7.29.2013

July NERDS - Scorecard

The answers are in! With a spectacular turn out of 30 teams, Trivia was a great success (mini power outage and all)

Congrats to They May Already be Wieners for taking home first!

Join us for the next NERDS! night, August 24, 2013.

ROUND 1: POTPOURRI
1. The Badge of the Prince of Wales (Known as The Prince of Wales' Feathers) consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet with the words "Ich Dien" on a blue ribbon. How does "Ich Dien" translate to English?

2. There are only 5* full-length, cartoon Disney movies in which both parents are present as characters, and don't die during the course of the film. For a single point each, name these films.
(*It turns out there are 8)

3. In 1983, the office of the Promoter of the Faith was eliminated from the canonization process, ushering in a period of unprecedented elevations to sainthood under Pope John Paul II. What was this role more popularly known as?

4. What word used in the world of espionage originates from John Le Carre's 1974 novel 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'?

5. What was unusual about the Roman Senator Incitatus?

6. Which ancestor of Noah is also the name of an oversized champagne bottle that holds six liters?

7. The name of which American rock band was also the term used by Allied pilots in WWII to describe UFO's?

8. In Greek Mythology, after being spurned by Narcissus, which heart-broken nymph pined away until only her voice remained?

9. President George H.W. Bush caused a bit of a kerfuffle on March 18, 1990 when he banned what from Air Force One?

10. What is a little-known Latin word for "crossroads"?

ROUND 2: MYTHOLOGY
1. These Irish mythological stories occur around the reign of King Conchobar mac Nessa and his nephew, the great hero, Cu Chulain, who single-handedly defeated the armies of Queen Medb. Irish mythology is sorted into four cycles. King Conchobar, Cu Chulainn, and Queen Medb are all part of stories in which cycle?

2. What planet in our solar system is the only one not named after a Roman god or goddess?

3. Name the painter who graphically and darkly brought to life the image of Saturn Devouring His Son. Hint: You can see the painting in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

4. Rebecca Solnit, the author of our Cover to Cover pick this month, recently wrote an open letter to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. In it, she compared Snowden to this to this mythological figure who stole fire from the gods. HINT: Last we heard Snowden still has his liver.

5. Television producer David Simon said he created this highly acclaimed show as a modern day Greek tragedy. Only instead of Olympian forces you have institutions like the police department - and instead of Greece you have Baltimore. Name the show.

6. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series by author Rick Riordan stars Percy Jackson, a troubled 12-year-old boy with dyslexia and ADHD. He eventually discovers he is the son of this Greek deity, whose domain is the ocean/seas. Name Percy's Greek deity father. For an extra point, name the location where demigods go to train.

7. This monument in Washington, DC is in the shape of a Greek Doric temple. Only instead of a god or goddess seated in the throne, you have the sculpture of our 16th President. Name the memorial.

8. In the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Jason is sent to get hold of the Golden Fleece. Many experts believe this fleece was inspired by the coat of a real animal. In addition to its mythical fleece, this animal has the snout of a moose, horns of a cow, tail of a bear, body of a buffalo, and the feet and agility of a mountain goat. Name the animal.

9. The title of this song by Fleetwood Mac takes its name from a prominent figure in Welsh mythology who appears as a beautiful woman dressed in gold silk brocade and riding a shining white horse. The song was voted #488 in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Name the song.

10. Australian writer David Malouf's most recent novel, Ransom, is a retelling of several books in the Iliad. The novel opens when Achilles is mourning the death of his lover Patroclus, and has Killed Patroclus' murderer, Hector. All of this death occurs during what epic Greek war that lasted for a decade?

