From Pen to Print

MTC is proud to host our very own Matthew Scott Davis' From Pen to Print

From Pen To Print is an entirely new series of work from Matthew Scott Davis. With a degree focused on illustration and print production this is the first time he has put together works of art that cover both disciplines. Every piece displayed was first illustrated by hand before being printed. Its his attempt to challenge the limits and detail of what photo emulsion can handle while maintaining a simplicity that silk screening is more commonly known for.

Inspired by pop artists, street artists, writers, poets and the simplicity of childrens book illustrations From Pen to Print is the beginning of what Matthew intends to be a continuing experiment blurring the lines between pen & pencil illustrations and silk screen printing.


November NERDS!

NERDS is coming up, so escape your family or bring them with, but be sure to come get your trivia on!

Join us Saturday, Nov. 29 - sign up at 7pm downstairs, trivia begins at 8pm


Max: Feline Muse (Nov. 3-Dec. 14)

MTC is proud to present its newest show - Max: Feline Muse by Leslie Blackmon.

Be sure to join us Saturday, Nov. 8, 7-9pm for our opening reception!

"In April 2013, I undertook to draw my Tuxedo Cat, Max - thirty ways in thirty days. My intention was to capture max with a variety of different media and techniques. The drawings are necessarily quick and gestural, as Max is not a terribly cooperative model. You may see multiple heads and poses inspired by Max's restless resistance to my artistic efforts. The paintings are re-imaginings of images taken from the drawings.

I wished to top off my series with something bold, and so I painted Les Chats D'Avignon, after Picasso's monumental masterpiece 'Les Demoiselles D'Avignon.' I think this a fitting tribute to my delightful muse."


The NERDS! hiatus has come to an end!

Join us on Saturday for October NERDS! We're back to party!

Sign up in the cafe at 7pm, game starts at 8pm.

Teams are limited to 5 people; grilled cheese special from 7-9pm; and don't forget PRIZES!!!


Dear Friends:

We have some hiring news! We are looking for new baristas to join our team! We are looking for someone with previous café experience, who works well in a fast-paced environment, who can both serve food (pastries, sandwiches, soups) and also make tasty drinks on the espresso machine. Perks of the job include a meal with every shift worked, along with significant discounts in the coffeehouse & bookstore as well as neighboring businesses. If you love coffee as much we do, come join us! Please email Café Manager Matthew Scott Davis: matt.davis@moderntimescoffeehouse.com


The season of change

Just as the leaves start signaling the beginning of fall, there are changes coming to Modern Times Coffeehouse in the upcoming months.  With an infusion of some new faces and a return of some familiar ones (Matthew Davis!), we have already started putting some changes in effect.  Ultimately, you will find your experience to be easier and our menu to reflect our commitment to bringing you quality food and drinks prepared with care.  

Starting October 1st you will find a streamlined menu and an increase in our food and drink prices.  We have not changed our prices in three years; we can no longer continue to absorb the increased cost of our wholesale ingredients, especially produce, dairy and bread - which, when you think about it, comprise fifty percent of our menu. You will see the highest increase reflected in the price of our food items prepared every day on-site, using quality ingredients from vendors with whom we have fostered strong relationships over our 8.5+ years in business.  We promise to continue purchasing the best quality ingredients, sourcing from as many local vendors as possible, and preparing our food in-house.  

We are also committed to helping our employees keep up with the cost of living increase in Washington, D.C.  One of the reasons that you see so many familiar faces in our shop is that we foster an environment where employees feel empowered to bring about change and have say in our policies and offerings.  Our dear city is becoming less affordable for young people in the service industry; a good percentage of the price increase will go toward giving more access and opportunities to thrive in D.C. to our employees.  They do a fantastic job every day and we feel lucky to have them run the shop so well.  

We feel that our new price structure and selections are comparable to similar businesses in the area and to a national standard.  Independent coffee shops are moving toward a simpler menu, leaving behind confusing nomenclature and multiple sizes.  The foundation of our drinks are two very simple ingredients: milk and coffee.  No need to make it more complicated.  We have chosen to eliminate multiple sizes to reflect a commitment to serving delicious, balanced drinks.  Of course, there is always room for personalizations and further variations and your barista will be happy to make drinks that you might not see in our new menu.  

