Friday, June 16, 2017

And the least hip coffee house in Scottsdale, Arizona is ...

You won't see this woman at the place in Scottsdale, Arizona,  that I'm talking about.
The most un-hip coffeehouse in America, after years and years and years of research, since I've been to them from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Lincoln City, Oregon, writing poetry furiously as I put myself on display at these places, is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. You will not be able to post a "Yelp," which is uberese for hip hot spot, though. I will not permit it. Scottsdale apparently leads the world in Yelping, which is putting a lot of professional journalism-school-trained restaurant critics out of work ... so fuck even trying to explain what a "Yelp" is.

And it's not un-hip because the Scottsdale Police Department is right around the corner. Because the police are always at this painfully cheerful little coffee hut chatting with each other to work-group their benefits packages, as well to tell tales of harrowing heroism. God knows these people need to take a break in this town. With so much trouble in the world. With wrong-way drivers and right-mad drunks and the occasional gun over-enthusiast. With so much chaos, even in a streamlined, bolted down, cemented-to-perfection place like Scottsdale. Let them rest, with little distraction. Let them breathe, sip, chat in peace. Peace officers need peace. Let it be. Let it be.

Not going to tell you where it is. Nope. Nope. Nope. Because if you call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye (insert Don Henley/Eagles copyright dinky here).

For the purposes of comparison and contrast, I must explain that the best coffeehouse I ever lived at was Mama Java's, in Phoenix in the Arcadia district. It's not there anymore. But in it's heyday Mama Java's was a community hub for musicians and writers and strip club dancers and street people and joggers and people with nose rings and tattoos. At night, it was a constant live entertainment hub. After it was bought, I went back in there expecting more of the same. I asked the barrista woman when they had their poetry readings. She responded they didn't do that anymore. Changes had been made by the new owner. I wonder how many new owners there are in the world who had killed the successful business paradigms they had acquired. Mama Java's is one nasty example. The Coffee Plantation is, too. You can get arrested at those places now for simply strumming an unauthorized guitar note.

But the least hip coffee house in Scottsdale will never even attempt such endeavors in community Woodstock. The least hip coffee house does have all of the attendant nick-knacks, the fake burlap bean bags zonked in like wallpaper, the display cabinets with the $20-dollar coffee cups, the try-the-new-diabetes drink signs, the ecstatic barrista pitching for the up-sell. The least hip coffee house in America doesn't play any unnerving music. The only truly distracting elements are the cars, sirens and the beep beep beep of the nearby traffic light if you sit out on the smoker's porch, which is perhaps one of the worst places to be on earth if you want to get any poetry done. Unless you want your poem to go beep, beep, beep, too.

The people who go there are different than the Woodstock-turned-Lollapalooza-turned-Coachella stock. These people aren't there for their kicks. These people are there to work. To interview each other. To convince one another about the superiority of their sales gigs. To train them to sell their sales gigs. This is their office. They have no office. They are busy keeping office spaces empty. They are busy Mary Kay Cosmeticisizing. They are focused. They are dialed in.

At first, maybe it was my personal unicorn, I found it really awful. But now I'm getting warmed up the idea. Maybe I have realized, after all of these years with still no tattoos, I am not a very hip person. I'm simply a fallen yuppie angel, which is why I keep coming to the least hip coffee house in America in the first place. Because success breeds success. And if I know one thing it's this, with so many cops taking a break, it's the least likely place in the world to get arrested.

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