Another bitingly cold day in Brooklyn today.
I took the G up to Greenpoint. There’s something about this neighborhood that always draws me in. There’s one place in particular that I constantly gravitate to, and if you ever find yourself in Greenpoint, I’d recommend you check it out as well. It’s a little Nordic coffee shop called BÚÐIN right on Greenpoint Ave between Franklin St and Manhattan Ave. Before I get into what I want to really talk about, let me describe BÚÐIN a bit. It’s primarily a coffee bar, but they also have a little boutique in the back, and they carry a few craft beers on draft. It’s an incredibly chill atmosphere with some light music playing, bright and inviting decor, and a lot of glass that provides plenty of natural lighting. It’s a great place to sit and read, spend a few hours with some friends, or just enjoy a finely crafted cappuccino.
Which brings me to the “meat” of this post. Have you ever seen a real barista put together a cappuccino? I’m not talking about the knockoffs at Starbucks, but the truly skilled beverage artists at a real coffee house? It’s definitely a sight to behold.
For that matter, watching any skilled artist or craftsperson doing their thing causes me to stop and watch for a minute. If they’re truly gifted, there’s an effortlessness and grace that mesmerizes and captivates. The world is a large and varied place full of unique and fascinating people.
The guy who crafted my drink at BÚÐIN today didn’t strike me as the type of person who would be very knowledgeable about coffee, let alone be very skilled in crafting a cappuccino. Yet there he was, effortlessly brewing, pouring, and designing an aesthetically arresting and delicious beverage. And then I find out he’s a featured taster in Barista Magazine (yeah, apparently that’s a thing).
I felt a twinge of guilt in that moment. I had made a snap judgement and quick assumption about someone that was completely wrong. How often do I do that? I assess someone before actually taking the time to discover something about them.
But my guilt quickly subsided as I watched in awe at his swift and graceful work. That’s the thing about artisans. They rarely meet your expectations. They shatter them and often reorient your perception of the world around you.
As long as you’re willing to experience a change of perspective. Sadly, so few of us are. We have established categories in our minds, categories that feel comfortable, that make sense to us. But sometimes those categories do more harm than good. While they feel good to us, they shape the way we view the world, the way we view other people, and even the way we view God.
We cannot keep you in a church
We cannot keep you in a Bible
Or it’s just another idol to box you in