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for supporting the growth of Modern Times Coffeehouse for almost 9 years.  You might have wondered where I have been all this time.  As some of you might know, a year ago, I opened another shop in Takoma, La Mano Coffee Bar, with a friend and former employee of MTC, Anna.  My own family has grown with the addition of my daughter, Nina Inés, six months ago, who I adore and brings joy to my life every day.  With a new business and a brand new life in my hands, I have chosen to not pursue a renewal of our lease with Politics and Prose ending in February 2015.  The coffeehouse at Politics and Prose will continue as such beyond our lease.  Barbara and Carla,  and now Brad and Lissa have been gracious hosts and partners in our growth and, recently, have injected the space with vitality and continue a commitment to our space as a center for community, exploration, and the power of ideas.  I wish them and their wonderful staff luck with their own continued growth.  

Thank you so much!  

Please direct any personal comments or questions to 
javier [at] moderntimescoffeehouse [dot] com  or matt [dot] davis [at] moderntimescoffeehouse [dot] com 



Boat Hulls (Sept. 22-Nov. 2)

MTC is proud to present Boat Hulls: Maritime Abstracts by Frances Borchardt

Be sure to join us for the opening reception on Saturday, Sept. 27, 7-9pm.

"My abstract photographs capture what often goes unseen or unnoticed. Boat Hulls are pictures of the undersides of boats placed on marine jack stands to weather the winter months. They are straight views
paired with detail shots. Otherwise ordinary surfaces are transformed into things of beauty by focusing on color, texture, light and shadow cast on weather-beaten hulls.”

Frances Borchardt worked as a magazine photo editor for more than twenty-five years and attributes her career choice to developing an eye for visual storytelling, design and composition.  A non-traditional photographer, Borchardt's work is often referred to as being “unconventional” or “outside the box". She explores multiple image collage, alternative photographic processes and creates complex black and white images through double exposures. Additional work can be viewed at http://borchardtphotography.com.

To purchase the works, contact the artist directly at feborchardt@aol.com.


Featured Art: Amidst the Tangle - Works on Paper (Aug. 18-Sept. 21)

MTC is proud to present Amidst the Tangle: Works on Paper by Alex L. Porter.

Be sure to join us to celebrate his works on August 23, 7-9pm.

Alex L. Porter’s art depicts landscape elements as icons of all life in order to address the profound experience that the spectacle of nature provides. Rather than presenting the landscape purely as scenery, his images point to our common involvement with these features. The environment that becomes a pastoral backdrop to human life is, itself, undergoing the brutal ritual of living and dying. Seeing and representing this ritual in nature is pertinent to understanding the struggle we all undergo.

The subject of most of the pieces is simply, growth. It emerges from a bleak but fertile void until it becomes an overwhelming force. The process used to create each piece also relates directly to this idea. These drawings are built slowly and delicately, but depict the raw, chaotic elements that command the form of the natural world. Portrayed flatly as black ink silhouettes, but in focused detail, branches and trunks emerge from the lines. No shorthand brushwork or painterly illusion is employed. Every mark is equally attended to on the paper, allowing the viewers’ eye to find or create emphasis as they view the piece.

This style emerged slowly from more traditional landscape drawings and paintings done in a variety of media. This current approach he developed primarily in the interest of ritual over illusion. His images are about forms, about a language of lines rather than a play of light.

Alex is a D.C. area local, and has practiced in drawing and painting from a very young age. His work has always benefited from the combination of a family-life that found him frequently outdoors, and the inspiration of many great art instructors. Alex spent years developing skill in both oil and acrylic painting, but was focused increasingly on watercolor landscapes. After graduating from the Corcoran College of Art + Design he continued in this style of landscape illustration to develop his current body of work.


Summer-time, NERD-time (July 19)

Been feeling especially nerdly of late? Yeah- we have, too. So join us on Saturday for our monthly trivia night; this time, with a guest host!

Sign up in the Coffeehouse at 7pm (have a team name ready), and get your grilled cheese on! Game starts upstairs at 8pm.


What I Did While You Were Having Fun, 6/24-8/17

Modern Times is proud to host original works by Mark Moran.

What I Did While You Were Having Fun will grace our walls through the summer - be sure to come check out the show!


NERDS! Assemble

Its time for all ye NERDS to find your way back to the homeland... otherwise known as Trivia Night, this Saturday!

Check out the poster for the details, but the important take aways:
2) Sign up in the cafe at 7pm
4) Trivia starts at 8pm, upstairs
5) Think of a team name starting.... now.


New Face of Haiti: Paintings by 'Najee'

MTC is proud to present New Face of Haiti. These paintings, by Haitian artist, Najee, will be featured from May 19-June 21.

