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bird poops on plum branch


Buster Benson

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I loved Cafe (Un)American
bird poops on plum branch

Last night was its last night, and upon entering Cafe (Un)American they (for the first time) welcomed us to take pictures, blog about it, talk about it, and generally admit that it existed to the Internet.  Andy had his fancy camera all ready, and probably ended up getting some of the best pictures ever taken of this underground experiment (he hasn't posted them yet though).  I just had my cameraphone.  There isn't really anything on google (26 results) or flickr (72 pictures as of now) yet... I'm surprised.  Soon, I bet.

You of course probably already know about it, but just in case, it was a late-night speakeasy of sorts that lasted a bit over 9 months if my sense of time is correct.  Saturday nights.  A dollar to get in before midnight, and ten dollars to get in between midnight and closing (usually around 6am, though it was still going strong when I left last night around then).  In a bold move, they served liquor, allowed smoking indoors, burlesque, singing, music, and gambling late into the night and early morning.  Patrons are expected to dress up in their best prohibition garb, and last night they were turning you away unless you were dressed up (whereas before sometimes they'd just charge $5 extra).  It was awesome.  It was giant.  It was totally illegal.  It had grown to a size that grabbed the attention of the city, and it got shut down.  Which makes sense, but totally sucks.  Last night was a going away party for your fun friend who got dragged under by the law.

It was all dear to me for personal reasons (acting as a mentor of sorts) and its last night beat expectations.  I lost all my money in one hand at the Texas Hold'em table (Andy's funny comment being, "Your philosophy works well in real life, but really sucks at the poker table"), I saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces, the speeches and toasts were extra moving, free rose champagne was flowing, the people were extra attractive, and I just basked in the brilliance of the entire experience until 6am with Andy, Ingo, Carinna, and a couple thousand other happy law-breakers. 

There's something childlike and freeing about breaking the law with good intentions.  It's all in the name of enjoyment, camaraderie, and having fun.  Sure, laws are there for a reason in most cases, but so are speakeasies.  Most of the time now, I don't think about what's right and what's wrong in a moral sense, but simply what's worth paying for and what's not.  Good work people!

Now what?

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duh, the cycle begins anew.

things like this aren't supposed to last forever. it's a time, a place, a moment, and when that moment's over, everyone moves on better for it. in the case of the speakeasy, now people know it can be done, so hopefully more people "extend the experiment," making this end more of a beginning. at least that's what i'm hoping.

Yeah, I like the transitory nature of these kinds of things... that's half the appeal. And now I'm ready for the next moment to happen.

I never got to go, but I'm not really sure I have any prohibition garb, so.

I'm sure other things will spring up in its place. Maybe there already are things happening that you don't know about yet.

Yeah, I bet they're out there. And, I'm on "a mailing list" now. Hopefully when people find out what's going on, they tell me about it. You would've really dug it... a lot of people were really really dressed up, but you could get in with a shirt and tie no problem.

Man, did I have some good times there. I can't wait for the next thing, whatever it is.

Oh I heard about this from my friend George, I heard it was great. if I'd been apprised that it was closing down, I might have hustled out there in time...

I'll let you know about the next one. There are whispers already!

Alas! I really wanted to go "there" the next time I came up. Well Seattle, I'm counting on you to create something else equally good and illicit before my arrival. I can always depend on you for wacky social experimentation and underground fun.

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