The first few visits to a new coffeeshop can be like the early stages of a new relationship. Do you share the same taste in music and books? Are you ideologically and philosophically compatible? Erotically speaking, are you charmed by (or at least tolerant of) one another's various eccentricities and fetishes?
So it's been this last week, ever since I began haunting SML Coffee on the corner of Speer and Washington. The cozy space is essentially a bunch of art deco furniture narrowly situated between two identical garage doors, like a recreation of what Frank Loyyd Wright's carport must've looked like. The drip coffee I ordered from the utilitarian menu on my first visit was hot and fresh, and the folks behind the counter are friendly an un-affected. But as a matter of sheer practicality, since I live in South Denver, I figured we'd just be two ships passing in the night, a one night stand.
Until, that is, I saw the schedule for their "Free Movie Night".
In the past, I've fallen firmly into the "against" camp, as far as the whole "coffee shop as multimedia experience" thing is concerned. Maybe it's a knee jerk reaction to all those times I couldn't find a seat among the cyber squatters with all their high tech accoutrements. But movies are different; instead of everyone being plugged into their own screens, it's a communal, community experience. And if you're not interested in what's showing, the right film can serve as the visual equivalent of ambient music, where attention is optional.
For their inaugural showing, they featured one of my favorites - "Ghost World". Not only is this film
a classic story about living in the post-modern Bardo realm of mid-America, where smart people wait in vein for better things, and learn about their capacity to hurt others in the meantime, but it stars the two slices of bread that make the most delicious Caff_X sandwich, Scarlett Johansen and Thora Birch (tho if it was an open face sandwich, it'd be all Birch, bee-
The Wednesday night showing was a casual affair, with just a few of us in the audience. There was plenty of room for more, which means it's up to groupies like me to turn folks on to what a sweet deal this is. The film was projected onto a sheer screen against one of the garage doors... in the summer, the door will be open, turning the parking lot into not only an impropteu drive-in theater, but for you smokers, possibly the city's last remaining smoking section.
(one cine-suggestion; a Halloween screening of Bucket of Blood, where all the employees dress up like beatnicks, would make me a customer 4-eva)
But more importantly (is there anything more important?) -the coffee. Full disclosure - when I hit a new place, I usually order just straight, black coffee. One, because it's my "usual". Two, because once I know a place uses quality beans, and can brew a good pot of coffee, if I ever do get a bad espresso drink, I can pin it on the individual barista, and not hold the establishment as a whole accountable. But there's something about art house movies that just screams "cappuccino". The barista, a female of the species, whipped up the best one I've had in recent memory. To the extent that, when I couldn't sip any more from the bottom of the cup, I was clawing my hand in, so I could kiss the thick froth off of my fingertips.
Could this be love?
About the Author
7 years ago