While the brick-and-mortar institution known as the Paradox seems to have existed since the dawn of time, the history of coffee shops on campus is much stranger than the history books (or in this case student body handbooks) would lead one to believe. To understand that fateful eve, in the summer of ’83, when the idea of the Paradox Café was hatched, one must dig deep into the annals of Reed.
The most striking thing about East Portland Coffee Roasters is the unusual humidity. A bubbling fountain in the middle of the shop keeps the windows perpetually foggy, especially during the cold Portland winters. It makes me a little concerned for my laptop, but in reality it is no more humid than any coffee shop one would find 1,000 miles closer to the equator. Adorned with mythical sirens, the gentle stream of water from the fountain can be pleasing, but at times clashes with the slightly-too-loud music playing in the background.