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May 28, 2010

I was running errands today, when I spotted a new business in town. At the bottom of a three story building, in the basement area, a cafe has opened this week. I noticed it because there are some colorful flags flying in the outside eating area. "Oooo," I thought as I waited in the traffic, I must go in there for a quick bite to eat, and to 'check out' the atmosphere. Well, I'm very pleased that I did go in. Not only does the inside have a lot of character, but it's purpose serves a good cause. AZ's cafe is a business that gives the unemployed an opportunity to learn skills that will help them get better employment in the future. From dealing with money, a computer, working in the kitchen, waiting on tables and serving the public, or any of the other jobs that are needed to run a cafe properly, this place offers training. It's profits are used to keep it self-sustaining, so it can train people for many years to come. It is run by the YWCA, or the Young Women Committed to Action, or the Young Women's Christian Association, which fights racism and promotes opportunities for women who need help. There were quite a few people eating and drinking in the cafe. The decor was casual, a little eclectic which I like, and antiques were for sale here and there. Well, my eagle vision spotted something dark in a corner that drew me to it. It was a piece of furniture which I immediately recognized as being both a real antique, and English. An extra small church pew, you know, the hard, dark, but ornate seats that you find in old churches. Well, this really was the 'real deal'. I asked if it was for sale. The lady told me that it had been donated after someone had passed away, that it was three hundred years old, and that it costs $850. I almost choked on my coffee! When she went back to the kitchen, I investigated. I opened it to have a look for a brand, or a name, or something. "These people around here don't know what 'old' is," I thought to myself. "It's probably not 300 years old, but it could be. I'll have to ask my mom to have a look; she's an antique's expert." The price tag actually said $500 dollars. That's still too much, but perhaps I can work on these people and over time charm them into giving it to me for a bargain....you never know. But even if that doesn't happen, I will make AZ's cafe my regular place for coffee with friends, to support the people in training, and to keep my eye on that little piece of England.

Grammar notes.

Related vocabulary: to check out, self-sustaining, to draw to (to be drawn to), to choke.

1. Let's go to the new museum and check out the historical artefacts.

2. We must create self-sustaining farming projects.

3. I feel drawn to horses; there is something about them that fascinates me.

4. Pat him on the back! He's choking!

 
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Marisa
over nine years ago

I follow your blog and listen to it on itunes for long ago. I find it very simple and complex at the same time. I admire your ability to tell simple stories with such a rich vocabulary keeping the interest of students in learning English
The stories and the length are perfect, the voice too.
Thank you.