ROUND 3: VISUAL ROUND

ROUND 4: MUSIC "ROYAL BABY"
1. Ice, Ice Baby - Vanilla Ice
2. Just Can't Wait to be King - Lion King
3. Purple Rain - Prince
4. All That She Wants - Ace of Base
5. Praise You - Fatboy Slim
6. Baby Boy - Beyonce Feat. Sean Paul
7. Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
8. Fergalicious - Fergie Feat. Will.i.am (from the album The Dutchess)
9. Kooks - David Bowie
10. Stay Up Late - Talking Heads

::ANSWERS::
Round 1
1. "I Serve"

2. Sleeping Beauty (King Stefan and "his fair queen"- never named), 101 Dalmations (Pongo and Perdita), Mulan (Fa-Zhou, Fa-Li), Peter Pan (George and Mary Darling), The Incredibles (Robert and Helen Par), Hercules (Zues and Hera/Alcmene and Amphitryon), Brave (Queen Elinor and King Fergus), and Tangled (Queen Primrose and King Thomas of Corona).

3. The Devils Advocate (was a canon lawyer appointed by the Vatican to challenges saintly nominations. The Devils Advocate opposed God's Advocate - the Promoter of the Cause - who argued in favor. This task is now performed by the Promoter of Justice, in charge of examining the accuracy of the inquiry on the saintliness of the candidate.

4. Mole (Its origin is unclear, as well as to what extent it was used by intelligence services before it became popularized. Le Carre has said that the term mole was actually used by the KGB, and that Western intelligence services used 'sleeper agent'.)

5. He was a horse (Incitatus was the favored horse of Caligula - reigned 37-41AD) According to a Roman historian writing in 121AD, Incitatus had a stable of marble, with an ivory manger, purple blankets, and a collar of precious stones. Another contemporary historian indicated that servants attended the horse, feeding him oats mixed with gold flake.)

6. Methuselah (Most large bottles are named for ancient kings of Israel. The Methuselah, holding the equivalent of about 8 bottles, is named after a patriarch who was said to have lied nearly 1000 years, which might be a playful statement on the aging potential for a wine in a bottle that big.)

7. Foo Fighters

8. Echo (Cursed by Hera for assisting in Zeus' seduction of the other wood nymphs, Echo was only able to repeat words already spoken to her. A chance encounter, and brief flirtation with the beautiful Narcissus drew her out of the woods. But Narcissus ran screaming: "may I die before what's mine is yours". Echo repeats only "what's mine is yours". Heartbroken, Echo spent the rest of her life in lonely glens pining away until all that was left was her voice.)

9. Broccoli ( At a Press Conference in front of the White House on March 22, 1990, Bush clarified saying "I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since i was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.")

10. Trivia ("Trivia" derives from "trivium," from Latin, meaning "three roads". The derivative "Trivialis" carries the sense of "common, ordinary, of the crossroads," from which comes the modern "trivial" as "of no importance." But "trivium" was the basis of Midieval education leading directly to our modern sense of "Trivia." The "three ways" or "three roads" was the first stage of a classical, university level education: rhetoric, grammar and logic. Since the "trivium" was considered "the basics," the derivative "trivia" eventually came to mean "less important matters."

Round 2
1. The Ulster Cycle
2. Earth
3. Francisco Goya
4. Prometheus
5. The Wire
6. Poseidon, Camp Half Blood
7. The Lincoln Memorial
8. The Takin
9. Rhiannon
10. Trojan War

Round 3: Visual
1. Princess Grace of Monaco (2pts)
2. The Royal Tannenbaums (1pt)
3. William & Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (1pt)
4. Mary, Queen of Scots (2pts)
5. Princess Zelda  (1pt)
6. Franz Josef, of Austria (2pts)
6*. Franzl (bonus)
7. Royal Flush (2pts)
8. Czar Nicholas, of Romanov (2pts)
9. Louis XIV, the Sun King (3pts)
10. Queen Isabella I of Castile (2pts)

7.24.2013

Goodbye Letter


As many of you have heard by now, I’m leaving DC after almost exactly four years for Hartford, CT at the end of this month.


It feels silly to write something like this, in no small part for fear of being this guy, which, jeez, The Onion never misses. But the fact is, so many of you have expressed genuine shock/dismay/excitement/dismay again, in that order, that I feel like I shouldn’t just sneak away. A (downright shocking) number of you have given me your business cards and asked for my email in return, so that we can keep up. I’ve been asked where I can be found on facebook for the same reason. I’ve even been offered a letter of recommendation, should I ever need it. Each of these conversations has come with a hug or a handshake, and some truly sincere best-wishes.


