Dry Creek: Fall 2012
Java: The Original Social Network Bay Baker
coffee one can manage to choke down, the offee. Cafe. A latte. A frappe. Java. Cup
o' joe. Whatever you call it, coffee is a beverage enjoyed around the world by people of all classes and cultures. It's a social network, of sorts. Though our world is so obsessed with social networking, little do we realize that the original social network, coffee, only existed... and it brought people together. Whether you're enjoying a cup at a friend's house or you're grabbing one from Starbucks to-go, coffee is able to bring a smile to your face and a skip to your step -- in more ways than one. Just the other day when I was getting some coffee to-go, I had a hard time choosing between the exotic-sounding Brazilian Primo and the classic Dark Roast. The former sounded cultured, while the latter rang with images of early-morning productivity. I knew the Primo would be thicker and stronger, too much so for my liking, but the idea of being cultured and exotic would almost be worth the bitter flavor. I opted for the Dark Roast with a little splash of the Primo at the top.
stronger the person, right? My mom always said that if it doesn't "grow hair on your chest," it's not really coffee. And I think she was right. The art of coffee-drinking is, in many ways, psychological; it's a feeler's sport. The way the beverage tastes is not half the reason for drinking it. Coffee shops fill up with journalists and businessmen every weekday; artists and musicians every Saturday; and church-bound grandmas and grandpas every Sunday. If people drank coffee solely because it was tasty, the coffee shops frequented by the American population would be out of business. That's right. No one would ever darken the doorstep of a Starbucks franchise again.
Let me explain. There are those who drink coffee in milkshake-frappe-form only; those people who order a delightful whippedcream filled desert any time they enter a coffee joint. Put it out of your mind that such people are coffee drinkers. Though it's important to appreciate the dessert-like This brings up a point. Why would I qualities applicable to the drink, to enjoy it in feel the need to drink a beverage that is bitter, only that form is contrary to the spirit of just to feel cosmopolitan? The stronger the coffee-drinking as a whole. Now, is it
possible that coffee drinkers are sadists, seeking to put themselves and others through the misery of tasting that thick, bitter stuff that somehow gets squeezed out of those ugly, rank beans? Well, not exactly; you see, coffee-drinking, when done correctly, isn't pleasant right away. We've all heard runners say that they love to run; but is it really the running they enjoy? It sounds crazy, doesn't it? After all, anyone would agree that feeling your heart beating up in your throat as you gasp for air and trying to fight through the pain of the lactic acid build-up that paralyzes your hamstrings isn't exactly fun. It's horrible. But the runner slowly grows accustomed to these feelings, to the point that he or she wouldn't know what to do without them. The feelings are actually therapeutic. They make sense. They keep the athlete longing for more. A runner could make the argument that to start his or her day without physical activity would be to ruin his or her whole system.
be that I've come to rely on coffee as my crutch? Think what you like, but I'd say the black tonic simply gleams and shines with opportunity for a better future... a better future that includes a new coffee shop chain, perhaps? Some say that a regular need for coffee causes a stunt in growth. While this may be a legitimate fear, how does that theory account for the people who have been drinking coffee all their lives and now stand at six feet tall?
