Q+A Series…New York Called Chérmelle Danicea Edwards

I met Chermelle on Instagram (sounds creepy right?). Her stylish and artistic feed quickly caught my attention and I've become quite a fan of her clean, vintage-like aesthetic. As a "curator of the coffee culture," I found her unique angle intriguing and reached out to her with a Q+A.

Learn more about Chermelle's NYC perspective below.ChermelleGive a brief intro to yourself.

My name is Chermelle Danicea Edwards, the daughter of two amazing beings that came together in love and created all of who I am. I grew up in L.A. and received a major in creative writing and minor in film from UCLA. I've worked for a wide variety of people and companies from Warner Brothers toBusiness Week, in addition to independent coffee shops. Now I work full time as a cultural consultant, a freelance writer and acurator of coffee as culture. As of late I'm experimenting more with my love of art, drawing blind contours for commission.

I love to read, I love being with nature, natural light, I adore Picasso and Van Gogh, exchanging ideas, connecting with people and getting goose bumps, watching indie films by myself, discovering anything new and I love, love, love going to newsstands and bookstores and walking away with something in print.

Where did you move from and why?

I moved from L.A. I never thought I would move to NYC, but I visited one summer and the energy of the city's pavement spoke to me. I decided I was going to move and gave myself a year to do it. I moved in the summer of 2004.

What's the story behind your blog, The Coffee Photographer?

It visually started when I bought a real camera. I was living in N.Y. The idea was formulated for Smdlr and I took a trip to South America with a little point and shoot that belonged to an editor of a magazine I was writing for at the time. The trip was a starting point of a cross-cultural coffee experience. After returning I spent my savings on a camera of my own. One of my first times out with my camera was in L.A. during a trip to IntelliVenice. I saw a man with a carafe of coffee and a distinctness about him that really drew me. I asked permission to photograph him and here I am almost five years later.

First impression of New York in 3 words?

It moves. Fast.

One item you moved with and will keep forever?

My acoustic guitar.

Looking back, what advice would you give to the freshly arrived version of you?

Great question! Visit every borough, often.

When are you happiest?

When I'm in the vortex of being who I am created to be.

What's the most valuable thing your least favorite job taught you?

Content is Queen.

When did you first consider yourself a "New Yorker"?

I believe it was my fourth summer in New York. I was at a music concert at Summerstage in Central Park and rain was in the forecast (of course I didn't have an umbrella). The crowd was so amped that day too. I remember seeing the clouds appearing - they were coming fast and I remember debating staying or leaving... Lexi, I was having so much fun that I decided to stay! And so many other people did too. There was this collective cultural consciousness in the sense that everyone knew we were about to get drenched. Someone offered me their umbrella and next thing you know, boom - lightning! A massive downpour ensued, and the umbrella didn't stand a chance. Walking away with hundreds of other happily drenched people laughing and talking about how great it all really was made me really feel New York. These were New Yorkers...and I was one of them.

If not New York, where else?

Indubitably, L.A. then Santiago, Chile.

What was your last, "...only in NYC" moment?

I called a cab and he asked me how to get there. Only in New York.

What's a moment of vulnerability you can remember?

It's a recent one. I decided for the first time in my New York residency that I must move out of the only apartment I'd ever lived in since I moved to New York. There are some things 'calling' me so I'm 'on the road' this year, every day is a vulnerable one...

What's something you know today that you didn't know yesterday?

That I truly feel like a magical being. The energy that I thought NYC had was mainly a result of who I was being when I was in New York, but I know different cities bring out other special qualities within me. Does that make sense?

What keeps you motivated?

Oh my goodness: life! As simple and complex as it sounds, without a doubt - life!

What's the best thing that has resulted from your website?

My website is a virtual version of me as well as a physical manifestation of many things that I love. I curate the culture that incites me and attract others who love similar things, whether it's coffee, art or thrifting. I am so humbled by that everyday.

[wait, there's more...]

{Above left: Urban Bush Babes, Jan 2014, Blue Bottle Coffee, Chelsea, NY; Above right: Mercedez Singleton, March 2014, Friends & Neighbors, Austin, Texas}

My favorite NYC coffee shop is...I knew this question was coming...It's hard to talk favorites because going to a coffee shop is about function for me - it's about what I am going to do while I'm there. If I'm having an intimate coffee date with a friend then Bluebird in the East Village; If I want my favorite flat white drink then I love Cade Grumpy in Park Slope; Propeller Coffee in Greenpoint always charms me - I love the vintage spoons and the back boudoir woos me every time; As of recent I'm swept away by the architecture and space at AP Cafe in Bushwick.

If you could wear one brand for the rest of your life...vintage... ha, is that a brand?

My favorite nights are...when I can see the stars.

I'm not a tourist but I still...love looking up at tall buildings.

You'll usually find me...in a coffee shop. Or, thrifting.

If you can afford it...I would live tri-coastal. 6 months in NYC, 3 in L.A. and 3 out of the country.

Don't trust...what you used to do.

Do trust...intuition and instinct. Two different, yet primal and important things.

When it comes to NYC I hate...slumlords.

When it comes to NYC I love...riding the trains. There is so much life to see and hear.

I'll move out of NYC when...I have kids.

It's okay to do this alone...eat.

If I'm going to splurge...it will be on art.

My favorite phone apps are...Instagram, of course!

My favorite place to spend time is...by season: Summer...Prospect Park; Fall...on my bike; Winter...at any museum; Spring...the city's community gardens - everything comes to life.

This is how I wind down...I get my favorite throw, put on a music compilation of Thomas Newman's James Vincent McMorrow, Moses Sumney and RY X, and I blind contour.

It's important to...tell yourself, in a low sweet whisper, I love you.

*Follow The Coffee Photographer here and visit her website here.

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Lorena says:

    You’re parents aylaws could go with you, and try to keep tabs. The city is great, and really, there aren’t people to be scared of in most places, and it would be great to experience a lot of what NYC has to offer, but you can get in over your head really quickly. Depending on where you are from, and what your daily experiences are, you might not be ready to figure out subways and maps and cab drivers who aren’t patient. I think the first time that I went, I was around 15, and on a school trip, and going there from a rural hometown. It was just a little overwhelming. But I loved it!

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