Where to Find the Best Coffee in the Upper East Side, New York City

The Upper East Side is not only known for those “Gossip Girl” vibes, but it’s a very expensive, high end area to begin with.

So, naturally, time to explore their coffee shops! What Upper East Side coffee shops are worth your time? Where can you get the best coffee on the Upper East Side of NYC?

but FIRST check out my past New York City Neighborhood coffee guides:

Get real time coffee recommendations over on my Instagram.

Okay, time for the Upper East Side.

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Ralph’s Coffee

A very Instagrammed cafe all over Manhattan. I did a whole post of what of NYC’s most photographed cafes are worth your time here.

first impressions: Not gonna lie, I was worried since this spot is heavily talked about on social media (especially around the holidays for their aesthetic). So i was going into this coffee spot pretty skeptical. BUT! I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed their coffee!

atmosphere: even being stuck outside in the FREEZING NYC winter weather, they managed to have an amount of outdoor tables and chairs which a decent amount of people were using too! Even inside looked super cute too. They have a very specific aesthetic.

final thoughts: Very impressed. I especially enjoyed their espresso; whatever they used had a really nice undertone. Also their pistachio milk was a really nice treat. Pleasantly surprised with Ralph’s Coffee!! I would definitely come back!!!

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Oslo Coffee Roasters

I first heard of Oslo years ago when I was searching for good coffee shops to try. At first I added it to my list solely due to the name “Oslo Coffee” because my FAVORITE coffee shop in Berlin also has the same name!! You can find the full Berlin, Germany Coffee guide here.

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first impressions: THEY HAD A FLAT WHITE ON THE MENU!!! so I was immediately impressed. Super chill vibe (although everything was outside and I ordered through a small window).

atmosphere: I could tell it was super popular with the locals which is always a meaningful point. A bummer because with ordering outside I could’t get a vibe of the inside but I’m sure it’s up my alley.

final thoughts: Oslo Coffee Roasters is a bit out of the main strip of shops and such but I did really enjoy the flat white (ESPECIALLY the micro foam)!

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787 Coffee

Overall, 787 was definitely my favorite spot!

first impressions: WOW, JUST WOW. The CUTEST little coffee shop with SO much character. Stairs lead you down to a warm & cozy little cafe. The menu was heavily inspired by Puerto Rican coffee and traditions which I LOVED!

atmosphere: It was such a nice treat to have a break from the NYC Winter and get to sit inside. Recently NYC did start allowing limited indoor dining again. I found my way to the cutest little window spot surrounded by lots of plants with the light peaking in through the window. I enjoyed this little moment so so much. I really miss getting cozy at window seats at cafes.

final thoughts: I was so impressed. I’m so happy I made the trip. I loved how everything was heavily inspired by Puerto Rican culture. I definitely want to visit their other locations too!!!

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Honorable Mentions

Joe Coffee Company: Actually a chain around NYC but my first time here was in the Upper East Side. I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Sometimes with chains their is a huge inconsistency factor but that barista who made my oat milk cortado was very talented!

Variety Coffee Roasters: I sadly haven’t been here yet, but based on reviews of people I trust I do think I’d enjoy it here. I figured I should still mention this one!

(photo taken from google)


And there you have it! Another New York City coffee shop guide in the books.

If you liked this guide, or found it helpful please let me know! I’d really love feedback.

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If you’re on the look out for more coffee guides:

Best coffee in NYC (also the most instagramable spots)

Best coffee in Portland, Oregon 

What to look for when choosing a coffee shop to spend your money at

Lots of love,

foot

Where to find the Best Coffee in Soho, New York City

Soho NYC is a neighborhood densely packed with lots of boujee cafes and coffee shops: some are a hit and some are a huge miss in my opinion.

To preface this, I did write a whole blog post on NYC cafes that seem all perfect on platforms like Instagram, but don’t actually have good coffee. Hence, people just go for the photos… ouch.

Check that out HERE

Also, I started off this New York City Neighborhood Coffee Guide with the West Village, which you can find HERE

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I’ve made the decision to only chat about and mention the BOMB places in Soho so that I’m not wasting anyone’s times on the bad… head to my Instagram Hyped Coffee Shops of NYC Post to see some of the hard misses….

Okay, okay. Soho – let’s get into it.

Here are my favorite spots to get coffee in Soho of Manhattan.

