Monday Morning Reading – You Can’t Live Without It

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Balzac's coffee pot

Balzac’s coffee pot

‘The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee’ by Honore Balzac

The tragedy of Walter Benjamin.

Of the ten bookstores on this ten best list, I’ve been to six and I’ve bought books from seven (I ordered from Powell’s online; a great alternative to Amazon).

Weekend Reading – I Should Be Working There

June 6, 2014 § Leave a comment


I want one of these offices.

Great people, each and every one!

More manifestos, please!

Coffee Advertisement

May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment


Weekend Reading – It Turns Out Entrepreneurs Less Concerned About Tax Rates, More Concerned About Not Living In A Nightmarish, Ayn Rand Fantasy World

February 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

This will blow your mind, but entrepreneurs are actually drawn to cities with a high quality of life (read: investments in infrastructure, environment, arts, etc) and a pool of skilled employees (read: investments in education, k-12 and beyond). Not, apparently, the low wage wastelands with low taxes and minimal regulations (read: gutted protections for clean air and water and for labor).

Could. Not. Agree. More.

This is the sort of thing that makes me nostalgic. Bars have gotten louder and cafés have gotten quieter… and each change affects the promise of political change. I can remember when you could have a conversation and even read in a bar. I used to read in bars all the time. Not so much anymore. And how long has it been since a coffeehouse was the site of active discussion? A long time, I bet. I can remember when coffeehouses were far more boisterous, with strangers engaging in conversation. The coffee wasn’t so good, but I was actually okay with that trade off. And it probably promoted entrepreneurship. I just sayin’.


Midweek Staff Meeting – A Different (Older?) Vision Of The Cafe

January 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

This a great idea. A cafe where you literally pay for time. The coffee is free, but you’re paying for a place to sit, relax, think, and discuss. Presumably, you won’t be getting a fancy coffee there, but mostly just regular and decaf. It reminds me of what a coffeehouse was in the good old days. Being just a shade under forty, the good old days, for me, are roughly the late eighties and early nineties. Coffeehouses multiplied, but they weren’t Starbucks, but independent places that focused on providing a public space, rather than on providing fancy or, in some cases, even good, coffee. You played chess with strangers. You wrote manifestos. Your plotted and planned. It wasn’t a place to quietly bring your laptop and steal wifi (the internet, much less wifi, being not widely available), but something closer to one of the places Samuel Pepys visited for useful gossip and political intelligence. Not very profitable, though, so it wasn’t so hard for Starbucks to kill them off. Hopefully, this model will work. And maybe come across the pond and into my neighborhood.

And speaking of coffeehouses, six indies in DC have banded together to create a ‘disloyalty card’ to encourage drinking one’s joe at somewhere other than a national chain. Good idea.

But this is just sad.

This is taking historicism to a whole new level. I’ve been to several theaters that attempt to recreate the Elizabethan/Globe theatrical experience (namely the Folger in Washington, DC and the Blackfriar in Staunton, VA), but to actually use candles and flame-based lighting! That is awesome!

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The Sunday Paper – I, Too, Value The Sweet, Dark Elixir Of Life

December 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

large_S_C3_B8ren_Kierkegaard‘At any rate, I prize coffee.’ ~from Soren Kierkegaard’s book Repetition, under the pseudonym Constantin Constantius,1843.

Do not, I repeat, do not bring sheep into the library. It is expressly forbidden.

And for heaven’s sake, stop cutting their budgets and do not, I repeat, do not close American libraries.

American style democracy does not leave much room for measured, moderate intellectuals.

An interview with the publisher of Tupelo Press, a quality poetry publisher. Good stuff.

Weekend Reading – It’s Happening Again

September 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

The book is dead. Again. Apparently.

Coffee cars.

DC has a whole lot o’ awesome jazz clubs (Twins Jazz is my personal favorite).

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