Happy New Year Everyone!
We wish you peace and happiness from our Modern Times family.
See you in 2011!

Regina Holliday's show featured on Voice of America

Local painter and health care advocate Regina Holliday, whose work is currently on display in the Coffeehouse until January 3, 2011, was featured yesterday in a Voice of America news article and short video documentary. Check out the story here.


holiday hours for coffeehouse

Friday 12/31 8AM to 5PM
Saturday 1/1 CLOSED
Sunday 1/2 OPEN 8AM to 8PM


Buy and get your gifts wrapped here

We all do it-- wait until the last minute to wrap gifts. You dig through the back of your closet only to find ten giant rolls of paper that you never liked anyway with wrinkled, awkwardly shaped scraps left that will barely cover the gifts that need wrapped. And then you run out of tape. Avoid all of this by taking advantage of this annual service from P&P and The Washington Literacy Council. Volunteers are here at the store to gift-wrap your books, MTC mugs & shirts, and more, through December 26th. WLC provides reading education and support to District adults with the most limited reading skills, greatest needs, and fewest resources. The suggested donation is $1 per item to support this WLC fundraising campaign. You may also sign up as a volunteer gift wrapper by contacting Jennifer Durkin at WLCgiftwrap@gmail.com; just put "P&P Wrap" in the subject line.


South of Laptopistan

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?


new website coming soon!

In the meantime while we get our new website ready, please won't you say you like us on Facebook? Come on, you're just going to log in to it right after reading this anyway. We're latecomers to it, but hope to use it to give you updates about things like holiday business hours and snow days, menu items, merchandise, and events happening in the coffeehouse and bookstore.


T-shirts-- back in stock!

It's always been easy to look good inside the Coffeehouse, now the Coffeehouse can help you look good wherever you go.

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.


P&P Sale; limited wi-fi hours

The annual Politics & Prose Member Sale runs Dec 3-5. It will be crowded, so plan accordingly. This also means that on Saturday AND Sunday we will NOT have wireless internet access available between the hours of 11a and 7p. Please help us by sharing a table and keeping the areas where the public and staff walk through free of stuff. Thanks for supporting your local bookstore and coffeeshop!
photo and latte courtesy of James B.


You're invited to a PARTY to celebrate Open Mic

This Friday, December 3, we will be celebrating the fourth anniversary of the MTC Unplugged Open Mic with a party! Four years seem to have gone by like a drop in the bucket, but we have some great reasons to slow down and get together to celebrate our wonderful community of musicians, poets, variety acts, artists, coffee slingers and listeners.

Some notable highlights include this years feature article in the Washington Post's Weekend Section and the upcoming piece that will air on local NBC Channel Four (air date TBA). This weekly event, often called the best open mic in DC, is a direct result of all the like-minded folks who bring talent and respect together in a stimulating, nurturing environment that just keeps growing. As always, all are welcome and there is no cover. The coffeehouse will be serving a full menu of drinks and food, but note that there will be limited seating available and we ask that if you want to use your computer that you sit at one of the tables in the bookstore.

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
(photo by l.a. seidensticker)

New art show featuring the work of Regina Holliday

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.


Carla Cohen Tribute Event

On Sunday, November 21, 1 p.m. Carla Cohen (1936-2010) Memorial Tribute

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

Barbara Meade
Anne Shields
Howard Norman
Mary Kay Zuravleff
Seymour Hersh
Alexandra Zapruder
E.J. Dionne
Phyllis Theroux
Mark LaFramboise
David Cohen

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


Nov Art Show: "Friday Photo Forum"

Modern Times Coffeehouse is proud to present a new photography show by the "Friday Photo Forum." The show will remain in the Coffeehouse until Nov. 18.

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."

If you are interested in purchasing any work, please contact the photographers directly. Their email addresses are posted on flyers throughout the Coffeehouse:

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.