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Darby Coffee Club

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First Impressions: I first heard about this spot on Instagram when they first opened this past June. It’s an Australian inspired cafe (whoop whoop) that has a slogan “wtf is a flat white”. That sarcasm makes me crack up every time.

Atmosphere: Darby is a super small coffee shop in the front of a gym. The interior is pretty dark and very small (the epitome of a takeout coffee shop). Definitely more of a metal/industrial vibe. It was very hard to photograph the interior.

It’s a great spot for coffee but the dream would be that they expanded to be a more bright, adorable & more welcoming atmosphere.

Final Thoughts: Super good quality coffee & the flat white definitely was a good one. It’s a great spot if you’re in the central Soho area and wanted quality to-go coffee with no frills.


Gasoline Alley Coffee

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First Impressions: I didn’t really ever see much of this spot on social media (nothing wrong with that). It’s definitely a popular spot with the locals. There was a steady line when I went.

Atmosphere: It’s a nice warm-toned spot with some spots for outdoor seating. I’d be really interested to go back here to have coffee there in a nice ceramic cup (if that’s their thing).

Final Thoughts: Gasoline is a pretty popular spot with the locals, which is generally a great sign. Pretty good coffee with talented baristas.

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Cafe Leon Dore

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First Impressions: A really cute spot in the center of Soho. Adorable & bright French vibes with a decent amount of outdoor seats and tables. It is actually a coffee shop in a clothing store but they have a cute little window to order from on the street.

Atmosphere: Also a pretty popular spot with the locals – usually a good sign of quality coffee. It was a really nice spot to just relax and people watch. It was hard to see what the interior normally looks like but I’m sure it’s adorable! Honestly so obsessed with the branding that was on all of their tables.

Final Impressions: When visiting Cafe Leon Dore I think I was on coffee number 5 for the day. I switched up my usual order of a flat white or latte and instead ordered a cortado (less milk kinda like a flat white but doesn’t have the velvety microfoam that a flat white does). Decent espresso and a good cup overall! It was definitely one of the most ample amounts of outdoor coffee shop seating I’ve seen so far in the city.

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Happy Bones

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First Impressions: Okay. This spot has been on my list since DAY ONE! I’ve seen them all over Instagram for well over a year now and even heard of the name “Happy Bones” before then. I use the app called “Mapstr” and its been on my map/list to try for a while. I’ve passed it multiple times walking as well. Long story short: I’ve been wanting to try it for a while but it never was on the top of my list.

Atmosphere: With the pandemic, you can’t even go past the doorway. Regardless, I love the vibe. It’s bright and rustic and also seems to be very popular with the locals.

*tip of the year* follow & trust the locals.

There were a couple small tables near the curb to sit down and have your coffee but nothing beats a ceramic cup.

Final Thoughts: It was a good latte! The barista was super chill and again, I’d be really interested to go back once the world calms down a bit. I’m sure it’s a nice place to go and get work done.


Honorable Mention: Maman

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Although I haven’t been to Maman’s Soho location (these photos are from their Tribeca location), I’ve heard great things about it and I still wanted to mention it as I’ve been to two of their other locations.

First Impressions: Very aesthetic – to the point where I was worried the quality wasn’t going to be any good because it was so “Instagram worhty”

Atmosphere: Very Instragrammable, very pretty, very dainty with a French vibe. Anytime I’ve been, they’ve been pretty popular – but honestly for good reasons.

Final Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised that the coffee was actually pretty good. It’s a GREAT spot to go and grab a coffee and a sweet treat (I got a vegan carrot & pumpkin loaf and it was divine). Thankfully, this spot not only has the aesthetic, but has the quality too. praise.

{Tribeca location on the left, Flatiron location on the right}

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Thanks so much if you came this far! I’ve been enjoying putting together this “mini series” of coffee guide to different neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Don’t forget to check out my West Village one.

Tribeca is up next!!!

If you liked this guide, or found it helpful please let me know! I’d really love feedback.

If you’re on the look out for more coffee guides:

Best coffee in NYC (also the most instagramable spots)

Best coffee in Portland, Oregon 

What to look for when choosing a coffee shop to spend your money at

Lots of love,

foot

Instagram Hyped New York City Coffee Shops – here’s the tea. Are they worth your time?

Keep reading to find out if some of the top photographed Instagram cafes in New York City are worth your time.