This job is what it is, but Modern Times itself is a special place. I suppose we all know the names of our long-time mechanics, bartenders, doormen, etc., but in so many cases, you’ve also told me your childrens’ names, where you work, what your musical tastes are, what you like to read, where you’ve been on vacation and so on and so on. I see many of you five or six times a week. I consider many of you an extension of my co-worker family, and I’ll miss you. Thank you for being so outgoing, helpful, patient, and generous in my time here.


So, in parting, my hope is that you’ll continue to frequent our little cafe. If you’re the type to read all the way through something like this, do me one last favor: write to the ownership of Politics and Prose and tell them how much Modern Times means to you; write Javier and tell him that you appreciate his vision and effort and dedication to this place; go to our Yelp page (currently the stomping grounds primarily of trolls and grumps) and give us a review. Javier has been an incredible owner to work for, and he and Anna are building something really special out in Takoma Park. I know that many of you have donated money to them already, even though, as a regular of MTC, you probably won’t be out there much. I hope that you’ll continue to support them.

If you’re really so inclined, I can be found on facebook or you can send an email to james@moderntimescoffeehouse.com and I’ll get back to you with my personal address.

Thanks for everything, good luck with all the rest.

James Bress

7.22.2013

NERDS 6!

Make your way down this coming Saturday, for our next NERDS! TRIVIA NIGHT
Sign up in the Coffeehouse beginning at 7PM and enjoy our Grilled Cheese Special. The festivities begin upstairs at 8.

Show us what you've got!

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 10

Coffeehouses are known as a gathering place for creative minds. The most regular of regulars are the writers and the artists. In our first post in this series we introduced you to the writer Howard Norman, who uses the coffeehouse for meetings, walkabouts, and conversations. When I thought about who I wanted to feature as the second influential regular, it was obvious that person is BK Adams.

Also known as the 'Art Man', BK usually comes in very early, by himself, although once in awhile with his family, to enjoy exactly two cups of regular coffee. The two cups are always poured into a ceramic mug that BK brings with him. Often he will have some photos or music that he wants to share with us. He always takes the time to ask how we are doing, what we are doing in our personal lives, how we are feeling about the world. And he always has a story on where he found his latest hat or how those newest splashes of paint got onto his clothes. 

We have hosted two exhibits from BK in the coffeehouse in the past few years. To call BK a multimedia or multi-discipline artist is an understatement. As his iconic stickers declare, BK, the person, simply, IS art. 

His current exhibit, Mynd Up, is on display at the Honfleur Gallery in Historic Anacostia through August 30.

7.19.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 9

I admit that I never had tasted quinoa until I started working in the kitchen of Modern Times Coffeehouse. I had seen it at the bulk section at the natural market and dismissed it as tasteless grain that you needed to cover up with salty, oily dressing and a ton of spices to make it taste interesting. However, after tasting its unique flavor and al dente texture (when cooked properly), and then learning about its "superfood" powers and ancient origins, I was hooked.



There has been a lot of coverage of quinoa in the past few years. Since the demand and prices for it has increased in its native Bolivia, farmers there have struggled to keep up with the production demand and prices have spiked on the global market. There is some conflicting information out there, but by and large, it seems like a good thing that farmers there are able to receive more money for their crops.

We cook our quinoa in a commercial sized rice steamer, fluff it in a big bowl, and toss it with a very small amount of oil and vinegar. If you add to much dressing, especially when it it still too warm, it will absorb it right away and then become mushy and oily. Our add-ins are carrots, sundried tomatoes, and cashews. Quinoa salad combinations are endless. Try it with feta cheese, cucumbers, and red peppers with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Or hardboiled eggs, tuna, capers, and anchovy. What about with spinach, enoki mushrooms, scallions, rice vinegar and sesame oil? Quinoa is also lovely to eat for breakfast-- cook it the night before, then warm it in the microwave (or bring to room temperature) and pour hot milk over. Add honey and handful of nuts and fresh fruit. Better than gummy oatmeal :)

Our quinoa salad is our best selling salad. Most people order it either as a whole meal (yes, it's that filling) or as a combo, adding a half of a sandwich, soup, or another salad. Some people have gotten creative and get a scoop of white bean salad or tuna salad on top. We are happy to pack up a quinoa salad to take to go as well, it keeps well a day or two and makes a great lunch or picnic food. 