Pamela C. Richmond is known for her landscapes and still lifes. She now shoots and prints digitally in color. She also employs alternative processes such as Van Dyke brown, cyanotype and palladium. She was juried into the Torpedo Factory Artist’s Association in 2006 and is a member of The Art League in Alexandria. Her study of photography has been at NOVA, the Smithsonian RAP program, Maine Photographic Workshops and on tours with Frank Lavelle and Ernesto Bazan.

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.

Yoma Ullman’s main interest is in flower and garden photography. Her quest is to capture the improbably beautiful flora of our world. She has taken classes at the Smithsonian Institution’s photography program and the Maine Media Workshops. In a group led by Frank Lavelle, she took photographic tours to Venice and to the state of Oregon. She placed for three years in the Washington Gardener Magazine’s contest and in June 2008 had a solo show at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD.

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.


Modern Times is Helping Prevent Homelessness, One Cup at a Time, through Cups of Kindness!

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.

Over 6,000 people in Washington, DC face the night without knowing where they will sleep or what they will eat.
Thrive DC makes sure that no one has to face homelessness alone or on an empty stomach. Each day, Thrive DC provides over 200 meals and supportive services to help homeless men and women end their homelessness and change their lives.

So feel good about getting that extra cup of coffee during Cups of Kindness!


Carla F. Cohen 1936-2010

A message from Barbara Meade:

With deep sorrow, I am writing to inform our friends and neighbors that my beloved store co-owner Carla Cohen died this morning. For all of us here at Politics & Prose, it is difficult to believe that someone larger than life is gone, and I will deeply miss my friend and partner.

A funeral will be held at Tifereth Israel, 7701 16th Street, N.W. , at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13th.

The store will be closed from 12-4 p.m. on that day. We will have a memorial service in the store at a date to follow in November.

(Apart from this closing, all other events will proceed as scheduled.)

Please read the obituary post from the Washington Post here.

We welcome and encourage your condolences, tributes, and memories here.


wire-free coffeehouse

Starting 10/10/10, we will make the move to an almost wire-free coffeehouse. This means that, if you are planning on bringing your laptop, fully charge its battery prior to joining us. Internet access through our wireless router will continue to be free of charge for paying customers, and some power outlets will be available to customers sitting at the bar. We hope that this is no great inconvenience: modern laptop batteries, if taken care of properly, should last from three to eight hours (depending on the individual computer). Thank you, and, as always, we welcome your comments.


Kim O'Donnel presents 'The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook'

In the Coffeehouse at 7 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 28:

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.


CURRENT EXHIBIT: Emma Norman's Photography

Emma Norman is a film photographer who got her start at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. Since then, she has studied photography at the Maine Photographic Workshops and Scripps College in Claremont, California. Emma currently works as a Museum Assistant at The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle and teaches photography at The Field School.

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.


Jaybird Coleman - Coffee Grinder Blues

Ain't nobody, it ain't nobody
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?


You say cafe, I say coffee bar

...and then there's also coffeeshop, coffeehouse, etc. Adding to the neverending discussion on the place of wi-fi, computers, and the like in coffeeshops, read: The New Coffee Bars: Unplug, Drink, Go


UPDATED: Parking Spaces

As of Monday, about 20 spaces were available for use in the re-paved parking lot. These were the spaces that are closest to the alley. We hope that the full lot will be open on Tuesday.


Kreider Farms milk is here!

We had been seriously unhappy and frustrated with the quality of the milk coming in from Shenandoah's Pride. Unexpectedly, we began having trouble steaming our milk to the perfect velvety texture we had been used to. After much frustration and experimentation, we determined that our milk supply was the issue.
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.


RESCHEDULED: August TNT Barista Competition

rescheduled date is august 19th!


happiness is a warm latte

by james b.



There has been a series of thefts in the coffeehouse, including items taken from inside purses and from off of tables/chairs. Do NOT leave any of your items including phones, wallets, bags, etc. unattended, even if it's just to walk to the counter to return a dish or grab a napkin, etc. These thefts happened in a matter of seconds. And feel free to please report any suspicious activity to the managers of the coffeehouse or the bookstore. Thank you.


