Best Place to Let Some Bike-Messenger Cool Rub Off on You

In an oversaturated coffee market, how do you choose? I suggest checking out the regular clientele. Chances are if you've ever walked up Pike Street, you've noticed the gaggle (flock? herd? mustering?) of bike messengers filling up at Monorail Espresso between Fifth and Sixth avenues. If you observe these intriguing creatures closely, you'll notice they embody the carefree attitude that comes with Seattle "cool." Whether clad in ripped jeans or shiny spandex, sporting buzzed craniums or bundled dreads, they all carry the signature messenger bag diagonally across their backs, and maintain an air of being completely unbeholden to the Man, even as they ferry His critical documents across the city. And they all choose this spot to fill up on their double-shot lattes (all drinks at Monorail come with two shots automatically, unless you ask for a "double-double") to keep their minds caffeinated and their legs pumping, and get in on some rad political conversation with the baristas. The custom-blended espresso will definitely get you hooked, and the air of independence in such handwritten sticky notes as ".50 surcharge to anyone talking on their cell phone at the window" will convince you that coming back here will help you find your own carefree Seattle "cool."—Maggie Mertens 520 Pike St., 625-0449.

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