7.18.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 8

Besides our weekly Unplugged Open Mic event, the coffeehouse's art exhibition program is the most popular event in the coffeehouse. Since we opened seven years ago, we have been committed to donating our space as a temporary gallery for local artists to display their work and hold events. We do not take a commission nor do we sell the art. Instead, we encourage featured artists to hold an artists' reception and sell the work themselves on-site.


Our walls have been host to more than 25 shows of local artists of all disciplines, ages, and subjects. We have hosted group shows, collectives, and historical/informational exhibits. We have displayed paintings, photography, large scale canvas work, drawings, graphic designs, tiny dioramas, and paper cuts. We even have displayed the work of some of our talented staff.

The newest exhibit features the work of a DC-based cartoonist collective. There are single pieces, panels, and strips, in color and B&W. It's been up for only one day so far and we've already gotten numerous compliments and phone calls asking if pieces are for sale and how to contact the artists. The free opening reception for this exhibit is this Sat, July 20th from 7pm-9pm.

Our current arts & events coordinator Stefan Ducich is responsible for curating the shows. He has done a wonderful job of recruiting and selecting a diverse and engaging group of artists from our community. If you are interested in exhibiting at the coffeehouse, please read our guidelines and application instructions here and submit your inquiries to stefan at moderntimescoffeehouse dot com.

7.16.2013

cARToons: Original Works by DC Cartoonists


Modern Times is proud to present cARToons - original works by 15 local artists!

Be sure to join us at the Art Opening this Saturday, July 20, 7-9pm. Meet the artists, and enjoy the atmosphere.

Every Saturday, beginning July 27 through September 1, a selection of the artists will be in-house to sell, sign, and chat from 1-5pm. Don't miss a chance to meet:
Carolyn Belefski, Matt Wuerker, Michael J. Auger, Joe Sutliff, David Hagen, Matt Dembicki, Steve Artley, Donna A. Lewis, Danielle Venne, Barbara Dale, Essa Neima, Bud Grace, Rafer Roberts, Juana Medina, Teresa Roberts Logan,  

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 7

Tuesday is one of the most important days of the week at Modern Times. Tuesday is the day that the pie delivery arrives in the coffeehouse. We purchase our pies from a local, one-woman company called Sweet Rose. Sweet Rose is really Ms. Diane Gross, a licensed commercial baker.

Now I can guarantee you that even the quaintest, country road-take-me-home looking pies from your typical "natural" grocery have at least one component that is pre-made, either a pre-made pie crust, or a processed filling (which uses pre-cut fresh or frozen fruit or even an entirely pre-made filling). These methods can produce perfectly fine pies. After all, ANY pie is better than NO pie. Plus we don't judge too harshly here when it comes to pie-- one of my favorite pie recipes involves Lucky Leaf canned cherry pie filling and generic brand transfatty margarine.

However, Sweet Rose makes all her pies by hand, which if you have ever tried to make a pie, is very time consuming. The crust has to chill, not once, but twice; you have to wash, peel, seed, pit, core, slice and dice the filling ingredients, and then there is the assemblage-- the crimping, latticeworking, and steam vent-slitting. Many people ask us if these pies are "real, homemade pies". While they aren't made at her personal home (which is not legal, not yet anyway), she does make them as if she were at home, preparing the crust and filling from scratch.

Diane uses fruits that are in season so her pie choices rotate throughout the year. Right now she is making peach pies and blackberry pies. Later in the fall, her apple pie is a favorite with our customers. What are your favorite pies?