Electricity restored

Power's back = back in business!

(help us celebrate by getting refreshingly "electrified" with an iced chai latte, Arnold Palmer, or dark chocolate iced mocha)


Video from the Itinerant Poetry Librarian

Just in case you missed the Itinerant Poetry Librarian, and her traveling roadshow of out-of-print poetry and fussy British librarian antics...

The Itinerant Poet Librarian @ Modern Times Coffeehouse from Lance Kramer on Vimeo.


Documentary Appreciation Salon

This salon series, moderated by Docs In Progress co-founder Erica Ginsberg, brings together filmmakers and documentary film aficionados to discuss and debate great issues in documentary cinema. Each salon focuses around a particular sub-genre of documentary and use clips from documentary films and questions from the moderator to spur reflection and discussion. As a way to encourage greater discourse on documentary film, this series is free to the public.

This month's topic will focus on how place is approached in documentaries. While sometimes just a setting or backdrop, the location or locations of a documentary can often be almost a character in and of itself. How do different documentarians treat the role of place in their films? We will look and discuss a number of clips from classic and contemporary documentaries. This program is sponsored by Modern Times Coffeehouse at Politics & Prose Bookstore.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010 from 7:30-9:30 pm

Modern Times Coffeehouse at Politics & Prose Bookstore (5015
Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington DC - Lower Level)

This is a free program. However it does take place in a cafe space and we encourage you to support our sponsor by getting some yummy food or drink while at the program.


July 14: The Itinerant Poetry Librarian

Need FREE membership of a travelling library of 'lost & forgotten' poetry? You're in luck good citizens of Washington D.C. – we've arrived!

Continuously, since May 2006, The Itinerant Poetry Librarian has been travelling the world with a library of ‘Lost & Forgotten’ poetry, installing the library & librarian and archiving the sounds, poems and poetry of the cities, peoples and countries she meets.

Modern Times Coffeehouse is delighted to welcome the Itinerant Poetry Library and Librarian on WEDNESDAY JULY 14th 2010, where from 7-10pm, she’ll be installed in our coffeehouse with her library OPEN. Come and visit her, discover her ever-expanding poetry collection – and add to it yourself if you've an appropriate title to donate – or even join the growing community worldwide who are members of TIPL.

The Itinerant Poetry Library is a free travelling poetry library, which for the past 4 years has circumnavigated the globe providing a free public poetry library service to the good citizens of 12 countries, 29 cities, in 150+ different locations, and with over 1000+ members undergoing joining procedures during the 1000+ hours of public library service it has provided. Come Join Before She Travels On!

For further information see The Itinerant Poetry Library website: http://www.tipl.info
Or follow the library's locations by twitter where a map URL and address are posted as soon as the library has a new location: http://www.twitter.com/librarian
(Photo credit is: Downey/Wingate Gray)


Independence day hours

For today:

7am - 4pm

have a fun and safe 4th!


Upcoming Event this Saturday! Reception with bk.iamART.adams

Modern Times Coffeehouse is proud to present a new art show by iconic and esteemed Washington DC artist (and longtime patron) BK Adams. The installation will be shown in the Coffeehouse from early June through the end of July.

(photo by Jim Darling)

A free reception and meet-and-greet with BK will take place Saturday, July 3 at 7pm in the coffeehouse.

If you are not already familiar with BK's vibrant work, you may
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."

BK was also the subject of a Feb. 23, 2010 front page article in the Washington Post entitled 'Art Man' Bryant K. Adams seeks to beautify D.C. through found art'

Please enjoy the art and feel free to contact BK directly with any questions about purchasing his work at iamartbkadams[at]yahoo.com.

It's your imagination that will set us FREE.
by bk.iamart.adams

Some a blueprint of mi Life others
a treasure map of mi mynd. All and
expression of a true exiperence
a painted DREAM
A RED HOUSE underneath a painted waterfall
Perhaps an opportunity 2 present a life story
on canvas without stealin the viewers______
FREE 2 imagine what U will?
Some like 2 B told. Some need 2 B told
Some u tell and they don't see anyway?
Still i share! Enjoy the show.


south american knockout round!

