Local Flavour: Common Knowledge Coffee and Tea
I have decided to follow in The Fool's footsteps and attempt some posts on the local flavour of North Idaho, especially around Sandpoint proper. I was inspired by reading many of his posts on Homer a couple months ago.
The side of Common Knowledge with mural by local artist and friend Dianna Schuppel
Sandpoint is largely a tourist town, boasting a ski hill (Schweitzer Mountain) nine miles from town for the winter months and the summer months containing endless outdoor activities involving Lake Pend Oreilles and the two mountain ranges it's wedged between. Still, Sandpoint contains enough locals to keep Sandpoint from being a sterile tourist town. One such asset is Common Knowledge Coffee and Tea House, which is also a used bookstore. Not only do they have the best espresso and loose leaf tea in town and great organic food, it is also a hub for progressive activism. Shelby, the owner, is on the Sandpoint Comprehensive planning board and groups such as Sandpoint Transition and the community garden often meet there. Additionally, it even attracts progressive speakers and authors such as Jim Hightower and as in yesterday"s case, Amy Goodman, whom I was fortunate enough to catch (even though I was over an hour late to work.)
Amy Goodman speaking at Common Knowledge
It was great to see Amy Goodman in such a familiar and casual environment. A lot of people were packed into the small area to hear her speak and get a book signed. She was running late, so it gave many the opportunity to sit around and discuss politics and current community projects. I sat right across from the Sandpoint mayor who seemed very excited to hear Amy Goodman speak. One thing that I did notice was the lack of youth in the audience. There were a few of us in our thirties and I saw one friend in his twenties, but the majority were 50 and 60 year olds. Sandpoint is not a college town, so many of the 20 year olds have skipped town for something better.
Still, a tip of the hat to Common Knowledge. A place that definitely makes Sandpoint a better community.