Thursday, November 11, 2010

When a boy asks you if you like sci-fi...

Or, "How Others See Us." It was taken at Beth's Cafe on Sunday afternoon.

Beth's is a 24-hour greasy spoon, the kind of place where club kids go at four a.m to share fries and 12-egg omelettes, but also where local biz people pop in for a quick sandwich lunch and hipsters go to feel like they're walking on the wild side. Ha! Maybe 15 yrs ago... Yes, it's on Aurora: what, in the northern half of the city, passed for the Bad Part of Town (prostitution and drugs mainly). Yes, it's by Butch's Gun Shop, a body-piercing place, and Andy's Auto Repair. Yes, there are store front martial arts emporia, check-cashing establishments and Korean nail parlours. But gentrification has crept along Aurora from Green Lake, and the hot pillow joints have moved 20 blocks north. Now there's a PCC, the Duck Island Ale House, a chocolatier, and Seattle laptop. The occasional parked--as opposed to motor-running, dealing through the window--BMW or Mercedes or Lexus is not uncommon.

Beth's encourages patrons to draw, to take photos, to put their stuff on the walls. This one caught my attention. I was particularly struck by the pocket full of pens, the soul patch, and the unibrow. Then there's the rigid parting, the starting eyes, the, ah, complexion. It seemed very specific, most particular and finely observed. Clearly there's a story...

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