In this article in the NY Times, David Sax profiles a cafe in Brooklyn where laptops rule the tabletops and 5/6 of the overall space. I'm not wishing to move the cafe toward that particular business model - I believe we've achieved a careful balance within our small space. However, Sax was able to personalize the laptop drones who he originally believed "were just sitting around e-mailing other writers in other cafes around the world."
I've have met many writers, business people, moms, professors, students in Modern Times Coffeehouse; some of you have been calling this your "third-space" before that term was coined. I can't keep up with every one who comes through; so, inspired by this article, I'm asking you to introduce yourselves - here, on our Modern Times Coffeehouse blog.
What are you typing away for over there? What has been haunting your screen lately? The classic DC question: What do you do? Who are you?
After much anticipation, we are proud to release our new, limited-edition, hand-screen-printed Modern Times Coffeehouse shirts. Screen-printing is no small task, so before making the t's available, we wanted to let everyone know a bit more about the process and all the love that went into making these shirts a reality.
Late this summer, while stumbling upon what seemed to be just another ordinary yard sale in Mount Pleasant, former Modern Times barista Matthew Davis discovered an old, empty screen printing frame, alongside a bag of inks and a swatch of silk-screen fabric. Not sure it would all work, he decided to haul it home anyways. Many of you have experienced Matthew's fine artistry served up warm in a cup. You may not have realized, however, that his artistic expression extends far beyond a delicious espresso. Now employed as a full-time illustrator and graphic designer, for years, Matthew had talked with Modern Times owner Javier Rivas about designing a custom t-shirt for the Coffeehouse. Now armed with (at least some of) the necessary screen printing tools, Matthew decided to take action.
Step one: creating two prints and a design prototype. Step two: boss' approval. Step three: lots of pizza. Step four: calling lots of friends to provide free labor in exchange for pizza.
With a full, rag-tag screen printing crew mobilized, we began work on an initial batch of 20 limited edition shirts. A near fatal accident with an excited cat, spilled ink and flying kitty litter, caused a temporary detour in the production process. But Matthew's determination to complete the job meant that three days later, the beautiful new t-shirts were ready for their introduction to the world.
First batch is just 20 strong. Each t-shirt is designed by Matthew, hand-printed and individually numbered.
That means for now, until we print more, only 19 people in DC can look as good as you (if you buy one).
$25 buys you one.
For more information on Matthew's work, check out davisionary.tumblr.com or follow his tweets @davisionarybros.
photo and latte courtesy of James B.
4th Anniversary Open Mic
- Friday, December 3, 7:30pm - 10:30pm
- Featuring DJ Manimal and a live music jam (bring your instruments!)
- We will be auctioning off a limited edition hand printed MTC shirt (read about them on the previous blog post) and other goodies!
- Light fare and drinks will be provided
Modern Times Coffeehouse is proud to present the artwork of local painter and health care activist Regina Holliday. Many of you are already familiar with Regina's work through her iconic mural entitled 73 Cents, just outside the Coffeehouse, on the wall opposite the CVS parking lot. Regina's paintings will be on display in the Coffeehouse throughout the month of December. For more information on Regina and her health care advocacy, check out her blog.
Some words from Regina about the show:
Did I ever mention Fred was for the most part a stay-at-home dad? Yes, he was an adjunct at three universities and worked part-time at the video store, but otherwise he was with the children. When Isaac was a baby and Fred would have to wile the hours away taking care of an infant, he would often strap Isaac into a front-pact baby carrier and go to Politics and Prose. Politics and Prose was Fred’s favorite store. He would spend hours there. As Isaac grew, Fred would place him first in the backpack, and as time passed, the stroller, and off they would go to Politics and Prose and divide their time between the film section and the mouse hole in the children’s section.
This was Fred and Isaac’s routine for three years. Then in March 2009 Fred became ill. Fred could no longer visit bookstores. I would bring books to him instead. On his birthday, I brought him three books from P&P, and due to his intense pain and his pain medication, he would never finish one of them.
