I was agitated today. Restless. So I took a walk and ended up at an old haunt. Sort of.

Walking has always been a good way to give my noisy brain time to make its noise. And because I'm literally on a forward trajectory, my thoughts seem to move forward as well. A rambling kind of rumination that takes me to a new place.

The cold weather is a good excuse not to go outside, but I had errands to run. Jer and the car were in Edina, and my mailbox/bank were a few miles away. So I bundled up for the subzero temperatures and headed out. I contemplated taking a picture on the lake, but I foot-dragged and it got later and darker. I packed a tripod, just in case.

I never actually used the tripod and I kept it discreetly lashed onto my backpack, but it attracts attention. It appears to give people license to talk to me; it was not unlike having a puppy in tow. Within a minute, a writer sat down next to me and began talking about his blog and his various photography experiments in support of the blog. I found this all very interesting and I wanted to keep talking about these things, but I also wanted to stop talking to him because he kept interrupting me.

So I got productive. Mostly cleaning up, getting organized, quieting some of the noise.

I was at Spyhouse on Hennepin Avenue. It's only been there for a few years, and most of the diehard fans of the original Spyhouse think that this location is for Uptown posers. I spent a lot of time at the original Spyhouse back in the day, and for the most part I avoid the Hennepin location.

The original Spyhouse is near an arts college and it's full of students. The atmosphere has a quiet, offbeat industriousness, and nobody judges you when you buy one cup of coffee and proceed to camp out with your laptop for the next 8 hours. There's a high attention to detail: they play complete albums, light and decorate well, and put serious thought into their WiFi password, which changes daily.

The Hennepin Spyhouse has most of these characteristics, but the crowd is older. They're not studying, they're working. They're not hanging out with friends, they're having strategy meetings. But it's a similar energy; these are creative professionals. They've stuck with their favorite local coffee shop, but now it's conveniently close to home. It's bittersweet to realize that I fit in perfectly. Spades are spades, I suppose.

Either way, I got a lot done and I felt better at the end of the evening. I walked home, enjoying a fresh snowfall and a small burst of optimism.