I'd been riding solo for about 2:45 hrs noodling the northeast back roads toward Gloucester. It was an unbelievable day but I was kind of in a dark mood so I just rolled along easy taking in the rays and thinking through stuff to clear out...then happened across Gulu in Salem Square.
Salem Square is a cool little cobbled section downtown where they don't allow cars. It's an eclectic scene. There is a mix of 'odd' tourists, business folk, street artists and a fixie hipsters crowd inked to the gills. In other words it's a people watchers' 10.
I almost rode straight past Gulu-Gulu and would have had the bright red and style of it's front door & menu display case not caught my eye. At first glance they recalled images of the London phone booths in my youth. After that I noticed the large terrier pooch head on the window and then the name Gulu-Gulu stylishly hanging above and thought 'the initial cool reading is okay, I'm coming in'
Upon entering I instantly sensed this wasn't a cyclist 'racer' cafe'. Oh, no it certainly wasn't. It was different, something I really can't exactly describe. Every head turned to look at me as stood there looking over the mobbed area scanning for a place to sit. It was clear that guys dressed in bright blue and orange spandex don't hang there very much and an oxymoron too. I ventured in for a people watching but turns out I'm the sideshow. It was hilarious, cracked me up and actually did more in 5 seconds to clear my mind and turn my mood than hours of riding had accomplished. Levity and laughter; never underestimate their power I guess.
Anyway, the only open place to sit was on the heating unit next to the front window. It looked like a shrine or something and I hesitated for a second thinking about whether I should sit there or not. The serving guy indicated that it was cool to
hang there so I peeled off my layers and made myself comfortable. I was there for maybe :40 min eating the peanut butter & honey sandwich I brought and sipping a really good Gulu house blend. After a while I realized the anxieties I brought with me at the beginning of the ride were pretty much in check, in proper perspective. As I left throwing my leg over the top tube, I thought to myself that I had be sitting in a shrine of sorts, and that was cool.