When Fred died in June, we received many letters of sympathy, but one letter I treasure the most came from a P&P bookstore employee. She said how sorry she was that we had lost Fred and recounted all the many times Fred had carried Isaac in her store. I had had no idea that they had spent so much time within the store. While little Freddie was in school and while I worked, Fred and Isaac were surrounded by a maze books in a room filled with a love of knowledge. My eyes filled with tears as read of this vision of a father and son.
While painting the mural 73 cents in July, many staff members came to speak to me about the painting. Even the co-owner Barbara came out a few times to talk about medicine and paint.
When Howard Dean had a book signing at Politics and Prose, he came out to see the mural with one of my friends. When I tell people how to get to the mural 73 cents, I often say you can’t miss it. It is right by Politics and Prose.
So you can image how happy I was to be invited to show my canvas work at Politics and Prose later this month. The canvas work I have done will be displayed in the coffee shop in the basement of P&P from November 19, 2010- January 5, 2011. The opening reception will be Monday, November 22 from 5:00-7:00 pm. I will be showing many pieces about our personal struggle for information during Fred’s cancer journey. I will also show some pieces that comment on social media, open government and Meaningful Use. I hope you can make it.
I am glad I will see Fred’s face again inside of P&P, or as my little Isaac calls the store: Daddy’s Library.
For 26 years, Carla Cohen, the founder and co-owner of Politics and Prose, brought her energy and intellect to building and maintaining one of the nation’s great bookstores. Please join us as we pay tribute to her incredible legacy in a memorial reception to which customers, colleagues, family and friends are invited.
Our tribute event is scheduled to begin with a program of brief speeches followed by a reception.
Tributes and Memories
Mary Kay Zuravleff
2:30 - 4 p.m. Reception
Catering by Judy Starrells
If you cannot attend our tribute to Carla on Sunday, it will be livestreamed by beNOW.tv on our Politics and Prose website, www.politics-prose.com, starting at 1 p.m. This is an appropriate first livestreamed event with our new partner, and the beginning of what we hope will be a long relationship. BeNow.tv's founder and president Brian Gruber, a former C-SPAN executive and FORA.tv founder, says, "Carla was a warm, funny and generous partner and a big booster of beNOW.tv's plans to automate and livestream the production of author events. My memories of Carla holding court in front of the store - talking about books, authors, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. - will always represent to me the pinnacle of smart and passionate independent bookselling." --Barbara Meade
A statement from the artists:
"Our group of women photographers came together through classes and darkroom work at the Smithsonian RAP photography program over the last ten years. Several of us "went digital" and left the darkroom a few years ago. Then Frank Lavelle, who had run the program and taught a variety of interesting classes as well as supervising the lab at the Ripley Center, relocated to Oregon. We all missed his guidance and the collegiality he had built up so we banded together to provide each other support for our photographic endeavors. We continue to meet monthly to share and critique our work and on occasion photograph together locally or on photo tours abroad. The show is at once a celebration of our friendships and of our love of photography."
Alice Burton began taking pictures with a Brownie camera in her home state of Wisconsin in the late 1940's. Influenced by her father, a talented amateur photographer and painter, Burton experienced the pleasure of observing the natural world through a camera lens at a young age. Throughout her life and career as an educator and social worker Alice has expressed her admiration for the resilience of the natural environment.
Jane Cave’s photographs focus on two main themes: city streets and still lifes. In both cases she aims to capture images that the human eye barely registers, either because the moment itself is fleeting or because the camera can focus on a detail that would otherwise be lost in the surrounding clutter. She has studied at the Smithsonian Institution, the Maine Photographic Workshops, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. She is a member of the Art League in Alexandria and Mid-City Artists, a multi-disciplinary group based in the Dupont-Logan Circle area of DC.
Wilda Heiss enjoys travel and landscape photography. She has exhibited at Frame Masters in Vienna, Greenbelt Community Center, and the Annual Art Show for the Library of Congress Professional Association for which she was named the Craig Hobson Memorial Photographer in 2003. Judge's commentary: ".....a sense of timelessness"...."ability to capture the beauty of the land"...."passionate feeling for the landscape"...."eloquent use of color and composition, coupled with imagination."
