On Saturday morning we were out of coffee, so we headed off for Midtown to grab a couple cups and a pound or two. But on our way we spotted a sign on 12th Street, just a block away from Ebony's aunt's house, for coffee. So I stomped on the brakes and we stopped in to check it out.
Kafe Kiskeya. I'd heard about the place and had been meaning drop in, I just hadn't had the chance yet. I'm so glad we did.
For one, they have good fair-trade coffee by the pound, in our neighborhood, so we don't have to keep driving to Midtown every other week. Second, the place is cool as hell.
It's not so much a coffee shop as an art gallery that serves coffee. Sarah, the owner, can't really sell coffee because the City slapped all these requirements on her before she could get a license to do so. She couldn't afford it. So she accepts dollar donations.
Most of the art is from Haiti, and it's pretty cool -- expecially the stuff stamped out of flattened oil drums. The best part is they have open mic nights on Fridays. I'm looking forward to checking that out.
But the gallery is part of a sort of campus for social justice right there in Ebony's old stomping grounds. Sarah's part of a group that bought pretty much the whole block -- a house, a few apartments and a couple of storefronts -- where they offer housing for refugees, English lessons, garden space, and even showers for the homeless.
All good news. That particular stretch of 12th Street could use a little art and cafeine boost.