I had the opportunity to enjoy lunch in another area of the capital district today. This time Troy, NY. In downtown Troy are many hidden gems. The parking is a bit difficult but well worth the effort. It’s a perfect area to practice mindfulness because you have to slow down, drive carefully while traveling block to block in search of a space for your car, unless you take the bus of course. For me traveling by car is a necessity because I am traveling for work. While traveling block to block I love to check out the decorations on the houses this time of year. The windows and doorways of the Brownstone and shop windows are dressed in Nativity scenes, colorful lights, wreaths, pine boughs, Menorah and other decorations. It is a time to make note of where I would like to return to visit such as the antique shops in the antique district or the bead shop, River Rocks Jewelry and Bead Shop. I need quite a bit of time for the bead shop because there is such a variety to choose from.
Illium Cafe was the choice for today. The first time I eat in this cafe was two years ago July 8th. I remember because it was a coworkers birthday and we took her to her favorite place. It was that day we sat together and imagined our life in one year. Each of us shared that we would no longer be with our current employer giving ourself August of the following year as a deadline. Good or bad, we all ended employment in August of the following year. I accepted a new position and my two coworkers were unfortunately let go – the best thing that could have ever happened for them. Each is now pursuing their dreams. Life is miraculous and sometimes we need a push in the direction of our dreams. I took pictures to share with them and let them know I was thinking of them today and sending loving energy.
The cappuccino and Illium Steak salad were delicious. I would highly recommend stopping in for a meal. The atmosphere is quiet enough that you can read a book. My only issue was they did not offer me a table because I was alone. My first seat at the bar was in the middle near the pole so I asked to be relocated to the end. They said sit wherever I wanted at the counter. There was a nice view from where I sat though and I did have privacy so it worked out well.
The ambience of the building, soft music, and decorations resulted in allowing my mind to slow down and enjoy not only the food but the time spent in this cafe.
There are many other places in this area to visit when time permits. The small shops with their unique wears provide gifts for those hard to buy for friends and relatives.
When I left the Cafe my energy level was much higher than when I entered. It was a beautiful experience and I was very grateful to have lunch in a location with such nice memories to revisit. I texted my two former coworkers with some pictures and they were happy to hear from me. The walk back to my car was invigorating and I was dressed with wool coat, scarf and gloves which added to the pleasantness of the experience.
Have you found any gems hidden in your area that you can share? I would love to see pictures and hear of your experience. When in need of a mindful experience just get out in your local area and experience it as if you were a visitor. Your whole world will look a bit different and you will be able to enjoy the experience and learn something new, even if you have always lived there. Be a visitor in your own community and see with new eyes!!
Love and Light!