Be sure to join us for the reception this Saturday, May 24, 7-9pm

About the Artist: 
Michelet Calice, nicknamed "Najee", remembers creating art since he was 12 years old. Painter, sculptor, and accomplished guitarist, he finds inspiration in nature and living an eco-friendly life. Since the 2010 earthquake, Najee, his wife, and their young daughter have chosen to live in the rural mountains of Port-au-Prince. Living in a tent and planting, harvesting, and eating their own produce, they are inspired as a family by the natural surroundings and simple peasantry of the small mountain community.

Najee's dream of success goes beyond creating a simple and sustainable life. His unique perspective and talent afford him the ability to give "a new face to art" even amidst the rubble of a broken infrastructure and a fractured, yet not failing, society.

Najee believes that doors could be opened to and for Haiti by setting an unprecedented example of creating recycled art. His hope is to honor his country and the family that has always supported him by opening a training center for those needing the encouragement to find their own paths of expression.

About Beyond Borders:
Beyond Borders helps people build movements to liberate themselves from oppression and isolation. In Haiti and the united states we are bringing people together for just and lasting change. We support social movements in Haiti to: End child slavery, Guarantee universal access to education, End violence against women and girls, and Support dignified and sustainable livelihoods.


NERDS, assemble (this Saturday)

Come hither, all ye NERDly folk!
April trivia is this coming Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8pm

Come prepared with your team name, and sign up in the cafe beginning at 7pm.
As always, glean what you can from the hint above.


Songbirds of Rock Creek; Apr. 7-May 18

MTC is proud to present Songbirds of Rock Creek, running until May 18.

Don't miss the opening reception tonight, 7-9pm!

The brilliantly colored male Scarlet Tanager, which spends the winter in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, can be seen in Rock Creek Park during the spring/summer breeding season.  Photo by Frode Jacobsen.

A student at Mundo Verde school in Mt. Pleasant with a young oak she will be helping to plant in Rock Creek Park to create habitat for migrating songbirds. Photo by Steve Dryden


March NERDS! (Mar. 15)

We're meeting a bit earlier in the month this time 'round - be sure to join us March 15 for NERDS! Trivia


February NERDS! Scorecard

Thanks to everybody who came out for our Birthday (George Washington's, too). In case you couldn't make it, or just want to relive the magic - check below for the questions and answers!

Congrats to our winners, STOP THE BUS; Second place team, SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE; winner of best team name, FEMINIST SELFIES; and bringing in the finish, NERD ALERT (taking home the booby prize).


1) The Seattle Seahawks roundly beat the Denver Broncos earlier this month, winning Superbowl XLVIII. The last time the Emerald City could boast of a men's professional league national championship was 1979. For a point each, what was the sport, and what city did they face? Extra points: name the teams that played in the final round of that championship (you must be era-specific).

2) In Paris, where would you find Franklin D. Roosevelt, Victor Hugo, and George V?

3) Colloquially, the holiday celebrated in the United States on the third Monday in February is known as Presidents' Day. What is the official name of the federal holiday?

4) The 22nd Winter Olympic Games are closing in Sochi tomorrow night. In what year was the first modern Winter Olympiad held? Bonus point if you can name the host country.

5) Granny, Monkey's Fist, Pratt, Windsor, and Cat's Paw are all types of what?

6) What is the name of the largest moon of Jupiter?

7) Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde haunt what classic video game?

8) Which book by the Austrian, Felix Salten was made into an animated motion picture in 1942?

9) Together, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; the Horse and HIs Boy; The Magician's Nephew; and the Final BAttle are known as what?

10) The Yucatan Chanel, or Straits of Yucatan, is a 120-mile strait in the Gulf of Mexico between Mexico and which country?

11) The sport of curling uses stones or rocks conventionally made of what material?

12) What does 'Vodka' mean in Russian?

13) Who reportedly said "at least I can wear high heels now? after breaking up with her then-husband?

14) According to the classic narrative, who, or more specifically what, protected the Jews of Prague from the anti-Semitic policies of the Holy Roman Emperor in the 16th century?

15) Using petroleum jelly and coal dust, what product did Tom Lyle Williams pioneer in 1915, initially for his sister?

Name the Presidents


Seattle was home to the Sonics from 1968-2008, when they were sold and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Seattle defeated the Washington Bullets 4 games to 1. The Bullets have been known as: the Chicago Packers, Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets, Capital Bullets, Washington Bullets, and now, Washington Wizards.


They are Metro Stations


The federal holiday was initially implemented by an Act of Congress in 1879 for government offices in DC. It was expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices. It was originally celebrated n Washington's actual birthday - February 22 - but on January 1, 1971, it was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which affixed "Presidents' Day", Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day to their respective Mondays.