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If there’s one thing you take away from this post:

Instagram aesthetic doesn’t always equal quality coffee.

Instagram New York City Coffee Guide in 2020. Are they worth all of the social media hype? 2020 NYC Cafe Guide.

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Keep reading to see what I rate these famous NYC cafes out of 10 for both coffee quality and overall aesthetic.

Related Posts:

NYC Coffee Guide

& West Village NYC Coffee Guide

Are these New York hyped cafes worth your time and money?

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Urban Backyard

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Coffee: 5/10

Aesthetic: 11/10

I really wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt after the first time I went… so I went again; the second time sadly wasn’t any better. It’s hard because the aesthetic is so adorable and on point, I just wish the coffee was actually good. When I went here I genuinely pulled the “take photos, have a couple sips, then throw out the coffee”. Sadly just wasn’t worth my money.

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Maman

Coffee: 8/10

Aesthetic: 10/10

I was worried going here the first time that this wasn’t going to live up to the hype. To my surprise, the coffee was pretty good, especially at their Flatiron location. The have the cutest and most delicious baked goods (even vegan ones too) and it’s a nice treat to go for a latte and a sweet treat for sure. I still dream about my vegan carrot and pumpkin loaf.

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Coffee N’ Clothes

Coffee: 9/10

Aesthetic: 9.5/10

A pretty popular find on instagram with the way you can pick what designer logo to have sprinkled on top of your coffee. I was a bit worried coming here at first, as just because people post about it for its’ looks doesn’t exactly mean quality.

Nonetheless, the barista was very talented and I would totally go back! It was honestly a really good latte. It’s just outside of Soho too so it’s a more convenient location.

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Remi Flower & Coffee

Coffee: 6/10

Aesthetic: 10/10

With Remi, the best way to sum this spot up is it’s a flower shop first and a coffee shop second. Their coffee was okay but in my opinion I felt this place is really only popular because of the instagram aesthetics and stunning flowers. The coffee was good but in a place like NYC you need to be incredible or it just doesn’t cut it for me. Also, it could have been an off day for the barista so I wanted to make sure to mention this place regardless.

I definitely will at one point go back to give it another shot, even if it’s just for the aesthetic. Also something to note is this cafe is out of the way of a lot.

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Felix Roasting Co

Coffee: 7/10

Aesthetic: 8.5/10

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This coffee shop only recently has been hyped on both Instagram & tiktok. Nonetheless, of course I had to try it. Similar to Remi, the barista could have had an off day but the coffee wasn’t anything great. The aesthetic was pretty cute but I am definitely a plants – bright light – kind of person. Probably won’t go back though. There are so many other incredible Soho coffee shops just down the street.

SOHO COFFEE GUIDE COMING SOOOON!

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What do you think of Instagram hyped cafes? Do you find yourself falling into the trap and going to them?

As always, thanks so much for reading. Make sure to follow me over on my…

Thanks so much if you’ve read this far. I appreciate it so much.

Lots of love,

foot
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the ONLY Seattle coffee shop that was worth my money

This is the only Seattle cafe that I was genuinely impressed with.

This past February (before all the quarantine craziness), I took a trip around the west coast of the States to San Francisco, Seattle & Portland, Oregon. So far, I’ve done coffee guides to both San Francisco and Portland but not Seattle.

To be completely honest, I was disappointed with the Seattle coffee scene.

I know, I’m as shocked as you are.

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I would always here how Seattle is the best for coffee and it’s the ultimate place to go to for all things coffee. Now, in the time I spent in Seattle I obviously could only visit a certain number of coffee shops. This is completely based off of my personal experience. There were a couple that were decent but I’m not going to sit here and pretend to praise them for the sake of blog content. Nor am I going to bash on some well known coffee roasters in Seattle that I personally didn’t think was worth any of my money.

…so what is that one coffee shop that I would genuinely want to go back to?

Related:

Where to find the BEST coffee in San Francisco.

The 3 things I look for when choosing a coffee shop.

A guide to Portland, Oregon’s coffee scene.

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Cafe Hagen

South Lake Unioin

1252 Thomas St, Seattle, WA 98109

In recent years, Scandinavia has been described as the happiest place on earth.

Central to this happiness is a little known word called “hygge”(hyoo-gah).  Hygge is about coziness, comfort, and warmth, but also about being kind to yourself — giving yourself a treat, and giving yourself, and each other, a break from the demands of todays’ fast-paced life.