Brasil v. Chile @ 2:30PM on the wall of the coffeehouse today!

Parking Woes **UPDATED**

Well, it just so happens that the District of Columbia has no jurisdiction over the strip of dirt next to the woods; it is, actually, part of Rock Creek Park, and, therefore, under federal jurisdiction. Nick Gill, our landlord, has an agreement with the Park Service - allowing cars to park in that area (as long as it remains reasonably maintained). Carry on.

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."


¡mas futbol mañana!

EEUU v. Algerie 930a
Germany v. Ghana 230p

(assorted found video in between)

World Cup Today!

We will be streaming the World Cup TODAY in the coffeehouse! Korea v. Nigeria @ 2:30PM ET. (Various internet-found video art before and at half time.)


a nod from the new yorker

I just want to point out, that Hendrik Hertzberg's heartfelt post about the future sale of Politics & Prose on The New Yorker website, included a wee mention about getting espresso at the store: "P&P is not just a place to buy a book or sip an espresso, though I make it a point to do both every time I’m in the vicinity." Read the full post here.


what's the deal with iced coffee?

We've been serving cold-brewed coffee for a few years now, but ever since last summer the notoriety of iced coffee has skyrocketed. Convenience stores, fast food joints, and corporate coffee chains are marketing iced coffee as the cheaper, but just as delicious, alternative to an iced latte. (Iced lattes are more expensive for this reason: they involve the barista pulling regular espresso shots to order, then a full serving-- usually 8 oz. or so of milk and sometimes a flavor shot is added.)

We were highlighted briefly in the Express last summer about cold-brewed iced coffee, and then the Post followed up with an article, quoting awesome food scientist Harold McGee on the flavor marriage of milk and coffee; also highlighted was the cold espresso-based drink the "shakerato" (which for you oldschoolers-- we actually used to serve at MTC).

Also mentioned was an incident with a now-defunct coffeeshop where a customer was refused espresso over ice (and threatened, via a blog post, with a very specific form of punishment) because the establishment wouldn't serve a coffee beverage where the form/quality of the espresso was compromised.

Why all the hullabaloo? Coffee beans for espresso are roasted and blended to preserve unique flavors that bloom under the intense pressure and temperature of the espresso machine. When that hot, concentrated shot of liquid is shocked with ice, it tastes completely different than the fragrant, savory, sweet, and creamy treat that it was meant to be. Most of us agree that taste is well, bad. We also don't like to see those carefully roasted espresso beans covered up in a drink with tons of milk and most likely, sugar.

Lurking in the background is another reason why some people have been known to order espresso over ice-- they simply use the "free" self-serve condiment milk to fill the rest of the cup up, essentially making their own iced latte for the cost of just ordering a regular espresso. There's even a pejorative term for it, but I don't like to use it. One can understand the motivation behind this-- but considering that vast majority of people only use 1-2 ounces of milk in their coffee, someone taking 8-10 ounces of milk for their on-the-sly iced latte cuts into the bottom line of a business. At our store, the additional dollar you pay for the iced latte vs. a double espresso accounts for the milk, the ice, and the barista pre-mixing it for you.

Cold-brewed coffee tastes completely different than say, hot-brewed coffee that is just leftover and then stuck in the fridge until cold. It can be enjoyed on its own, or with a little bit of milk or simple syrup (sugar that has been pre-dissolved in water) to enhance the natural flavors. If you like your espresso unaltered or like to drink regular hot coffee black, you'll probably find cold-brewed coffee a refreshing, flavor-packed substitute when you need a cold jolt on a hot day. And if you usually drink iced lattes, try iced coffee with milk-- you will be surprised of the flavor difference.

For the record, there are some specific methods out there for brewing coffee directly over ice to actually capture flavors at the point of chilling-- notably the Japanese method, which uses a pour-over brewing style, filtering the concentrated coffee directly onto ice cubes; or Vietnamese-style iced coffee, which brews a single serving of coffee over ice and sweetened condensed milk.