(By the way, Sweet Rose also makes the biscotti that we sell-- almond anise, chocolate hazelnut, pistachio cranberry).

Remember, Tuesdays and Saturdays are pie delivery days. Please come by on those days and try out this pie!

7.15.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 6

We wrote about iced coffee back in 2010 on this blog, and our opinion hasn't changed much, so we won't say a whole lot more about it except that we are STILL making iced coffee here at Modern Times by the cold-brew method and it's still one of the best selling cold drinks of the summer that we offer.

If you'd like to try cold brewing at home, we recommend buying the Toddy system because it's an all-in-one container and reusable filter system that's very easy to set up and easy to clean. If you would like to do it without this equipment, you can find the method online how to do it and it should work fine. There's a couple rules you should follow however:

1) Get the coffee ground in a commercial grade or at the least, a burr grinder. Grind coarse, but not the coarsest setting. We grind a few notches coarser than you would for drip brewing. Burr grinders crush the beans into uniform pieces, which will extract more evenly and fully. Blade grinders chop the beans unevenly, resulting in over-extracted fine particles and un-extracted coffee bean chunks.

2) Saturate the grounds slowly by layering the grounds and water in alternate batches. When you do it this way you do NOT need to stir the mixture as a way to saturate the grounds. All this does is agitate the mixture and will probably cause the "blooming" coffee crust to erupt over the top of the container by the end of the brew time.

3) Double filter the concentrate when it's done, once in a sieve and then the second time through cheesecloth or a paper filter. The first filter is to get all the grounds out, the second will clarify the concentrate of bitter oils and fine particles.

4) Experiment with different coffee blends and single origins. You will be surprised how the cold brewing process pushes some coffees' delicate flavors into the forefront. Fruity, nutty, and/or sweet coffees work well here.

You can also enjoy cold-brew warmed up if you feel like a hot coffee but don't want to brew a whole pot. It keeps in the refrigerator for a week. I also recommend pairing the concentrate with ice cream for the most delicious (and addictive) coffee milkshake!

7.14.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Days 4 & 5

Weekends at the coffeehouse are a blur. It's our busiest time of the week, when we get many regulars and new customers who are out exploring the city and looking for a new cafe experience or looking to visit the legendary Politics & Prose bookstore. It's a great time to people watch and to really get a feel for who really lives in this town.

around 9am at modern times

Even though the bookstore doesn't open until 9am on Saturdays and 10am on Sundays, we open both days at 8am. There's usually a few folks patiently waiting outside with their newspapers under their arm and cheerful, eager smiles. Morning people. I still do not get you. I must say though, that having a pleasant first customer of the day pretty much predicts how the rest of your day will go (Asian superstition), so I'm glad it's the regulars.

After 9, the families start trickling in for a second breakfast/snacktime. Coffees for the parents, bagels, chocolate croissants & cookies for the kids. Don't worry, we do not judge. Didn't you know, baristas primarily live on day-old bagels and broken cookies?

Around 10 we get the athletes post-workout. Bicyclists, joggers, yogis, soccer players. This is the eating crowd that needs to refuel. Croissants, danishes, coffee of all kinds, salmon bagels, fruit/granola/yogurt bowls, ham and swiss brioche are their favorites.

11am is the hangover parade. Can be easily identified by the disheveled hair, gravely voice, stumbling over words in their order, and apologetic faces for not remembering where their wallet is. They are most grateful when you surprise them with an extra shot in their "Red Eye", which turns it into a "Black Eye".

Between 12 and 5 we're bustling with family lunches, coffee dates, and there's usually two if not three author readings happening in the bookstore that send floods of people coming through before and after the events.

If it's a Saturday night when we are having our NERDS! Trivia Night co-hosted with Politics & Prose, we have grilled cheese sandwiches on special at 7pm and then everyone treks upstairs for the event at 8. (It's free and all ages-- but must register in person at 7pm).

Sundays follow this basic schedule, except everything happens about 45 minutes later and we close at 8pm. We hope you come visit us on a weekend someday and experience the coffeehouse during this very special time!