A slice of this happiness and hygge is nested in Seattle in the modern Café Hagen, in the heart of the bustling Seattle South Lake Union.

cafehagen.com

I think one of the reasons why Cafe Hagen stood out to me so much in the first place is because of their unique branding. They are emulating the ultimate European cafe experience. It’s no secret that there is no “American” cafe experience, at least not in my book. If you’ve read some of my older posts I have ranted already about how much I enjoy Australian owned & inspired cafes – they know how to do a great flat white, what can I say!!

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When I went they were still in the process of a “soft opening”, but regardless they clearly had all their crap together and were ready to take on the world.

Their menu was pure quality; the options were really different and prestigious. They roast their own coffee and we’re very knowledgeable on creating their menu highlighting all of their own unique flavors.

The decor was very minimalistic, yet bold. The cafe had different spots all around catering to lots of different clientele: the “productive get work done“ ones, the “i’m on a date” ones & the “takeaway I’m running to work now” ones.

To me, coffee is more of an experience. My favorite cafes are my favorite not only for quality, taste and all that jazz but the experience I had going there in the first place.

When I went I got a tasting flight. There is nothing more that SCREAMS quality than a tasting flight. It proves to me that they care to have the knowledge to piece together their coffee in a way that creates an EXPERIENCE for their guests.

These were the three roasts I had in my tasting. All were super flavorful and gave me the kick I needed that morning.

*fun fact* it was actually my birthday the day I went here & also my boyfriends birthday, as we were traveling together and share a birthday! crazy stuff!

We also ended up getting food, I got the avocado toast (what a surprise) and my boyfriend got this smoked salmon toast. Pretty sure they also have a menu geared more for grabbing a drink with your friends after work, but brunch is more my vibe!

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Interested in what I look for when choosing what coffee spots to try out when traveling? I have a whole post on it!

This is in no way meant to be an advertisement. I found this cafe over on instagram before traveling and was immediately interested in stopping by.

As always, thanks so much for reading.

Lots of love,

foot

Where to find the BEST coffee in San Francisco

San Francisco, California Coffee Guide

With how boujee California can get, I had decent expectations for the San Francisco coffee scene.

*spoiler* it did not disappoint

I was only in San Francisco for a couple days, so I had to plan out where I was going to get coffee before-hand (nothing new) to try and fit in as many stops as possible.

If you’re curious how my brain works in deciding what coffee shops to try when I travel, especially with limited time, I did a whole post on what I look for. The points I made there helps me not waste my time or money on coffee shops that aren’t that good.

Related posts:

Best instagram photo spots in San Francisco

Ultimate Berlin Coffee Guide

Where to find the BEST coffee in New York City


Home Coffee SF

You may recognize Home SF from my Best instagram photo spots in San Francisco.

First Impressions: I was SO excited to go here after seeing it on instagram (I mean look at that latte art)! They have multiple locations but I went to the location near the 16th Ave tiled steps which I talked about here. The cafe itself has their own unique aesthetic filled with cute decor.

Atmosphere: It was a medium-sized cafe with some seating. Most of it was filled with people on their laptops getting work done (we love to see it)! It’s located in a more quiet neighborhood so I could easily see myself being productive here.

Final Thoughts: 10/10. It was such a unique spot with lots of character. I managed to get a spot at the window and the lighting was everything. If you ever go to SFO you MUST stop here.

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Golden Goat Coffee

Golden Goat coffee was actually my first stop when visiting San Francisco. I ventured off from my hotel down some side streets, passing everyone headed into work.

First Impressions: It’s a hidden shop right off an alley way. If you didn’t know of here previously, you would’ve just noticed a little fold out coffee sign off the main street. I could tell lots of people were here for coffee before work *local spot*

Atmosphere: The place itself is super small and I’m pretty sure they only do takeaway. But the employees were super nice and I’m pretty sure I saw one of them go off and give out coffee to the homeless around the area which was super nice to see.

Final Thoughts: 10/10 for quality, and location. This spot isn’t far off from the main strip, so it’s perfect to take a pit stop for a takeaway coffee before sightseeing.

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Ritual Coffee Roasters

always a yes to coffee

Originally Ritual Coffee wasn’t on my first list of coffee shops to try, but a friend mentioned it was on their faves list so I had to make it a point to stop by. I went to Soul Cycle in the morning then made a pit stop here to have for my walk back to my hotel.

