Winter is officially upon us. As the weather gets chillier it becomes all the more important to both find and create kos (the Norwegian word for coziness). At home in Norway by this time of year, the sun was rarely up when I would head to school at around 8 a.m. When I would return home around 3 p.m., the little light there would already be disappearing. To avoid the perils of Seasonal Affective Disorder, we would saturate these dark days in cinnamon scented candles, gingerbread biscuits, mulled wine, plush throws and loads of family time. One could only wait for the first flurries of snow and the brightness they brought, sparking that excitement that only the Christmas season can. There’s really nothing quite like Christmas in Norway!
Here in Minnesota, I continue my search for kos away from home through the Twin Cities many coffee shops. My most recent haunt was The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. For those new to The Loft, it is one of the nation’s foremost literary arts centres and was founded in 1974 (rumour has it a Macalester alumnus is one of the co-founders). It is dedicated to the “artistic development of writers” and strives to inspire and nurture “a passion for literature” in the community.
I visited The Loft with my sister Nana and her roommate Efe. We were driving around Minneapolis in search of mechanic for Efe’s car. We spotted a shop on Washington Avenue and handed the car over. With a couple of hours to kill (and plenty of work to do), we began to stroll down the street, looking for somewhere to pass the time. My sister mentioned that The Loft was nearby, and that it had a really cool bookstore and café. We needed no further convincing. The bookstore was full of quaint handmade journals with intricate patterns, totes emblazoned with statement such as “I like big books and I cannot lie,” and comic books with whimsical drawings.
After perusing, we headed to The Loft’s café to do some work. I think the best way to describe the atmosphere in The Loft’s café is that it inspires productivity, but also possesses the kind warmth that makes you want to sit there for hours, people-watching. And they make some pretty yummy hot beverages. Nana ordered a Matcha Chai Latte, Efe ordered a Graham Cracker Latte and I went for the Caramel Frappucino. We sipped our beverages rather gleefully, enjoying the ambience. When we got the call from the mechanic that it was time to come pick up the car, we had no doubt we’d be making our way back to The Loft very, very soon. With finals looming large, switching up your study spot (and getting your java fix) can be a nice way to keep motivated. I wholeheartedly recommend The Loft. Sending you positive vibes for finals season!