7.12.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 3

The phone calls usually start Thursday morning and continue throughout the day on Friday: "Do you guys do Open Mic?" "When does it start?" "How does it work?" "Is it free?" "How many people usually show up?"

Modern Times Coffeehouse started our weekly Open Mic session almost seven years ago. The event has been held every Friday night since nearly the beginning of Modern Times itself. Besides the rare night off when it falls on a holiday or an emergency sickness, this event has been organized and hosted by Maureen Nelson and a small group of DC-based musicians. They have been committed to holding this event, free of charge and all ages, every Friday night from 7:30-10:30 in the coffeehouse's intimate space. With no microphones, no PA system, and no stage, they have been able to create a welcoming atmosphere for performers of all types and talent levels to share with a diverse crowd. Read this piece in the Washington Post Weekend section about the event.

In addition to all types of music, there is always a healthy mix of poetry, spoken word, book readings, and even standup comedy to go around. We are partial to the poetry readings of coffeehouse regular, Alex. Most times you can find the unassuming Alex quietly reading the paper on a Sat morning or working on a top secret scientific project on his computer, but at Open Mic Night he puts forth a commanding presence, wildly gesturing and projecting his voice so that any passerby from the bookstore has no choice but to stop and listen. (My personal favorite is his rendition of William Blake's The Tyger.) Recently, several students from a nearby music school have been coming to try out their hands at performing in front of a crowd. It's a joy to see these very young folks perform with their families in the audience and getting cheered on from veteran musicians.

Open Mic Night at Modern Times Coffeehouse is held every Friday unless otherwise noted. Sign-ups to perform are taken in-person only at 7:30pm. (No phone sign ups please). The evening begins promptly at 8pm. There are no microphones or PA system, however small amps and electronic instruments are allowed (bring your own cords). Most nights, all performers are limited to two pieces. If there is time left over, performers are allowed to go again. The coffeehouse and bookstore close all sales at 10pm, however the coffeehouse doors are open and music can go until 10:30. No patrons will be allowed into the bookstore past 10pm and everyone must exit into the back parking lot at 10:30.

For more information, call the coffeehouse or submit a question on the group's facebook page.

7.11.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 2

The ubiquitous coffeeshop food is the sandwich-- served cold or hot, with funky names or not, sandwiches are relatively easy to produce, sell well, and can be made with a small staff and a small kitchen. We have been proud to use the same wholesale bread supplier for our sandwiches for the past seven years, Lyon Bakery. Lyon is a locally based artisan bakery with production facilities based in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria. They supply to restaurants throughout the area and recently became available for public retail at several independent grocers and markets, such as Union Market in Northeast D.C., Cork Market on 14th, and Washington Green Grocer.

The selection of breads from Lyon are wide ranging, from classic French and Italian styles to heart healthy whole grain and rustic country loaves. We use the following types: their Pain Levain Farm bread, made from a mix of white flour, wheat flour and rye flour. This bread, in combination with pure unsalted Cabot butter and sharp cheddar cheese, is what makes our grilled cheese sandwich a hit with kids young and old. We also use their thick sliced Multigrain bread to make our turkey breast and tuna salad deli sandwiches. This bread contains 12 different grains and seeds and is also a favorite among our morning customers to eat as toast with butter and jam. Our panino style sandwiches come on individual-sized ciabatta loaves, ready to be pressed crisp on the grill and hold rich and savory fillings such as mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. Finally, we use their crunchy, chewy baguettes as the basis for our most popular sandwich: roasted turkey breast, Granny Smith apple, and brie. 

We know that more and more folks are eating less flour, gluten, carbohydrates, and meat, so we are happy to offer six types of gluten free vegetarian salads every day, as well as a rotating selection of gluten free + vegan soup on every day of the week. But if you do want to partake in a sandwich, we highly recommend one of the ones described above on the wonderful breads from Lyon! 