Many thanks!

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.


SIZE of our drinks

Recently, an "Anonymous" commenter had this to say regarding our decision to eliminate the larger cup sizes:

"I, too, do not understand how an "efficient supply and consumption of both materials and space" affect getting a large regular coffee. Non-espresso coffees do not require more time to prepare, and only marginally more materials. I regularly buy a large coffee, drink some on site, and take the rest with me. Taking away the ability to do this for the reasons stated not only seems ridiculous, but may drive me to other places. Very user-unfriendly."

I understand how our decision, originally-presented, can be confusing and disconcerting for some people. For the sake of brevity in my original blog post, I did only mention the quality of espresso drinks as the impetus behind this change. Questions arose, and, subsequently, Anna added that efficiency of materials and space, and streamlining the flow of our movements and those of the traffic within the shop, also influenced our decision. She also stressed our ability to adjust specific orders - i.e. adding extra shots or even filling larger sized non-disposable travel mugs.

If that does not make our decision clearer, let me add a few more reasons that were not explicitly stated. Our menu is now easier to read. Our storage space is very limited and, as a small business, our margins thin: inventory is now much easier to manage and maintain in order. Furthermore, keeping larger cups behind the counter and not using them for espresso drinks would only lead to confusion, misunderstandings, subsequent lengthy clarifications interrupting our otherwise efficient workflow, and would, perhaps, add conflict to our otherwise peaceful coffeehouse. We still offer coffee refills, unlimited quantities of them, even! Sit a while, enjoy what you are drinking.
Also, remember how the coffeehouse used to serve 20 oz hot drinks and people's reaction to eliminating that size drink?
I didn't think you would.


Free Documentary Film Screening - May 24th

Versailles, New Orleans is home to the densest ethnic Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam. For over 30 years, its residents lived a quiet existence on the edge of New Orleans. But then came Hurricane Katrina, the immense garbage piles, and the shocking discovery of a toxic landfill planned in their neighborhood.

S. Leo Chiang's documentary about this resilient community's struggle for environmental and social justice will be shown on Monday, May 24rd at 7:00pm in the coffeehouse as part of the PBS and ITVS Independent Lens Community Cinema program and in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Watch as they fight back, turning a devastating disaster into a catalyst for change and a chance to build a better future.


Current Exhibit: Photos from 'We Grew It, Let's Eat It!'

Modern Times Coffeehouse is delighted to present a new photo show for the spring — featuring local photographer Becky Lettenberger. The prints all come from the new book by Justine Kenin, entitled We Grew It, Let's Eat It! (published by Tenley Circle Press, and available for purchase in the bookstore for $15).

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 becky.lettenberger@gmail.com for more information.

About the book: DC twins Annie and Veda learn about the White House veggie garden and want to grow fruits and vegetables, too. But how, if you live in an apartment? Watch the twins and senior gardener Ida work and play their way through planting, tending, and harvesting in a neighborhood Community Garden. Then comes the fun of preparing and eating simple, tasty, homegrown food! A picture book for young readers (ages 3-8 -- Pre-K- Grade 4). By Annie and Veda as told to Justine Kenin. Full-color photos by Becky Lettenberger.
56 pages, soft cover 8.5” x 11”, with recipes and books for further reading. ISBN: 978-0-9773536-4-4, $15.00

For more information on arts events in the Coffeehouse, contact Lance — art [at] moderntimescoffeehouse.com.


Throwing down with espresso

Last month several of our staff participated in a monthly event known as the "Thursday Night Throwdown", where local baristas gather over PBR ("official sponsor") and show off their latte art skills in some friendly competition with the hopes of winning a small pot of cash and bragging rights until the next month's gathering. The Post covered the March event and gives some good background, read the story here. For April's event, check out all the pics of the evening's challenge: the macchiato. Above, the ones from our staff-- Anna, Javier, Matt, and Bear (former MTC).


