Friday, March 22, 2013

Places I pedaled to during (not!) spring break

That's a new Bodin top I found on sale (huge sale) on their website.  Love British style.
Spring break at ASU was a misnomer.  I spent the lion's share of my time holed up in my little office at home writing and researching for a paper due today.  Bob was in California on business so I got a lot done but it was no vacay for me, despite the great weather.  I did do a little pedaling around though as necessitated by another class projects and found a couple of new favorite spots for coffee and dining - and they both are quite bike friendly.

Giant Coffee shares space with bunky boutique, cute hipster style that I would wear if I were 25.
Giant Coffee is located just off McDowell on Culver, near the downtown library (where I stopped by to get a library card, by the way).

Let's see you park this close with a car!
 Great coffee, Wi-Fi young and friendly staff (and coffee house hip, too, in case your wondering, but I have a fondness for hipsters that I cannot explain).  Awesome brownies, too. 

That was a damn good brownie.  And the coffee was just right.
They could also call the place Giant Brownie because it was giant, and I ate the whole thing, and I don't feel one bit ashamed, either.

Conveniently placed bike parking, only steps away from the front door.
So anyway, if you want to have your coffee but don't feel like listening to other people's conversations (which I personally love!) or hear the latest in hipster music, you can go outside and sip your cup in this cozy little pocket park.

It's almost like being in Paris, isn't it.  Except for the palm trees, of course.
 As you can see there is plenty of shade to protect your skin from the scorching Arizona sun.  You can also walk next door to the CVS and by a total spectrum sunscreen and apply while you enjoy your coffee so you don't have to worry about a sunburn. 

Another view of the pocket park, within easy distance from CVS and the Phoenix Art Museum.  The new Phoenix
Opera House is just across the street, too.
If you are really cultured and have the time, you can go across the street to the Phoenix Art Museum and check out the latest exhibit.  The café at the museum serves a wonderful butternut squash bisque, too.

Bike parking at Scratch French Café.
I pedaled the newly opened Scratch French Café later on in the week to check out their celebrated (at least some of us foodie cycling types are celebrating) bicycle parking.  I was told they have room for 60 bikes.

One of the other eateries at the Roosevelt and 3rd Ave location.  Very nice renovation.
 I didn't try to count but it looks like they really do consider the needs of their cycling customers.  Two styles of bike corrals were installed:  actual painted bikes you can lock up to and apparently specially crafted T-shaped corrals in their own separate area. 

Cool bike parking lot in front of Scratch French Café.  How many bike parking lots does one actually ever see?
Scratch is located at the booming-with-new construction of 3rd Ave and Roosevelt.  When all those students and young urban professionals move your going to need to ride your bike to Scratch because there ain't going to be any place to park your car.  The street parking (if it remains) is going to be full.  No worries though because you can reward yourself for riding your bike to Scratch by having one of their desserts.  Bob and I stopped by for dinner the other night and each had a tart and they were heavenly.

I wouldn't park here just because I wouldn't want to mess up the desert landscaping.  But it looks very bike friendly nonetheless. 
Owner and chef Duc Liao visited our table and told us he'd like to install a boccie ball court somewhere at the location.  Bob and I love the idea and think the rear of the building would be a perfect location if they could somehow figure out a way to bring customers and service to that side as well.  Anyway, Scratch French Café opens in the morning for coffee and pastries.  Duc is a Paris trained pastry chef and you can a little about his interesting story by following this link.  They open at 8 a.m. but Duc said he'll open earlier if that's what customers want.  Tell him you'd like boccie ball too, while your there.