Coffee and Contemplation: National Black Business Month

August is National Black Business Month. The purpose is to support and encourage African American-owned businesses in your community. There are many businesses in Tucson owned by people of color, but I want to focus on two of my favorites. The first is Café Desta. A small café that has served Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine since 2010. They are located South of downtown on Stone Avenue. I have always enjoyed the flavors and aromas of coffee beans from Ethiopia and Café Desta serves Ethiopian coffee along with many delicious dishes. They are accepting orders for Take-Out and Delivery during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The next business is The Downtown Clifton. It opened last year in 2019 with an additional 22 rooms and The Red Light Lounge. The hotel was first built in 1948 and was purchased by the current owners in 2014 and they began restoring the property. Also located a couple blocks North of Café Desta on Stone Avenue, you can enjoy a nice stay in downtown Tucson and partake in some delicious cuisine and coffee. I only care if you try the coffee. If you’re visiting Tucson, these are two great places to check out. 

If you live in Tucson and you haven’t visited these places, what are you doing with your life? You don’t have to stay in hotel, but you can enjoy the food and spirits in The Red Light Lounge. Now go support people of color in your community.

Coffee & Contemplation: Antelope Canyon

For many birthdays, I never put much effort into myself or what I wanted. I felt no one else would care or no one would put forth any effort on my account. That was the darkness of depression looming over me. On my most recent birthday, I only wanted one thing. I wanted a birthday cake because I couldn’t remember the last time I had one. A friend of mine made me a cake and it was the most delicious thing ever. That one simple thing meant so much to me. I got everything I asked for on my birthday. I don’t think that’s ever happened.

For my next birthday, I’ve decided to make it something more memorable. I live in Tucson, AZ. A few hours North, near the Stateline, is Page, AZ. Near Page, AZ is a beautiful place called Antelope Canyon. See the photo to the left. When I researched this, I realized I may not be able to afford the kind of trip I want. I still plan to go there, but maybe not this immediate next birthday. Regardless, I’m making an effort to celebrate myself. That’s something I’ve never done before.

Why Antelope Canyon? Well, it looks cool. It’s not too far away. And it’s something I could do with friends or by myself. I’m considering a solo adventure because, again, I’ve never celebrated myself before. I’m looking forward to planning a birthday adventure and enjoying myself for once in my life. Maybe I’ll visit some place closer for my birthday this year and save the Antelope Canyon trip for 2021. In either case, I’m doing something that’s all about me and no one else. There’s something empowering about that statement. 

Coffee & Contemplation: New Book and Other Mishaps

So, I messed up last week. I scheduled my Fiction Friday post for last Friday along with my Flashback Friday post. Fiction Friday should have been today. I’ve had a weird couple of months, and I’ve been extra busy. A mistake was bound to happen at some point. Despite this mishap, I’m looking towards the future. I have many things in the works, and I’d like to share some of those with you all.

This past Tuesday, I released a new book. I didn’t advertise this much. It was more of a personal achievement. The book is called Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. This is nonfiction and autobiographical. I spent two years writing for a couple of blogs along with my personal blog. These are personal stories of things I was thinking and feeling at the time. I decided to publish them all together. I may write more and publish those as well. I wanted to see how far I’ve come. This will help push me to continue moving forward.

I still have a long way to go on this journey and writing has helped. I also have another collection of poetry releasing in January titled Cats, Coffee, Catharsis. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle. I have more details about this as we get closer to the release date. I’m also using some poems from past collections for a show I’m putting on in January. As part of the Tucson Fringe Festival, my show “Men Are Garbage” will feature poems from the collection of the same name. This is also helping me on my mental health journey as many of the poems are about personal experiences.

The show is on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 7:30 at Studio ONE. Get more details and tickets from the Tucson Fringe Festival’s Online Store. I’m both nervous and excited about this as I’ve never read my poetry for that long with no one else on stage. It will be an interesting experience.

The new year has a lot in store for me. I hope it does for all of you too. I hope you all enjoy the remainder of the year. Stay safe out there.