A letter to a friend

My Dear Friend,

It’s been forever since we’ve spoken; I miss you. How are you?

Grand Rapids has been quite enjoyable during this wintery season of my life. The weather and I seem to be in a similar state–undecided. I appreciate its empathy.

I have the cutest little apartment. It’s a remodeled attic in an upstairs duplex on a short one-way street close to downtown. The living space is shared with three others while each of us have our own locked bedroom. At the end of the kitchen is a small white door that opens to a second staircase leading up to my attic room. It almost feels as though I live in a tower… it’s sorta storybook-like, and I love it. My small tower is simply charming with its lack of insulation (which I counter with an abundance of wool and flannel) and my friend Bernadette (who I have convinced myself is a squirrel in my attic’s attic) keeps me company. My little room is warmed by more than just my space heater and mattress pad: photographs of friends and family are splashed across my plastered walls along with my French cow lithograph from Paris, art supplies artistically displayed in the corner, and a book shelf holding a dear selection of pages: Austen, Eyre, Dickens, Wordsworth, Alcott, etc. I find it quite cozy.


[Photo by Rachel Marie Photography] 

Exploring this small city has been exciting: new restaurants, cafes, breweries, etc.

Just a few blocks from my home is where I mostly frequent. On the corner of Lyon and Union is a small circle of painted brick shops: Martha’s Vineyard (deli, grocery, and pizzeria), the Nantucket Bakery, and Lyon Street Cafe. I find these shops with their hardwood floors, white brick walls, and woodblock tables, and cleverly displayed products quite attractive. The cafe is obviously my favorite as all the baristas now know me by name. The coffee is delicious, the atmosphere and spacial design is delightful, and their baked good selection is on point with macarons, sticky buns, scones, lemon bars, sandwiches, coffee cakes, fruity truffles, muffins, cupcakes, etc. I am very particular on a cafe having a baked good selection. In fact, I am here writing to you at this very moment with my trail mix bar and tier 1 coffee and Edith Piaf singing in the background.

So much has happened since we last spoke. So many details that I wish to describe to you but not to worry, I will limit them to this.

Hope this finds you well,



5 thoughts on “A letter to a friend

  1. this is simply delightful. it oozes laura in all the best ways. so glad i got to visit your storybook tower and your “cheers” cafe. 😉 lord willing, i will be back in 2 short weeks!

  2. You are quite a good writer, Laura. I didn’t know that about you. But it doesn’t surprise me.

    Your post reminded me of a favorite passage. Not so much the content of your story but the simple style and voice, the lack of artifice.

    Simple, clear and clean as a whistle.

    Can you guess the author? No Googling allowed.

    “It was either six or eight flights up to the top floor and it was very cold and I knew how much it would cost for a bundle of small twigs, three wire-wrapped packets of short, half-pencil length pieces of split pine to catch fire from the twigs, and then the bundle of half-dried lengths of hard wood that I must buy to make a fire that would warm the room.

    So I went to the far side of the street to look up at the roof in the rain and see if any chimneys were going, and how the smoke blew. There was no smoke and I thought about how the chimney would be cold and might not draw and of the room possibly filling with smoke, and the fuel wasted, and the money gone with it, and I walked on in the rain

    . I walked down past the Lycée Henri Quatre and the ancient church of St.-étienne-du-Mont and the windswept Place du Panthéon and cut in for shelter to the right and finally came out on the lee side of the Boulevard St.-Michel and worked on down it past the Cluny and the Boulevard St.-Germain until I came to a good café that I knew on the Place St.-Michel.

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