Barbara Johnson’s photography focuses mostly on people and the occasional abstract landscape scene. She uses film and shoots with medium format, 35 mm and Holga cameras. Barbara prints with traditional black and white materials, palladium, wet plate collodion, and Type C color. She is a member of the Art League in Alexandria and the Capitol Hill Art League. Barbara exhibits in juried shows in the Washington DC area and in national competitions. She studied at Syracuse University, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the International Center of Photography, the Maine and Santa Fe photographic workshops and at the Smithsonian.
Sandi Robin grew up and was educated in Washington, D.C. Her husband is a second generation resident of D.C. Sandi and her business partner sold their retail business in Bethesda several years ago. In retirement, she felt it was time to express her creative ambitions and enrolled in photography classes at the Smithsonian Associates program. The darkroom and workshops created a passion for street photography and capturing the quirky, fun, and changing scenes of everyday life. Over the years she has been a part of a group show in Palm Beach, Florida, photographed events for her family, and assisted on photo shoots at weddings and bat mitzvahs.
Elinor Yudin Sachse, after many decades of painting in oils, found photography a natural extension of her painter's eye. She captures images on film and does all her own printing, both in color and in black and white. Repeated lines and curves attract her and, a creature of habit, she returns often to the same places, finding new aspects to interpret every time. For Ellie, the camaraderie and intellectual stimulation of the Smithsonian's darkroom and the relationships that evolve through it are further spurs to creativity. Her photographs have appeared in many shows, both solo and group, and are also part of a number of private collections.
Marge Silverberg has shown her work at the Alexandria Art League for the past several years, winning several honorable mentions. She has studied at the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Photography and traveled with photographer Frank Lavelle and Ernesto Bazan.
Sandy Yuffee. The arts have always been her passion, whether it be sculpting or studying. She has devoted the past 10 years to photography. Her photography is not mainstream, but rather an expression of her conviction that beauty comes in many forms.
On Thursday October 21st, Modern Times will donate a percentage of our gross sales to benefit Thrive DC! In addition, our staff has pledged to donate their tips to the cause as well. On this day, you won't only be supporting your local coffee shop, but your purchases will provide hope to the vulnerable individuals who turn to Thrive DC each day.
So feel good about getting that extra cup of coffee during Cups of Kindness!
Kim O'Donnel will read from her latest book, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour. Kim will also bring several dishes to taste, based on recipes from the cookbook.
Meatless Monday was launched in 2003 to help Americans reduce saturated fat intake. Now viewed as not only a healthy, but eco-friendly choice, becoming a once-a-week vegetarian is sweeping the nation as a way of life, with restaurants, businesses, and schools providing menus sans meat 52 days a year.
In The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores will Devour, author Kim O’Donnel provides over 95 mouthwatering meatless recipes for once-a-week and full time vegetarians. With dishes ranging from gluten-free to vegan and dairy-optional fare, dishes are not only healthy, but tasty, filling, and easy to make.
Chefs looking to give Meatless Mondays a shot will find menus grouped by season, with each section containing 12 meals—one for every Monday. Established vegetarians will enjoy sections like “Kitchen Tricks,” full of helpful tips and techniques, “Wild Card,” which has meals for every season, and “Make it a Meal,” a list of favorite sides with mix-and-match versatility to jazz up meals that are already part of their everyday fare.
Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality, and online journalist. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, she is a regular contributor to True/Slant.com and Culinate.com. She has also written for the Washington Post, Real Simple, and Huffington Post. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in Seattle with her husband.
PLEASE NOTE: From 6-9 pm, tables and chairs will be rearranged in the Coffeehouse for the event, and the wi-fi will be turned off. Thanks for your understanding.
This show features 15 photographs (10 black and white and 5 color) as well as a collaborative installation with her father, local novelist and regular at Modern Times Coffeehouse and Politics and Prose Bookstore, Howard Norman.