7.10.2013

30 Days of Summer at Modern Times Coffeehouse: Day 1

Ah, summer in Washington, DC. Government recesses, spikes in crime, tourists crowding the metro. Usually summertime means a slowdown for those of us in the coffee business. People are saving their money for vacations, are away on travel, or just aren't in the mood for hot coffee. However, in spite of all this, for the past seven years, we've experienced increased business in the summer. Not only has this kept us from getting bored, but it has given us the chance to experiment with fun menu items, new monthly events, and given us all the more encouragement to work on opening up our second store over in Takoma. We also love meeting the new crop of faces to the neighborhood, and reconnecting with old friends that come around more often because they have more free time.

In honor of this, we'll be taking the next 30 days to feature all the important people, places, and things to Modern Times Coffeehouse. We hope you enjoy reading about all the things that make us who we are.

The first person we'd like to introduce is Mr. Howard Norman. Howard is a D.C. based writer and longtime customer of Modern Times. He visits us several times a week, often holding meetings or getting together with his many friends, or just stopping by to walk through and see who he runs into. Every time he comes in, we learn something new. When he came through yesterday, we got the inside scoop about the curious lives of certain NPR radio personalities within the short time it took to make his most favored drink, a caffé mocha.

Howard's newest book is I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place, a memoir. From the Midwest to the Arctic, California, Vermont and back to Washington, he traces a life of both the observer and keeper of the strange, chaotic, and beautiful.

In addition to his valued patronage of the coffeehouse, Howard's talented daughter Emma exhibited her photography on our walls and previously held a job with us. She's now in San Francisco holding a coveted barista position at Blue Bottle Coffee, but we hope one day to win her back to this coast.

You can hear a recent interview with Howard Norman on WAMU's Metro Connection. Listen for upcoming  interviews with Howard on NPR's Weekend Edition and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Mr. Norman will also be speaking and reading from I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place at Politics & Prose this fall.

7.01.2013

TUESDAY! Eat, drink, be merry, and help build our new store!

La Mano Coffee Bar @304 Carroll St NW in the Old Takoma neighborhood

As you know, the ownership of Modern Times Coffeehouse has been working on building a second coffeeshop in the Takoma neighborhood called La Mano Coffee Bar.

On Tues, July 9th, 10% of all sales made on this day will benefit La Mano. Tips for our "guest baristas", Javier Rivas, the owner of Modern Times Coffeehouse, and Anna Petrillo, former cook/barista/manager/janitor/consultant with Modern Times, will benefit La Mano.

For every $5 in donations you give, you're eligible for raffle prizes we'll be giving out throughout the day.

Stop by for some great coffee, our homemade food from our chefs Yoko, Joe, and Lourdes, some famous iPod DJ-ing from Javier, and of course, latte art extraordinaire!

You can also learn more about our construction process, see photos, videos, and donate online through our indiegogo campiagn by following this link.

BENEFIT LA MANO @MTC 

ALL DAY SPECIALS FOR TUES, JULY 9TH:

$2 classic cappuccinos
15% off lunch combos
$16 Modern Times Coffeehouse KeepCup mugs.  (Normally $20). 
All proceeds from this day's mug sales will benefit La Mano.

RAFFLE PRIZES!!! Earn 1 raffle ticket starting when we open at 8am for every $5 in donations made. 100% of donations made will benefit La Mano. Raffles are drawn every hour on the hour between 9am-3pm. Prizes include:


  • 8am: open for benefiting! 
  • 9am: One pound of house coffee - Ceremony Coffee Mass Appeal blend (good for espresso, drip, or press)
  • 10am: One Modern Times Coffeehouse KeepCup mug (comes with one free drink and $.50 off every time you bring it in)
  • 11am: Modern Times Coffeehouse original design "This is not a cup" gold American Apparel t-shirt
  • 12pm: One whole delicious PollyStyle mocha bundt cake!
  • 1pm: One pound of Serendipitea looseleaf tea (that's more than 100 cups of tea!)
  • 2pm: Modern Times Coffeehouse tab of $25
  • 3pm: One whole delicious lime chiffon cake from PollyStyle!