Spring renewal

The season for rebirth is here. We are preparing some refreshing additions to the menu and major remodeling in the upcoming weeks.
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.

TONIGHT: Film Salon on Political Docs

From Erica Ginsberg, executive director of Docs in Progress:

Docs In Progress is excited to bring back the Documentary Appreciation Salon to Modern Times on Tuesday, April 13 from 7:30-9:30 pm. We held our first Salon at the Coffeehouse back in February and drew 15 documentary aficionados to watch clips from personal documentaries — and then discuss them (while enjoying delicious coffee and food from Modern Times).
Some of the films are known to the audience. Some are new. Every clip is built around encouraging reflection and discussion. This time around, we will be focusing on political documentaries. Some of the clips we'll be discussing include Iraq for Sale, Iraq in Fragments, Jesus Camp, Expelled, and of course Michael Moore and his critics. The Salon is open to all, though we strongly recommend an advance RSVP so we can get a sense of who will be there. For more information and to RSVP, visit the Docs In Progress website at http://www.docsinprogress.org.


April's Art: Sheridan School students exhibit 'Sequential Art'

Artwork by seventh graders at the Sheridan School will be on display in the Coffeehouse throughout the month of April. The Sheridan School's seventh grade class studied sequential art (including its history, luminaries, and techniques) for several weeks to inform their own efforts at constructing and conveying a narrative rooted in the dynamic worlds of movement, space and time — while still being fixed to the static medium of the two-dimensional page. Whimsical or poignant, action-packed or serene, their work is as diverse and expressive as the students themselves. The art is not for sale — and a reception will take place at the end of the month.

About the Sheridan School
The Sheridan School is a small K-8 private school nestled in Northwest Washington DC. A progressive school, Sheridan hopes to help students grow into confident, responsible and kind children who are well-prepared to meet the challenges and demands of a complex and changing world, while maintaining their own unique voice. For more information, visit www.sheridanschool.org


Happy 4th birthday Modern Times!

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.


Docs In Progress Documentary Appreciation Salon

Tuesday, Feb. 23rd

This free salon series brings together documentary film aficionados to discuss and debate issues, elements and genres of documentary cinema. This month's topic will focus on personal documentaries. First-person films have become more and more common in the past 30 years. We will look at several different approaches to personal films and discuss what they say about the filmmaker, his or her world, the larger society, and the voyeuristic role of the audience.

The Documentary Appreciation Salon is organized by the non-profit arts organization Docs In Progress and takes place in odd months at their headquarters in downtown Silver Spring and in even months at the Modern Times Coffeehouse at Politics and Prose. RSVP through the Docs In Progress website (www.docsinprogress.org) is highly recommended.

For more information, email Kramer.Lance [at] gmail.com


Friday: back to normal

Normal hours on Friday!

Here's a few photos from wind gust Wednesday:


Thursday hours UPDATED

Snowpocalypse 2010 update:

Coffeehouse hours
10a - 6p

Bookstore hours
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.


Feb 21: Reception with featured artist Halcy Bohen

Despite the chill outside, the walls of the coffeehouse will rollick with warmth and action through February and March as they are filled with Halcy Bohen's paintings and drawings of dancers, musicians, chefs, and food.

The show, called Eat, Play, Dance! displays Bohen's range of styles and media, including oil, ink, watercolor, and acrylics. Describing her work as "filled with lightness and movement, fluid lines and color," critics praise her use of "the slightest line and action to capture the subject, revealing the essence of the being itself."

Halcy's work has been juried into shows at the Smithsonian, the Yellow Barn Gallery and the Caladan Gallery. She has also exhibited locally at the American Painting Gallery, the Watergate Gallery, the Bethesda Library and the Starfish Cafe.

Her affinity for art is allied to her career as a psychologist, each role requiring both close observation and a creative response from her.

A reception with the artist will take place on Sunday, Feb 21st from 6-8 pm in the coffeehouse. Please note that there will be no wi-fi available and the furniture will be rearranged to accommodate the event.

She can be contacted at 202-364-0962 or at halcybohen@aol.com.