K-Pop played on shuffle to ease impatience and soothe nerves, though it didn't quite mask the fact that we only made inches of progress with the wrapping up of each song.
Luck had been bestowed upon us! I snagged the spot with swiftness, then proceeded with manuever through Cantonese-speaking aunties and uncles for shots of the pale pink flowers.
I set out to conquer this challenge, undeterred by my absentmindedness at having forgotten a reflector for the astonishingly sunny weather.
While in search of pretty petals, I was interrupted once by a rude bunch of amateurs attempting to capture a backlit portrait image with a cut-rate, panel-type car reflector (Excuse yourself, thank you very much!) and twice by a visor-donning middle-aged woman for making physical contact with the tree branches. Though I suppose neither was nearly as frustrating as being crowded by baby strollers and picnic blankets in close proximity.
< Pictured above and below: Coffee, Beef Barley Soup, and French Toast >
Coffee was presented with a wooden stir stick and 90's-style plastic cream containers. Beef Barley Soup seemed as if it had been poured from a can (or from a high school cafeteria); no comments were overhead regarding this tan-toned item.
Google Maps had notified me of the nearby Outpost Coffee Roasters and its late opening hours. Seeing as street parking was permitted at all times except weekdays between 4 PM to 6 PM, grabbing a proper beverage was easier than ever.
I was greeted loudly and cheerfully by a young man clad in a fitted button-down and bow tie within milliseconds of bypassing the StopGap ramp and pulling open the door. It was a very pleasant atmosphere that made me wish I had time to relax for a while instead of making a quick takeout order.
The gigantic contraption appeared to be used for coffee bean roasting, sporting a funnel on the top and Stainless steel catchment area at its foot.
All attention was immediately directed towards the friendly barista's sophisticated hand movements as he began forming a swan in my beverage. A rapid yet beautiful creation, I couldn't help but immediately hover on top for a photo. To my surprise, he replied with glee, "Oh thank you!" in that his work was deemed memorable for safekeeping.
(Note: While the cup's red logo design is indeed eye-catching, it is best to avoid gripping too hard on rainy days to prevent ink transfer. Alternatively, grab a napkin!)