4) 1924, FRANCE

The Games were held every four years from 1924-36, after which they were interrupted by WWII. They resumed in '48 on their previous 40year cycle until 1992. Up to that point, the Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year, but, in accordance with a 1986 decision by the IOC to place the Olympiads on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Games after '92 were held in 1994 in Norway.


A Monkey's fist, or paw is so named because it looks somewhat like a small bunched fist - it is tied at the end of a rope to serve as a weight, making it easier to throw, and also as an ornamental knot.



Despite the seemingly random nature of the enemies, or ghosts, each were designed with its own distinct personality in order to keep the game from becoming impossibly difficult or boring to play. Blinky, the red enemy, chases Pac-Man; Pinky (pink) and Inky (blue) try to position themselves in front of Pac-Man's mouth - their character names translate respectively as 'ambusher' and 'fickle'. Although the orange enemy's behavior is supposedly random, a careful analysis of the game's code reveals that it actually chases Pac-Man most of the time, but also moves toward the lower-left corner of the maze when he gets too close. Clyde's Japanese character name, unsurprisingly, translates as 'stupid'.


Based on the book Bambi, A life in the Woods, it is the fifth in Walt Disney's Animated Classics Series. For the movie, Disney took the liberty of changing Bambi, his father, the Great Prince, and his unnamed mother into North American white-tailed deer, instead of their original species: European Roe Deer, which were less familiar to an American audience.


The Chronicles were written by C. S. Lewis between 1949-1854. The inspiration for the series is taken from multiple sources. In addition to adapting numerous traditional Christian themes, the books freely borrow characters and ideas from Persian, Greek, Anatolian, and Roman mythology, as well as from traditional British and Irish fairy tales.

10) CUBA


Curling was invented in medieval Scotland, with the first written reference to a contest using stones on ice from an Abbey record in 1541. Originally, the playing rocks were simply flat-bottomed river stones that were sometimes notched or shaped; the thrower, unlike those of today, had little control over the stone, and relied more on luck than on skill and strategy.



 After her divorce from Tom Cruise in 2001


To protect the Jewish community, the local rabbi constructed the Golem out of clay from the banks of the Vltava River, and brought it to life through rituals and Hebrew incantations. the only catch: the Golem couldn't be alive on the Sabbath. As legend has it, one Friday, the Rabbi forgot to deactivate the Golem by removing its name plate. He was eventually able to do so, and stored the resting Golem in the Old Synagogue to be reactivated if the need ever again arose.


His sister's name was Mabel, the namesake of his makeup company, Maybelline. Maybe she's born with it... or maybe its gooey coal dust.

1) Theodore Roosevelt
2) Grover Cleveland
3) Dwight D. Eisenhower
4) Franklin Pierce
5) Martin Van Buren
6) Chester A. Arthur
7) George Washington
8) Harry S. Truman
9) John Quincy Adams
10) Richard M. Nixon


Beyond the Border (Feb. 24-Apr. 6)

MTC is proud to present Beyond the Border, paintings by Michael Kent.

Be sure to also join us on Saturday, March 1, 7-9pm to celebrate at the opening reception

Trained in Maine and France, my oils are representational, with hints of expressionism and surrealism. On occasion humorous, they conjure a sense of mood and mystery; they also reflect my love of the city and international travel. People seem to detect the influences of Van Gogh, Munch, Picasso, Hopper and a few others.

My work has been exhibited in the Washington, DC area, New England, the Midwest, Europe and Australia.

I have illustrated The Big Jiggety and Pop the Plug, my two first novels.


NERDS Birthday Bash

Somewhat belated in posting this month, but this Saturday is not only George Washington's birthday, but also NERDS'. We're a year old this month, so be sure to swing by to help us celebrate. Check out the poster below:


MTC Presents: Parallel Loves

Modern Times is proud to present Parallel Loves: Photographs by Gregory Gelpern.

Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014; 7-9pm

Gregory Gelpern bought his first camera with money he earned as an extra on a movie set in the late 1950s, when he was an engineering student in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia. He moved to the United States in 1988. His photographs have been published in Russia and exhibited at galleries in the Northeast, including as part of the New York Public Library collection.This retrospective includes works from the Soviet Union in the 1960s to present-day New York. Oceans and decades apart, the people in them share joys, dreams, worries, and loves for one another, and for the beauty around them. They rush to work, gossip on the street corner, take a stroll, try to take in art, snooze, steal a kiss, and look intently at someone – something – perhaps miles and years away.


New Year, New NERDS!

NERDS is making its 2014 debut, with a wee face-lift. Same fun time, new formatting.

Jan. 11, 2014 - Sign up at 7pm in the Cafe, Trivia starts at 8pm upstairs.