A Day in the Valley

The San Fernando Valley is known for housing Hollywood celebrities, studios, and (most importantly) M Street Coffee, my favorite coffee spot in Sherman Oaks. Most of my friends were in Hollywood or close to the beach in Santa Monica, but I enjoyed the hometown feel of the Valley when I moved to California 14 years ago. Sherman Oaks was the first place I called home in California and it was because it had a community feel much like my hometown.

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Besides the caffeine, the thing I love about coffee shops is they are a place to gather with the community, yet it feels like home. M Street definitely has that neighborhood feel with seating indoor and out and a continuous flow of people. I always choose to sit outside with a view of the beautiful palm trees and the feel of the warm California breeze as I sip on my drink of choice, a large cold brew.

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Today’s coffee shop hang, I was joined by someone very special. I got to share a cup of coffee with my mom. After moving to California with my sister 14 years ago, it is always a treat when mom comes to town. There are two things typically on the list, we eat and we shop. So, it was nice in between those two things to relax for a moment with mom. I owe my fashion and style in large part to her. Not only did she have an amazing sense of style, but she also loved to sew. I remember she would make our Halloween costumes, add numbers to my baseball jerseys and my favorite creation of all – she made me a pair of tearaway basketball pants. This was pre-Internet, you couldn’t buy the NBA official tearaway pants, so she made them for me.

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So here we are spending time together in a coffee shop. It’s the perfect afternoon to talk about the past, snap some photos and talk about the future as I plan for my wedding to my beautiful bride, Marlene Martinez. And if you are not following her, you need to, she also has great style and makes me laugh every single day. So as we prep and plan for the future, I know there will be some days where we will need to come relax at spot just like this and share a cold brew.

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