Cafe Cliche (née Indie Coffee & Books)

Decatur, Georgia

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Although it appears to be a pasttime of mine, I do not so frequently get the opportunity to hang out in coffee shops. So when the perhaps weekly chance for me to go sit in a shop alone and do some writing comes up, I usually gravitate toward the more established (at least in my own repertory) shop, with a trustworthy atmosphere that I know will soothe and motivate me because the slightest shift outside of my predilection for atmosphere will corrupt my chances to get any work done. I am absolutely certain that it is an entirely personal construct, because there were enough people ‘working’ (laptop on lap does not a worker make) in Indie. So this writing should be taken with the unguent that you too could work and soak in Indie. I could not.

Indie Coffee & Books

It really is all about atmosphere in the coffeeshop, and since I have been chastised for objectively cataloging the architectural details of places in place of describing their atmospheres, I will refrain from describing the single-colour faux scraped walls and motley-but-not-motley-enough furnishings. I will describe the atmosphere as dissociative suburban identity disorder, and it is brought to the fore by the name of the shop, ‘Indie.’ The last thing that name would have conjured to me was a funky but mature shop that might lie in the historical district of a demi-suburban town that your mom might think is ‘cute’ replete with wicker chairs and distressed wood. Again I degenerate into minutiae. This strange affiliation with that ilk of shop then meets the ‘& Books’ of the name. This is not a Dr. Bombay’s book assortment shown with the haphazardness that makes you feel like you are in a packrat bibliophile’s basement apartment getting ready to chat about Gautier, this is acrylic wall shelves with face-outs and bestseller list references (I don’t care whose bestseller list Bill O’Reilly’s new tome is on, his sweaty face doesn’t need to be out). The shop was actually divided so that the faux painting on the wall ended where the bookshelves began, as though I was looking into a Barnes & Noble.

Indie Coffee & Books

What made it all the stranger was the name of the place. I had been hypothesizing and preparing myself to be assaulted with the self-consciousness of an ‘indie’ culture that is no longer independent or new, that is a parody of itself and a commodity, a demographic. Maybe a slacker would serve me a drink, or two girls would be talking ironically about how great Boyz II Men are. It would be more about identity than atmosphere, but it would be painful.

Indie Coffee & Books

Wait!!! Wait!!! Holy shit. I understand it all now. Yeah, this place was so ‘indie’ that it wasn’t even ‘indie’! It knew that even the shit I was into, which I think is different and more cool than everyone else’s shit is actually already passe too. They have gone straight to the next level, to subversive assimilation. Watch out those of you ironic indie types, you might find yourself in your Sunday sweatpants, you might find yourself buying that Jane Fonda autobiography in earnest, you might not even realize it. To corrupt a phrase about LA: you can become banal without even noticing it.

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Cafe Cliche (née Indie Coffee & Books)

340 W Ponce De Leon Ave
Suite 100
Decatur, Georgia 30030

One Response to “Cafe Cliche (née Indie Coffee & Books)”

  1. Cherie Johnson

    If you do find yourself with time on your hands and the desire for a good cup of coffee, please check out Alcove Coffee and Tea in the Northlake area on Lavista Road, just barely ITP.

    There is plenty of room to spread out, pleasant images on the walls of scantily clad art nouveau women frolic about, a good sound system, brightly lit with lush real plants in colorful planters, friendly staff, decent, healthy food — and NEVER will you find the countenance of Bill O’Reilly on any book on the shelves.

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