First Impressions: They had a wider array of a menu with more specialty coffee (makes sense since they roast all their own coffee). To be fair I can’t remember exactly what I got here but I think it was one of their specialty pour overs & it was super flavorful.

Atmosphere: Ritual has multiple locations but this one was definitely more geared for takeaway. There were a few tables in and outside but it was pretty full when I went.

Final Thoughts: 9/10. I could see myself ordering their beans online to have at home as they definitely know what they’re doing. This spot just didn’t stand out to me as much as the first two I mentioned.

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Saint Frank

First Impressions: Saint Frank was a cute little shop off the main strip in Soma with the most gorgeous gold and teal/green aesthetic… what dreams are made of.

Atmosphere: Super, super cute decor and over aesthetic. There were some tables and such but it seemed that most of the cafe itself was where they roasted their coffee. Also something to note, the exact location I went to ( the one in Soma) wasn’t in the most quiet neighborhood, so I’m no sure if I would go here to get any work done. Nonetheless, the coffee was worth it.

Final Thoughts: 8.5/10 for coffee, I think I was adventurous when I went and got a slightly flavored latte over a normal one. If you know one thing about me I normally drink black coffee… If I was to go here again and get sweetened coffee I’m sure my rating would then raise a significant amount.

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Remember to check out my other city coffee guides here for other inspo 🙂

Thanks so much if you’ve read this far. I appreciate the support so much.

Lots of love,

foot

Most Instagram Worthy Photo Spots in San Francisco

Want location ideas for your instagram feed? or photo spots that are anything but the Golden Gate Bridge? (because trust me, there are a lot)

Then keep reading!!!

Before leaving for the west coast, I can’t lie-

one of my biggest google searches was “instagram spots in San Francisco”

– or searches dedicated to my other upcoming travel destinations. I had no clue before-hand that putting together a list of your ultimate instagram aesthetic spots was a thing, but I’m so happy it is.

The ones I looked at months ago I found so helpful so I hope this helps or sparks some interest in you!

This past February on my west coast travels, I embarked on a 4-day mini trip to San Francisco, California. Being such an odd time in the year to travel, especially in the states, it made going to the touristy spots much easier to get good photos. Also, with me not being a fan of weather above 65-70 degrees F, if I went to California any later in the year I would die of heat exhaustion.

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Related Posts:

The Best Photo Spots in Berlin

Brighton Beach, New Zealand Photo Diary


Palace of Fine Arts

I was blown away by the architecture and how the area itself made me feel like I was off in some distant country. There was so many spots here perfect for photos and a cute little pond and pathways that wrapped around the main dome.

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Alamo Square

gotta love that shadow of my boyfriend haha

Of course when I went here the “famous” colored buildings in the square were under construction but it still was a great view of the city.

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16th Avenue Tiled Steps

To my surprise the city actually has multiple tiled staircases, and as you can guess, they’re all gorgeous. It took some time to get here with public transportation (and lots of uphill walking, but I guess you have to expect that in San Francisco).

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*random fun fact time* the steepest residential street in the WORLD is NOT in San Francisco!! It is in Dunedin, New Zealand. I have a travel guide featuring it here.


After heading to see the mosaic steps I’m sure you’re going to be tired and just want to sit down; this brings me to my next destination.

I have the perfect place for you.

Home Coffee Roasters

Me being the coffee obsessed person that I am of course I had to include a cute cafe in here (full San Francisco coffee guide coming very soon)!

In the mean time check out my past coffee guides for New York City, Berlin & Portland, Oregon.

The baristas here are SO talented and make it easy to get adorable photos. My mind was blown when I saw the latte art on mine and my boyfriend’s. They also have a long list of really unique flavored coffee beverages!

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The Streets – Lombard Street

Sounds simple but the city itself has so many unique streets. There are many hidden steps and alleyways cutting through parks and such.

One specific one I will mention (because it is the most popular one), is Lombard Street. Even if you don’t go to take photos, per say, it’s such an odd street with its unique characteristics. This spot is normally pretty crowded, but I saw so many people taking that to their advantage to take creative photos.


Palace of Fine Arts

Other Location Ideas: Alcatraz, near the cable cars and the many cute spots on the waterfront!

Thanks so much if you’ve read this far. I appreciate the support so much.

Lots of love,

foot
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