Saturday, September 19, 2009


On a recent trip to Seattle I learned that a Capitol Hill landmark, Vivace, had been knocked down and the lot paved over. It's being done in the name of light rail mass transit, so I can't complain too much. I'm facing similar changes in Logan, where building seems to go on at a furious pace, in spite of what I'm told is a pretty serious recession. There's a MONSTER new Walmart in Cache Valley now on the south end of town. It's easily the ugliest building I've ever seen, with the other monster Walmart a few miles to the north running a close second. There's no light rail planned for Logan but at least it's good to know that everyone's consumer needs are being met here in the Intermountain West.

But the loss of Vivace was a blow. The coffee there was outstanding and it had a tradition and a vibe that the new place a few blocks further up Broadway just can't replace. The old location wasn't perfect. For one thing, the restroom hadn't been cleaned since the King Dome was demolished. If you anticipated a call of nature, it was best to bring a hazmat suit. A little inconvenient, but it just added to the legend. Legendary or not, many buildings along Broadway were knocked down during the year I was in Germany. By contrast, during the year I'm in the US, I anticipate that no buildings in Essen will be razed. Even with the current renovation of the Bahnhof and other preparations for the 2010 Kulturhauptstadt celebration there's just very little demolition. Germany is stable. People stay put. For the most part, the new must accommodate the existing, and where it doesn't, such as the new Limbecker Platz development in Essen, most people are not pleased. There are some people in Logan who are not pleased by our second Walmart store, but mostly it's just me and a few other malcontents out on the fringe.

On the road back to Logan from Seattle I unknowingly stopped at what is apparently another Washington coffee monument. It was very early on Sunday morning and I had pulled off I-82 in Yakima to find some breakfast. Nothing seemed to be open along the main street and I was ready to get back on the highway when I noticed a little hut in a parking lot with cars idling in front of it. It was an espresso drive-thru called Dreamgirls, according to the Yakima Herald, one of several businesses springing up that people are calling "Sexpresso stands." The concept is simple: your coffee is served to you by a young woman in her underwear.

I think this may be a bonus for some, but I found it just a little disconcerting. When you give your order, where are you supposed to look? Is it impolite not to leer? Should you hand the payment for your purchase directly to the barista, or just tuck it into her waistband? Is it appropriate to make casual conversation, such as "Isn't it hard to walk with your underpants all wedged up in your butt crack like that?" I teach life drawing from time to time and have no particular problem with naked people. But then, they're usually not making me a double latte. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that Dreamgirls was open and the coffee was excellent: what's to complain about?

When I returned to Logan I was curious about the Dreamgirls and gave them a quick google. There were news stories and blog postings listed. Lots of photos and they have a MySpace page. I visited the page and was suitably underwhelmed, but they do have their fans and some even leave them comments. Here's an example of a recent one:


I guess that just about sums it up for me too.

1 comment:

Em said...

I never really imagined the Hooter's customers being big latte fans, but at least they can have their morning fix too.