, I was worn out and already had half a dozen mosquito bites. It did not help that I suspected one of the Airbnb blankets had fleas because I immediately got bitten when I used it. However! I did get to visit Foxy Loxy Cafe, a charming shop with multi-colored wood panels and a beautiful back patio. And then grabbed a coffee at its polar opposite, Origin Coffee Bar—minimal, clean lines, black and white with some touches of brown.
Fun fact: I got coffee at Origin because we were in a long line at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Living in SF with its long restaurant lines truly prepared me for this moment. I have learned that it is best to have the coffee and pastry while waiting in line for food, because you’ll be hungry by the time you’re seated. The restaurant seated groups of 10 at a time at large banquet tables. For $30, you could eat as much as you wanted from the many (around 15??) platters of food at the table. It was essentially a Southern Thanksgiving meal.
We also enjoyed takeout from David’s Crabhouse—some of the best snow crab legs I’ve ever eaten. I knew this was the place for us when I saw how many locals kept pulling up to order seafood.
I would love to revisit these places but in the fall, when there is no heat wave and fewer mosquitoes. And also not for only a day and a half at a time.
👀 interesting reads
- Inside Twitter-rival Bluesky’s first major crisis, as investors pressured CEO Jay Graber to speak out about racist incident [Fortune-gated but reader mode works]
The incident marked the first major crisis for the buzzy social media app, and reflects growing tensions between Bluesky and its stakeholders as the platform’s audience continues to expand. The clash between the idealistic notion of using technology to address social issues and the practical realities of managing a social network are becoming evident, just as they once did at Facebook, and Twitter itself, the platform from which Bluesky originated.
- Making My Force and My Face Known: Queer wrestlers enter the ring in Red Hook [THE CITY]: A photo essay
- The Vice of Spice: Confronting Lead-Tainted Turmeric [Undark]
Fighting food fraud isn’t easy, and experts have a range of ideas on how to do it. Some approaches rely heavily on scientific testing while others work through undercover investigations. Regardless of the method, rooting out food fraud requires constant surveillance across long and complex supply chains.
- Georgia’s largest industry faces a mental health crisis [Atlanta magazine]: Fun fact. I went to an open-mic night in Atlanta and one of the comedians asked the crowd to raise their hands if they were in therapy. I was the only one who raised their hand.
Agriculture is the state’s largest industry, contributing more than 350,000 jobs and more than $74 billion to Georgia’s economy. With high risks and, often, thin profit margins for family-owned farms, social isolation, the vagaries of weather, and the burden of a multigenerational family legacy, the work can wreak havoc on mental health.