Flipnotic Coffeespace

Austin, Texas

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My perception of Austin is very skewed and alien, it remains so. I have been to Austin many times but have never had much opportunity to ramble out about its streets unfettered. My first derive was on a humid weeknight, after a day of thunderstorms. I moved quickly through downtown and across the Colorado River to the south side of the city. I was in search of something new. The city was crawling with dudes and skanks out to bar hop and I needed a cup of blackjoe. Flipnotic, down through the drollery of Barton Springs Road, the Whataburgers and Bennigans’ you do not find downtown, stood sweating above an intersection, a lone lit window with the indirect and low light of a delightful little coffee house. I was soaking wet standing before it, my hair slick with the night’s moisture and my shirt stuck to my back. Coffee in this state would be wretched, and probably spoil the remainder of the walk, but I ascended the steps, readying my pencil to do some serious work and soak up some AC.

Flipnotic Coffeespace

The patio area I was forced to enter through was standing room only. This place was popular. But… everyone on the patio was drinking beer! Curious. What was this place? Had I walked all the way here to find myself in just another watering hole only on the sucky side of the river? I entered the cafe and immediately ordered a black coffee, not looking at anything, only hoping, perhaps as a test, that the place actually served something other than beer. They did, yet when I asked if there was somewhere inside I could sit I was referred to a 6 inch deep counter right in the window above the street I had just peered through. It would suffice; I was away from the new set of dudes and skanks, or so I thought. I took out my text and began to make notes beneath the beer light.

I made one note, then through the din of the shop I was interrupted, for the remainder of my stay, by an insipid conversation of forced and painful irony, social oneupsmanship, and tragic hipness between the barista, who thought many things to be ‘amazing,’ and two skinny guys with ironic hair. I will not embark on an analysis of the fine points of indie conversating, but some highlights below should flesh out the character of my remaining 15 minutes in Flipnotic and weigh in favour of the solace I found thereafter communing with the swans and toads on the humid northern bank of the Colorado.

Flipnotic Coffeespace

‘are you looking for a job?’ ‘well, looking? -chuckle-, i guess, not really, are you offering me one?’ ‘maybe.’ ‘ill think about it, but i need to be home to watch jeopardy every night!’

‘he types his posts on myspace in all caps, it makes me so anxious!’ ‘i only accept correspondence from him if it is hand written or delivered by carrier pigeon!’ ‘there are no carrier pigeons left! those went out with the lindy hop!’ ‘have you heard that josiah is going to have a sock hop?’ ‘that will be so amazing!’

‘casey just got back from midland.’ ‘is that like casey at the bat or kc and the sunshine band?’ ‘casey at the bat, i have never been to midland.’ ‘have you ever been to el paso?’ ‘no. i really want to go to marfa!’ ‘whats going on there?’ ‘janine is have a really big party there in september.’

‘have you seen the bikers coming into town for the rally?’ ‘you mean the republican sexist biker rally? i wrote a blurb about it for my application to the texas monthly. joan jett is playing at it.’ ‘yeah! david allan coe played it before, and the guy who sang shooting star.’ ‘you mean richard marx?’ ‘hahaha.’ ‘what? richard marx is awesome… seriously!’

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Flipnotic Coffeespace

1601 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, Texas 78704

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