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.

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