Vigilante Coffee Company
Earlier this spring Vigilante Coffee Company opened its College Park location. Conveniently located on Route 1, Vigilante filled a glaring void in the UMD coffee shop category.
Even after two glowing recommendations, it took me a while before I dropped in. The first time I visited Vigilante I was on my way to class and stopped by to grab an iced coffee. That was a mistake. Not because it wasn’t good but more so because I don’t really like iced coffee. Anyways. Since then I’ve enjoyed trying their various pour overs. Their drip coffee is also very excellent, and if you like your coffee sweet their Iced Mocha is perfect especially on these summer days.
In addition to locally roasted coffee, Vigilante also offers your pastry staples: croissants (chocolate, ham and cheese, and almond. I highly recommend the almond.), muffins, savory biscuits, and other baked goods. If my eavesdropping on my last visit is any indication, they may soon be switching up their selections so be on the lookout for tastier and more varied options. This is a welcome change since their offerings are currently limited and they don’t allow outside food or drink.
What I love about Vigilante is the entire vibe of the space – natural lighting, wood paneled wall accents, lots of fresh greenery, and clear and uncluttered space. It is the perfect atmosphere for getting some work done – my primary reason for visiting. If I have any critiques it’s only about the music selection which is sometimes folksy acoustic covers of hip hop songs that serve to transform the space in what I think of as “if gentrification had a coffee shop.” Other than that, I love the space.
Most recently (i.e., yesterday) I was at Vigilante working on a presentation for the upcoming Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN) conference that co-conspirator Shaaren Pine and I are hosting. In “What did you say? Responding to Interpersonal Racism,” she and I will be providing strategies for responding to racist questions and comments from friends, family, and strangers as well as offering some self-care tips. From blatant actions to seemingly benign yet intrusive questions, racism remains a part of the lives of transracial adoptees. However, adoptees are often ill-equipped to navigate this reality.
I definitely had few if any conversations about race or racism (and none that I can remember about how to respond to any prejudice that I might experience) when I was growing up. It is a much needed conversation that is often missing from transracial adoptees’ upbringing. Given that KAAN includes adoptees, adoptive parents and non-adopted siblings, as well as adoptee spouses and children, we are presenting our session twice – once for adoptees only and one that is open to everyone. Hopefully we will be able to have productive dialogue. It will definitely be a time for learning, sharing, and making important connections with one another.
Vigilante Coffee Company
8200 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740