The Coffee Life – Rochester NY Edition

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It’s been a hot minute or two since I’ve used this blog, and since I’ve recently moved to Rochester NY and am currently squatting in a hotel till i find an apartment, I find myself with a bit of extra time and my usual coffee addiction

Since I’ve been here i’ve obviously settled for Starbucks about a dozen times, convenience and all, but on my days off i’ve done some exploring. So far I’ve tried 4 independent coffee shops. Oddly enough my favorite place esthetically  isn’t even close to my favorite for coffee quality.  So here’s what ive found so far.
1.Fuego Coffee
So hipster it’s painful. And this is from the guy wearing skinny jeans and black rimmed glasses. However the coffee quality is amazing. I’ve had a cold brew and a Latte and both had really great flavor. I’m a huge fan so far.
2. New Roots Cafe
This place is every bit as hippy as its name indicates. It’s in a converted house with study rooms and music practice rooms. Very relaxing vibe. Coffee wise, I’ve tried a hot dark roast and of course the obligatory Latte. Coffee was very good, I drink it black, and the Latte (no flavoring or sugar) is pretty smooth.
3. Java’s coffee
This place f**king kills esthetically. Picture the private den of an Anthropology professor/Aspiring artist/musician/obsessed book collector. and then make it a tad weirder. super comfortable, artsy atmosphere. The Coffee? A bit disappointing. Price was a little high for the latte and only came with two shots (ala Starbucks). And the quality? even with my requested two extra shots there was a noticeable weakness to it. I may give this place another shot because of the atmosphere, but the verdict doesn’t look great.
                 (this was an actual Java’s customer sitting across from me painting)
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3. Village bakery and Cafe
Normally i shy away from mall coffee places, but it’s an indie and it was that or Starbucks. Small footprint, kinda crowded. There’s a little loft over the main floor with tables, but this is really a grab and go kinda place. They supposedly make all their own baked goods, but i didn’t try.Probably a good thing because this is where i messed up. I ordered a flavored Latte, French toast to be exact, and by time i got to the opposite side of the mall i had a mild stomach ache from the sweetness. The bored teenage girl behind the counter apparently used the entire bottle of flavoring. I might give their straight coffee a try next time, but my opinion of mall coffee shops still stands.
4. Union place coffee roasters
It’s hard to rate this place. It’s really not a coffee shop, it’s truly a coffee roasters. They roast right on site and sell it there. They only have one of their coffee’s brewed each day to showcase for customers, which they only charge a buck for if you get larger than the sample cup. The French roast I tried was decently strong, with really good flavor, black of course. I’ll probably go back and grab a bag when i have an apartment.
I estimate i have another 7-10 local coffee places to try, plus there’s a few Spot coffee’s and Norma Jeans (both Chains) that I’m sure I’ll hit eventually. I hope if you ever hit the greater Rochester area, this helps.
Know a place in Rochester I should try? Drop it in the comments.

New issue of 63 Channels out now

Ok, the title kind of gives away the hook. I’m bad at click baiting. Anyway…

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It’s July, and that means the 3rd (!) issue of the re-launched 63Channels is now available.

This issue features poetry by:

Irsa Ruci

Joan McNerney

Wayne Burke

Gary Beck

Bruce Robinson

Brian Kovich

Justin Karcher

*Plus a collaboration piece by Glen Feulner & Brian Kovich*

With Short Fiction By:

Timothy Gager

James Agombar

Plus some amazing photgraphy by Mark Fitzgerald. (Pic Above)

so what are you waiting for? head over to 63Channels.net and see all the great work we’re showcasing.

“Clockwork Fate” Poetry Collaboration with Brian Kovich

Been a bit uninspired lately, so yesterday i reached out to a friend for a collaboration. Lightning struck, thanks mainly to Brian, and i’m very happy with how this turned out. Hope you enjoy.

Clockwork Fate

Co-Written with Brian Kovich

In me all the poets who came before,
To give birth to all the poets yet to be.
Every poem is a cocktail or a certain person.
Every poem I create, creates a greater poetry in me.

Words flow and scatter, rolling off fingers in waves,
I am a conduit to everything i’ve ever feared.
Every syllable casting shadows that roam for miles,
Every elipses drowning out the inevitable end.

The world reduced to fractions of factions.
A pleasant afternoon ruined inexplicably,
Every drone strike, union strike. Strike out.
Every thought, word, and deed. Improbably.

Impossibly simple, answers seem in hindsight,
Reduce the war to the sum of its parts and divide.
Every independent thought is dangerous to the masses,
Every first kiss deadly to a heartless revolution.

Seek out a greater alternative view.
The world is less than what we make of it.
Every door bell rung, escapes our loneliness.
Every word; Written or spoken, plays a partly bit.

Message in a bottle, letters never sent,
Yellowing postcards fade and curl.
Every moment of hesitation catches in our throats,
Every reflection echoing the regrets we inhabit.

There are more thoughts than there are words.
I am a… (finite futures fascinate.)
Every lonesome tandem within this world,
Every independent unwound clockwork fate.

Trade the passing minutes, useless, priceless,
Forever slipping through, under, into dreams,
Every last breath measured by pregnant pauses,
Every stanza shouting unspoken secrets to deaf ears.