Take a deep breath, push aside all your inhibitions, and splurge on a Starbucks on your way home from work today. You won't be sorry. And even if you start out with a delicious cold caramel frappuccino and slowly work your way toward taking your coffee black, the community already accepts you as one of our own. It's not a cult -- it's culture. So, sit down, enjoy, write a blog, even a book! Tell the world of your adventures. And while I eat my waffle and sip my coffee before heading off to class, I'll When I wake up and head to get my daily think about how the simple joy of java waffle-covered-in-honey and black coffee brought us together... even more effectively (with some healthy green juice mix choked than any social network. [GO] down somewhere in between), my day starts off right. It's my system. I don't feel rushed. I don't feel groggy. This ritual starts the day off in a productive manner. I could, of course, opt for tea with my waffle, if it were caffeine I sought. But that wouldn't be the same. Tea is something I drink after doing yoga or right before bed. Coffee makes me think of capitalism. I like to call coffee my little "cup of capitalism." Coffee gets people going, motivates them, and inspires them. I daresay some of the most ingenious ideas in the world were sprouted over coffee among friends. Am I crazy? Do I sound like a bafoon? Could it
Enchanted New Mexico's Timeless Appeal Bay Baker
Having moved away from my home state when it was time to go to college, I swiftly became acquainted with the reasons New Mexico is such an interesting place. Before then, I had very little appreciation for the state in which I grew up. After all, it was a desert; it had no major tourist attractions, at least not compared to places like Six Flags and Disneyland; and it was difficult to find famous people who hailed from Albuquerque or any other New Mexican city. In fact, the only Albuquerquean I could name was the actress who played "Ethel" in the 1950s show I Love Lucy(Vivian Vance). My brother and I would bemoan our misfortune as our friends boasted of sharing hometowns with celebrities and public figures. "No one's ever from New Mexico!" we would say. Needless to say, I had taken for granted all the things people love about New Mexico: the Balloon Fiesta, the rich Native American culture, the New Mexican food, the climate, the art, and the shopping and cultural hub of the capital, Santa Fe. Among other things, these characteristics pull together to make up an amazing state. Gathering thousands of people every year, the Balloon Fiesta is unlike any other event
in America. Growing up, my brothers and I could watch the hot-air balloons from our dining room window as they were raised into the sky. Through the same window, we could see the Sandia Mountains as they started to glow a watermelon-pink color from the reflection of the East-facing sunset. In the early morning, the mountains provided a beautiful backdrop for the slew of hot-air balloons shaped like cows, houses, and the Blake's Lottaburger Boy. We could almost taste the hot-chocolate and feel the brisk early-morning air as we watched the air-borne masterpieces float up, up, up, into the blue sky. But the Balloon Fiesta isn't the only thing that brings tourists across the New Mexican border. The Native American culture yields countless hubs for art, fashion, and food throughout the state and spilling over into Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized the impact the Natives have on my home. My mom has always worn hand-crafted concho belts, squash-blossom necklaces, and turquoiseembellished earrings unique to the South-West and characteristic of the Navajo artisans who use their talent to keep this rich heritage alive. Such artists are often found selling their creations on blankets outside authentic New Mexican restaurants in Historic Old Town Albuquerque and the Santa Fe Plaza. Eager tourists are able to weave their way in-and-out
of stores and galleries for hours, but they inevitably find themselves drifting toward the source of the decadent aroma that fills their noses. New Mexican food is not a world-wide commodity; it's a luxury available only to those who whole-heartedly immerse themselves in everything that makes this state such a special place. The cuisine can't be shipped, transported, or transplanted in any way -- to do so would to take the experience out of it. The first day I was back in New Mexico after my freshman year in college, my parents and I enjoyed my first authentic New Mexican meal in months. I had never been so happy to see a cheese-covered beef stuffed sopapilla in my life! In fact, that was the first time I really realized what an experience New Mexico is. Yet another part of the state's experiencerich atmosphere is the climate. I didn't start appreciating the sparkling sunlight or the dry air until I was removed from it. Now, every time I return to the Land of Enchantment, I'm astonished and inspired by the way everything glitters when the sun comes out and the way the moisturedeprived air hums along with the birds in the trees. Though dry, the climate of New Mexico is lush with many desert animals
like cicadas, roadrunners, and horned toads, all of which enchanted and bewildered me growing up. It might be safe to say they are even more interesting to me now that I live in cement and asphalt than they were back then! The climate is, of course, what feeds the existence of these unique creatures; but that's not all. It also feeds the imagination of countless artists. Whether writers, painters, photographers, or film-makers, these artists have chosen New Mexico as the backdrop for their many artistic endeavors since before the land even officially made up a state. Of course, all the art, culture, and food, along with the wonderful climate, have made the capital a tourist magnet. The plaza in Santa Fe is always swarming with people who seek shops, restaurants, and museums that will enchant them and quench their thirst for the state's spirit. It took moving away and then returning for me to realize the worth of this place, but I hope that just by reading this, many others will come to appreciate New Mexico even more. And as I voyage off into the world, I will always remember the sparkling sunlight and watermelon mountains that embellish and adorn my home state, making it the Land of Enchantment. [GO]
CONTRIBUTIONS PHOTOGRAPHY, WRITING, LAYOUT: Bay Baker (Editor) DRY CREEK: All designs created by Babbi Baker, photographed and marketed by permission CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Lake Baker