ThreeSixty Journalism is located in the basement of the library of the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul. I think this is amazing, for a number of reasons.
1) I get to spend every day in the library for work, and we all know how I feel about libraries (reminder, I LOVE THEM). I can run upstairs on my lunch break and peruse the poetry section, or park my computer in front of a sunny window nook and celebrate the fact that I’m not there procrastinating on a response paper for class.
2) In spite of my new-found fascination with Minneapolis, I will always be a St. Paul girl. Every Sunday morning growing up, my family would drive down Summit Avenue to our historic, gothic church, and afterwards stop by the Caribou on Grand for hot chocolate and the Sunday comics. Since I was five, my mom, sister, and I have been participating in the Melpomene 5K race along the Mississippi River, which begins along Summit Avenue. Every year, I looked forward to spending the rest of that day exploring the trails down to the river caves, and appreciating the beautiful houses along the race route.
Beginning in high school and continuing each summer throughout college, I worked as a barista at a tiny coffee shop on Snelling, which I absolutely loved. Through much of that time, I dated a friend at Macalester College, and we spent time becoming regulars at all the local restaurants and cafés. So many of my favorite memories are tied up in St. Paul, and I have loved returning to the area to work here full-time.
3) The library building is directly next to one of the university’s greenhouses, which is always open to the public. Especially because I work inside a room with no windows from 9-6 pm, I love eating my lunch surrounded by the sunshine and plants, and I really enjoy the quiet. I hope no one else plans on doing this during the school year (wishful thinking), because at the moment I consider it my fort.
4) I can make it from my desk in the basement to the nearest coffee shop in approximately 3 minutes, walking. This is absolutely crucial to my job performance. I consider myself a coffee snob–potentially justified, after barista experience at two cafés and espresso every day while abroad in Italy(?)–but I have been pleasantly surprised by the local buzz. Coffee Bené has big comfy chairs, a bunch of little workstations, a great fireplace, and an impressive espresso menu. Also, brewed coffee is only $1 with a Coffee Bené mug or travel thermos (one of which will soon be mine). I would not like to admit how many times I have already been to Coffee Bené, since beginning work three weeks ago.
5) Other than the heinous parking situation (which I do NOT love, just to be clear), j’adore walking down Summit Avenue and across campus to the library every day. The streets are shaded with arches of old trees, the campus paths are perfectly manicured and landscaped with light stone and flowers, and the buildings make me feel as if I’m at school again. There is something so invigorating about walking around campus, fuchsia leather tote in hand, looking professional in my work heels, energized because I haven’t pulled another all-nighter. Additionally, students occasionally check me out because I’m not wearing a Tommie t-shirt and sweatpants or slogging around a backpack. I’m not going to lie…I like it.
Just enjoy the view now, boys, because come winter I’ll be the miserable one in the parka and Uggs, refusing to leave the library. Blerg.