Ain't nobody in town can grind a coffee like mine
I drink so much coffee, till I grind it in my sleep
I drink so much coffee, I grind it in my sleep
And when it get like that, you know it can't be beat
It's so doggone good that it made me bite my tongue
It's so doggone good it made me bite my tongue
Will keep it for my daddy, ain't gonna give nobody none
I ain't ever loved it this-a way before
I ain't ever loved it this-a way before
And I hope the Lord that I won't love it any more
I've got so now that I can't control my mind
I've got so now that I can't control my mind
I go to bed blue and I get up cryin'
It's so doggone good that it made me talk out of my head
It's so doggone good it made me talk out of my head
And it's better to me than any that I have ever had
Now I grind my coffee, at the 2 and 3 dollars a pound
I grind my coffee, at the 2 and 3 dollars a pound
And it ain't no mo' cheap like mine in town
It's so doggone good until it'll make you bite your tongue
It's so doggone good that it'll make you bite your tongue
And I'm a coffee grindin' mama and won't you let me grind you some?
We're happy to introduce to you the happy cows at Kreider Farms in Lancaster County, PA. We can now say our milk is local and sustainably produced in an environmentally responsible facility, farm fresh and better tasting.
(Photo credit is: Downey/Wingate Gray)
have seen him hanging out in the Coffeehouse, riding around town on one of his painted bicycles, or depicted in one of his ubiquitous stickers proclaiming "I AM ART."
on 6/23/10, I wrote:
"A parking enforcement officer visited our parking lot today to inform us that PARKING ON THE GRAVEL/DIRT ABUTTING THE WOODED AREA IS ILLEGAL. I would suggest parking on the paved lot or on 36th St. while we, along with the other businesses on the block, try to appeal this decision since using those spaces has been an accepted practice for several years. I will keep you informed of any developments."
As you might have read already, Barbara and Carla are looking to move on and are currently in the process of looking for a buyer who will continue their legacy and preserve Politics and Prose Bookstore as a D.C. institution.
I am forever indebted to them and have nothing but love and good wishes for both in their retirement. The coffeehouse, as it exists today, could not have happened without their continued encouragement and patience.
Thank you, Barbara and Carla, for taking a risk on a bunch of business greenhorns! I feel proud to have had you as mentors and to be a part of the P&P family.
Becky Lettenberger is a native of the Garden State (New Jersey), where she began photographing at the age of ten. The photographs currently on display were made with dirt and love during the summer of 2009 while working on We Grew It, Let's Eat It! All of the prints are available for purchase, the smaller for $75 and the larger for $100. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For more information on arts events in the Coffeehouse, contact Lance — art [at] moderntimescoffeehouse.com.
First of all, we will be eliminating the 16oz size for warm beverages and the 20oz size for cold. We believe that, by making this change, we will best be able to focus on serving quality, well-balanced drinks. We will continue offering our 8oz and 12oz sizes as well as the 6oz classic cappuccino size. Once we run through our supply of large cups, we will institute the changes.
By the end of this week, we will be adding two new sandwiches and a new salad to the menu. The prototypes have caused much excitement and anticipation among our staff. I'll say no more. Just keep watching the menu board.
Yes, four years! Unbelievable. All I can say is thank all of you for getting us to this point. The shop has never felt better and I look forward to continue improving the space.
I love our staff and truly appreciate all their hard work and dedication to the craft and the community.
Hope to see you around for many more years to come.
Have you noticed these beautiful, non-disposable "to go" cups? Just look at them. Durable, ceramic, silicone top, dishwasher safe, AND, if used in the coffeehouse, you will receive 50 cents off your drink, every time. Emblazoned with the Politics and Prose and Modern Times logos. Perfect! Available only at Modern Times. Ask your friendly barista for one.
10a - 6p
12p - 6p
Until the bookstore opens its front doors, please use the parking lot entrance to the coffeehouse. Be careful out there.
Let's all think warm thoughts and look forward to a return to regular schedule and functioning.