Safe places


We all have them.

Mine comes in the form of a very quaint, cozy coffee shop where I am sure to see someone I know (and maybe even love).

Piccolo Paradiso….


I was fortunate enough to have my studio above this “Little Paradise” for three years (until our big move in January…and yes, the photos are coming soon of that!)

Many soy lattes’ later (and probably lbs. too because there were, in fact, scones involved), I have grown quite attached to this little shop.


My atttempt to encapsulate this little haven in an art piece


This shop’s owner, Pam (or HAM as my then toddlers used to call her) is the utmost in personal style. Here she is with her family during a recent photo session in the shop.


…and with her sweet daughter before she left on her big trip back to Europe.



She has a flair for enhancing daily living through

good coffee


good wine


delicious cuisine

and most importantly….


The Art of Conversation by peruisay.


We used to tease her about being  the Vortex in our little town of Camas….

lots of good things happen there.

Connections are made.

Networking goes on (in an ever-so-subtle-way).

Heartbreaks and divorces are discussed.

Italian is practiced.

Facebook is surfed (that means you, Matt!).

Matt happens to be one of pam’s three kids…

the musician kid..

the one with the band and a killer smile (below he’s the one with the guitar)…


He’s a good mascot!


Deborah, the resident Italian (and also Piccolo employee…oh-so-authentic), is one of the most lovely women you’ll ever meet. Just an absolute joy to see every day.

Pam covets all things Italian.

She calls herself a “WannabeItalian” and flit-flies to Italia  A LOT.

Way more than a girl should be allowed.

I’m just jealous.

A good sign that a place is a haven for me is that I always wish I had the Big Kahuna with me while I’m snarfing down my caffeine.





I was fortunate enough to capture my Caffe’ ladies years before in the portraits above…it helps when youv’e got an insta-studio upstairs you can drag your friends to.





Seeing little objets d’art and hot chocolate mustaches on kids and interior design books (Italian-inspired, of course) stacked on the table just brings out the shutterbug in this MPG.

Italian Country Living


It’s all art to me…probably because Pam has a way of making it so.

For me, the best part is that “Noooorrm” thing from “Cheers”. Working in a small town and having a haunt is just so fabulous.

Whenever I was having a doo-doo day, I would skip down the stairs to Pam’s because I always knew there would be someone fun to see.

I love that.

I miss that.

Is it possible to set up an office in a coffee shop?

Who am I kidding?

Chatty Kathy would NEVER get anything done.

If you’re ever going to be in town, email me—-we’ll meet at this little spot on the planet that always seems to bring out the best in people.


Check out Frank Brauner’s version of Tuscany….wow.

Ciao for now!


This entry was posted in Fab MPG women, Fun MPG FINDS, MPG good eats, MPG the Business Owner, My photography world and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Safe places

  1. Lara, those pictures are gorgeous! Talent, my dear. I smiled everytime I see your work hanging anywhere (especially in my salon!).
    I’ll met ya anytime at Piccolo 😉

  2. I love that little coffee shop, I make it a point to stop there when I am in Camas. It has a good feel to it. Florence

  3. Mikal says:

    WOW is right on the photo!

    I love places like that… we are getting a new bakery in town, and I was SO happy to see the espresso machines going in… not so happy on the bakery part, but I sure hope it becomes a sweet spot to stop on my work days! Well not too sweet, won’t be good for the bum if that’s the case!

    Have a great day,


  4. Jeanne says:

    You are so blessed to have a unique and special place like that. So many of the special places have closed.

  5. Kath says:

    How nice it would be to join you for a cafe latte in such a wonderful place!. Heck, I’d settle for a cup of joe at Guy’s aka Harvest Moon aka Willows ……….miss you.

  6. Rebecca Richardson says:

    Fantastic pics of a place I have never been to, but will put on my list of places to drop in when out that way. You captured all so amazingly well. Fun to scroll thru all the images….

  7. I wanna go to Italy SO bad! And Greece, while I’m over “there”. 😉 For now, South Korea’s gonna have to suffice.

Comments are closed.