Tuesday, May 16, 2006


After singles' night a few weeks back, I decided it would probably be a good idea if I started doing more things outside my comfort zone. Which is how I found myself across from Tompkins Square Park at alt.coffee yesterday, which I'm a little surprised to see has a mere 127 more Myspace friends than I do. The whole alt.coffee atmosphere screams East Village, with the Simpsons pinball machine over by the door, "lots of funky lamps," every wall painted another basic Crayola color. But there's a cry for help underneath The Psychedelic Furs and Belle & Sebastian blaring on the stereo — I mean, take a look at the some of the idiots who left comments for the coffeeshop:

OMG i wanna go to ur shop. btw this is the notorious drew fuzzle of the coffee shop boys, so thats a pretty big honor. Yknow, just in case u havent heard of the CSB.
And I think we've found our first good argument ever in favor of gentrification, because Drew "Caps Lock Confuses Me" Fuzzle epitomizes the alt.coffee clientele: burned-out grunge losers who can't figure out why their garage band that's "like a mix of Sonic Youth and Radiohead, but more soulful" hasn't gotten booked at the Indigo Club yet. Here's a hint, dude with a skull on your sports bag and hiragana tattooed on your arm: Most bands that quote-unquote make it know more than two chords. Instead of constantly updating your band's lame Myspace page, spend the time discovering a minor seventh or something.

The thing about alt.coffee, unlike the slackers who frequent the place and mooch off their wi-fi (which is why I was there, although I'm not a total freeloader — I bought the cheapest thing on the menu), is that I know what sort of look they were going for — the poor, disaffected kid look. Like, I'll bet anything they found their comfy couches and those funky lamps in a trash pile on St. Mark's Place, and rather than thinking, "No wonder this hideous thing is off on the sidewalk," the interior designer the pseduo-goth, pseudo-stoner, pseudo-skateroid management hired went, "Hey, free lamp! Look, the bulbs are red and it's not even Halloween!" They're too lazy to coordinate or upholster the furniture they picked up on the street, and it's not like any of the kids in there care, so who am I to complain?

Oh yeah, somebody who hates mediocrity. Okay, kitsch burns my eyes and makes my aesthetic cortex want to jump out of my head, run across the room, and set itself on fire, but I get that it's a style — it's not my style — but some people are into it. Still, even if your furniture's ugly, you can at least let me try to pretend that it's not a mite-infested piece of crap, right? I mean, aren't there any hypochondriac rockers out there?