moshing metropolis

January 14, 2007 – 2:47 pm

alterra, take two: they’re patenting cool in stunningly obvious urban village areas. and they do it well.

chicago’s metropolis, on the other hand, sort of feels like it sprang organically from the steaming sidewalk vents with all the oblivious authenticity of artisan subsistence vendors.

at least, that’s how this blog saw the hissing, yelling reverie that’s both easy to miss and and a must-see on chicago’s east side northeastern lakeside nexus. a grizzled poet in a fedora struck up a conversation, quoted the frenchy mallarme’ and shared the lines he was scribbling. the vivid abstractions on the wall turned the human heads in front of them into wagging silhouettes. the bar was wood — permeable, in other words, soaking and exuding drinks and grounds and hard knocks.

plenty of swift tension at the portafilter handles, but it wasn’t so pretentious as to prohibit an amateur from sneaking in for pics of the nakeds spilling redline. naked portafilters, that is, on a kees mirage. to which this blog must have muttered something along the lines of, “whoa, sparky.” the intent latte artist on shift wasn’t so proud she thought she should be competing. the guy with the toothy grin wasn’t so busy he couldn’t level and distribute each basketful like he was stroking a kitten. it was a jam-packed, burlap-strewn, hyper-edgy place of redline reduction.

speaking of which: the shots i had were thin bodied, but packed a rosemary punch that stuck in your fillings. not unlike the urban waifs who populated the place, really — startlingly thin and broodingly irascible!

asked a coupla staffers if hats were required. it seems they are. and so, each employee had something euro or vintage or wildly fashionista on the noggin. a cowboy hat, a school-bus-yellow beanie, a catwalk newsboy cap. “barista hair, maaaan. it’s so, like, 2004.”

and the mirage. herm, yes. we’ll have pics. shortly. (right, bro?)

UPDATE: metropolis, you could say, might have pioneered robustly addled coffee blogging.