The first thing to know about Coffee Haven is that it has a completely unassuming exterior -- in fact, completely generic. You can drive or walk by it dozens of times without noticing it. If you happen to notice it, you probably won't think, "That looks like an interesting place, I think I'll try it out." But in fact, it's a hidden gem. Once you step inside, you realize you've discovered something not many other folks know about.
In my opinion, Coffee Shop serves the best coffee on Hillsborough Street and even when compared to cafes downtown. They also serve fresh-made breakfast and lunch. This combination of good food, good coffee and lack of pretentiousness brings Coffee Haven to the top of my list for cafes in Raleigh.
It's also quiet. I set up my professional lunch meetings at Coffee Haven. Of course, there's WiFi. There's offstreet parking. And did I mention freshly made food?
Coffee Haven is located in a building that houses three businesses and which has a 1970's-ish Pizza-Hut style roof. It shares the building with an old-school barber shop and a shoe store. The signage is very, very generic. My first impression from the street view was that it was the kind of place that served Folgers and truck-stop food. The contrast between what you expect and what you discover is part of Coffee Haven's charm.
There are plenty of coffee shops to choose from in Raleigh and each is suited to different types of customers. Coffee Haven is great for grad students, working professionals and anyone who prefers the taste of coffee over the need to be seen as hip. It's not a place designed for undergrads who want to camp out for hours doing homework in overstuffed living room chairs.
My preference is for quieter, non-chain shops with good food. When I think about the many cafes I go to around NC State and even downtown Raleigh, my preference is Coffee Haven.
I previewed the film in entirety on November 15th and can say with full certainty that Shored Up is objective and well-rounded. This article is flatly uninformed regarding the content of the film. Climate science and sea level rise isn't the subject of the film -- it's the underlying antagonist, but the story is about social, economic and local impacts to barrier islands from beach erosion and hurricanes. SLR is attributed to climate change, but the point of the film is about what is happening right now.
Shored Up provides a full range of perspectives and in fact, only discusses climate change and sea level peripherally. The theme of the film is impact from powerful hurricanes. Topics include beach nourishment, construction of groins, protection of high value vs. middle class homes, the struggle between local economies and localized vulnerabilities, insurance and the new National Flood Insurance Program law.
The film also provides interviews with individuals on several sides of this complex issue including:
...(a) The director of NC-20
...(b) Mayors of coastal communities
...(c) Beach nourishment experts from the Army Corps of Engineers
...(d) Business owners in coastal communities
...(d) Victims of Hurricane Sandy primarily in New York and New Jersey.
...(e) Climate scientists and coastal experts in North Carolina and New York
I suspect the Natural History Museum is concerned that it may suffer budget cuts if it shows this film. Perhaps the Science Cafe may not be the appropriate place, but Musuem Director Koster's comments appear to indicate he has either not seen the film or perhaps is concerned about the politics of coastal development and potential retribution from the Assembly.
FYI on Chasing Ice: This film was recently screened at NC State. While very beautiful it's also can be described as a simple narrative about a photographer's effort to document retreating glaciers. Wonderful but limited. Shored Up is superior in that it addresses the social, economic and political dynamics resulting from increasing storm damage to barrier islands.
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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