My Awakening City

I’m a sucker for cities on a weekend morning. With nobody rushing off to work, the restless streets are hushed and vacant.

I started a new Saturday morning tradition.

I drag my ass out of bed, then get dressed in mismatched Yoga clothes. I wander over to the boulangerie right when they open, before the line goes out the door.

I grab a fresh chocolate hazelnut croissant and a latte. Their comforting smells warm me.

This morning I felt inspired to capture my awakening city.

I took the kind of photos I could never take during the day, without people thinking I’m Crazy Stalker Lady.

If any of the local businesses in my neighborhood look at their security cameras, they’ll either think I’m planning a heist or just another starry-eyed tourist.

Let them think what they want. I had to share this beautiful secret.

Sleepy bakers are preparing for the pandemonium, not yet cloaked in flour or sweating beneath their aprons. Though that will all change soon enough.

St Honore Bakery

A couple shares a quiet cup of coffee together, enjoying the empty cafe before they begin their day.

St Honore Bakery long table

The library on the corner awaits the invasion of eager minds. The chairs sit still, watching over the books as they sleep.

Multnomah County Library Northwest

Cutlery echoes from the restaurant opening for brunch. The sandwich board sign is set out, directing crowds inside for hot food and cozy conversation.


The tavern is unusually silent and clean. Liquor bottles rest against one another behind the bar. The old fireplace is cool, but you can still catch a hint of wood in the air.

McMenamins Pizza

Slowly, darkness succumbs to morning light. A runner flies past me, more cars ease down the street, and doors swing open to welcome the day.

My city is awake.

McMenamins Tavern and Pool


43 thoughts on “My Awakening City

  1. MY city – that didn’t take long Britt! Yes there is something good about city early mornings. I used to love running around Dublin as it woke up. Great post and observations.

  2. The chance for a fresh-from-the-oven chocolate croissant would get me moving on a Saturday morning, too. 🙂 I love the photos, and as others have already said, the black-and-white images really set the mood for your words!

    1. Haha! Waking up early on a Saturday morning and zipping out of the house is a new development for me. You should totally try it!

      That was my introduction to Paris actually. I took a night train there and arrived on a weekend morning. I was a cranky college kid at the time, but it was still magical even then.

  3. I used to walk downtown before it “woke up.” I love being in the middle of a city before the stores are open and traffic is all I can hear. I love your pictures. Makes me want to take an early morning walk tomorrow. Except, we just got dumped with 3 feet of snow, so maybe next week!

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