Content with coffee

There are 23 Starbucks in a two-mile radius of Portland State. Take into account the other coffee joints, and that number grows far higher.

Even with so many, a calm place to sit and drink coffee is sometimes harder to come by than a parking spot after 5 p.m.

So, it is with great is with hesitation that the regulars of Broadway Coffee (1924 S.W. Broadway) let you in on this bit of caffeinated gold. Use it wisely.

Since he opened his shop in 1997, Amir Rahimi, the owner, has not had any complaints.

"When you look at it, ups and downs come with the territory of any job. I believe in the simplicity of life. I’m very content," he said.

However, in many ways Rahimi is hardly simple. His father taught math and his mother, also a teacher, taught social science. Rahimi himself has a master’s degree in mathematics.

"I inherited the geekiness of my father and the intellectual side of my mother," he joked. "There is just something about it, everything is based on math – science, nature, it makes you more logical."

In fact, he says that he chose the property that sits across Broadway from Campus Public Safety because of its proximity to the college.

"I enjoy the university atmosphere," he said. "It is challenging and there’s always someone who wants to talk."

An avid reader of history, politics and 19th-century literature, he says that the only other thing that might make him happier would be "if someone paid me to sit and read for a living."

Rahimi has always preferred the Northwest and after leaving Seattle for Arizona, to pursue his degree at Arizona State, he decided that the unbearable heat just wasn’t his cup of tea – pun intended.

"I like the weather, I even like the rain. Oregon is a beautiful state and Portland has all access to the coast and the mountains," he explained. There are also the film festivals that he attends and the progressive politics that he keeps up on. But mostly, it’s the people.

"If I could go back, I would probably study sociology," Rahimi said. "There is a fine line between sociology and philosophy." Coffee shop, sociology, go figure. "It might be called renaissance coffee," he said with a laugh.

Rahimi originally hails from Iran, but has not been back to the country to visit his four brothers and sisters because he says he has since built his own foundation and has become accustomed to this country, though he does plan to return to Iran eventually.

"I haven’t really thought about it. I hopefully plan to visit South America this summer, maybe after that."

Another thing he has not decided is the future of his shop, where he makes most of the featured pastries himself. Though he says he may consider opening a full-fledged caf퀌� someday.

For now, he is content to single handedly run his shop, which he says does not tie him down. Rather, he is just doing what makes him happy.