Sunday, July 08, 2007

kafe kiskeya

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.


trAcy said...

I'll presume you'd heard about it in your silly local paper, otherwise, shame on you (they/we did an article "ages ago!")

At least you GO there; I have only been once. I'm just not much of a weekender in Northeast. The house they have is gorgeous, isn't it?

I like the Chiapas coffee very much.

joe said...

Yes! I learned of it in your paper.

trAcy said...

RE: your sidebar and other posts

Microlending was a hot point at last night's payday loan meeting hosted by Councilwoman Marcason in the 4th D. Could you see Mattie Rhodes, Northeast News, Don Bosco Center, etc. setting up competing businesses: "Lower interest than the Crazy Cash loans - Who needs to pay 75%?"

: )


I think there's a discrepancy between the international microloans to folks trying to start up "cottage industries" in developing nations versus the American person whose car broke down and has no bank reserves or friends to tap.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the post! It was great to meet you and visit. Now how about getting The Pitch to do an article? I mean, even though the Northeast News did a GREAT spread, I'll bet that folks who read The Pitch would benefit from learning about Kafe Kiskeya, too. :) Hope to see you again real soon.

mental said...

Hey Joe. Do you still have an art piece detailing the "evolution of the boneless cow"?

If you know what I'm talking about, shoot me an email.


mental said...

Joe -
I'm looking for some information on the evolution of the boneless cow, and I have a feeling you might be the guy to talk to.

if you know what I'm talking about, send me an email at