After we pick up the pieces I found our dearest shame,
We suddenly will realize life/love is but a game .

 

Uninspired

So what do you do when you’ve been uninspired for months? When you have some ideas but are unable to crystalize them? When the things racing back and forth throughout your mind never make it to paper?

Recently I committed the ultimate technology stupid move. I lost 13 poems because I’d written them on my computer, hadn’t backed them up or hand copied them into a journal and assumed they were safe because they were on my external hard drive. They weren’t. The effect was actually kind of devastating. Like most writers I loathe much of my work, but I was happy with these 13 finished prices and now I’ve lost them forever and I think that’s added to my lack of inspiration.

Tack on a job that I actually like, but doesn’t stimulate creativity in any way whatsoever.

And here I am.

So where do I go?

Where do you go, how do you get the spark back?

Social Media Hunger Strike…Week one

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So every year i take 30 days off from social media. It’s my Social Media Fast/Cleanse/Enema.

No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, Pintrest…. Which reminds me, my digital footprint is way too F**king big…

Anyway, this year i was on FB and in a matter of minutes several people pissed me off with their posts and got my undies all in a bunch, so i declared a 1.5 month fast. F**K. Here’s problem: I don’t delete posts. Once it’s there, it’s there. So of course i experience a rush of comments and now i’m stuck with my hasty, stupid declaration. And off i go. I sign out of all the social media apps on my phone and remove the apps from my screen to help with temptation.

Day 1: I have to skip my yearly smart ass play by play of the Billboard Music awards, one of the many awards shows i hate, but still watch just to mock. Yeah, i can be a dick

Day 3: Several work related things happen that i’d love to vent about. I don’t.

Day 5: I realize i have several dog adoption events over the next two weeks and i normally promote the hell out of them. Do i break my fast for the sake of homeless dogs? Still debating…..

Overall the first week’s been pretty easy. However next week i’m on vacation all week, and my posts usually triple during vacations. Time will tell….

And in case you’re wondering why i’m blogging, i don’t consider this Social media exactly. Part of the point of my fast is to free up wasted time and use it to write. blogging loosens my muscles and gets me in a better frame of mind for poetry, short stories and the two books i haven’t finished. At least that’s the theory.

So, update next week. Hopefully i’ll have something interesting to say. But don’t hold your breath….

There should be pain…

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So there’s a new cream being tested that could remove your tattoo, completely painless, with just a few applications.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2955770/The-vanishing-cream-TATTOOS-Lotion-offers-pain-free-alternative-laser-removal-targeting-pigmented-blood-cells.html

Maybe I’m old school, or just a grumpy asshole, but I think there should be pain involved in tattoo removal.

When you get a tattoo, you should plan your design carefully, choose your artist carefully and save your money for quality work. If you fail to do any of these things, and decide to get a basement tattoo by your uncle jimmy that learned how to “ink” people online or in prison, then you deserve what you get and it should hurt like holy hell if you want it taken off.

As someone with 13 tattoos, I know even with the best designs there can be small amounts of regret. But that’s part of growing up and learning. Deal with it.

Nerding out, Mixed tape Style…..

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Last night i started reading “Cassette Tapes From My Ex” a collection of short stories about people’s failed relationships and the tapes left behind. There are some cool stories and they even show the original tape covers with song listings. it kinda made me a little nostalgic. I miss making mix tapes. mix Cd’s, just making…. Digging through your collection, finding the perfect songs for each individual person then figuring out the order & flow. It’d a DJ’s (& nerds) dream….and i think it’s a (minor) lost art. So with that in mind i decided to make myself a playlist. I put it together in my Google Play Music and i’ll listen to it over and over till i’m sick of every song.

Fair warning, this list isn’t meant to be edgy or cool, i’m way too nerdy for that. I just wanted a fall mix that summed up where i am in the fall of 2013. So here it is:

1 Leave R.E.M.
2 6AM My Hotel Year
3 Great Expectations The Gaslight Anthem
4 from the Bottom of a Well Mike Doughty
5 Deperately Wanting Better Than Ezra
6 Come Back Down Toad The Wet Sprocket
7 The Only Living Boy In New York Simon & Garfunkel
8 32 Flavors Ani DiFranco
9 Everything Falls Apart Dog’s Eye View
10 Goodnight, Good Guy Collective Soul
11 Just Like Heaven Cure, The
12 Sweater Weather The Neighbourhood
13 6th Avenue Heartache The Wallflowers
14 Dreams (Fleetwood Mac Cover) Bastille Feat. Gabrielle Aplin
15 City of Blinding Light U2
16 No Story Time Smallpools
17 Backwater Meat Puppets
18 Somebody To Shove Soul Asylum
19 Screamager Therapy
20 My Own Worst Enemy Stereophonics
21 High & Dry Radiohead
22 Games Without Frontiers Peter Gabriel
23 Skip The Charades Cold War Kids
24 What’s A Girl To Do Bat For Lashes
25 Too Dramatic Ra Ra Riot
26 Set Adrift On Memory Bliss P.M. Dawn
27 Dry The Rain The Beta Band
28 Bloodbuzz Ohio The National
29 Ride Cary Brothers
30 Under the Milky way The Church