New Haven, Connecticut

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usually a place provokes a narrative of memories, a chain of things that had happened before the tether that place to a mess of things from the past. stringing those together in a text is best left to those with more time and those named proust. koffee is the first shop under my oeuvre of tableaux that was recommended to me by someone other than google, a former new havenianiter i suppose, im not quite sure. there was no description or reminiscence in the recommendation, just the name, which i had to follow up on google. so in a way it was still my find. rather than string all of the bits together i will just throw the coins on the table and see what they add up to. you will find the place yourself no doubt, or already have, and i would hate to ruin it for you; its a treat.


i have some mugs at home that are special to me, ‘old mauve’, ‘old blue’, ‘grandmas hugs are the best,’ what have you. they are special i suppose because i have used them for so long now, im worn into them. the slime that i have on my lips in the morning is caked permanently onto them. the insides look like an unwashed toilet bowl. memories of mugs in coffeeshops, if you are lucky enough to get one these days, are typically sparse for me. i know that thos. enjoys the black mugs at green line, and has probably started bringing his own empty tofu tubs to satellite to drink out of, but my mugs at home have never found a counterpart out in the world. as not getting a real mug has become the norm at most shops, getting handed a sturdy speckled clay mug full of coffee is a treat. the mug had the name of the shop on it, which was cute, and i appreciated the proud touch. it wasnt until my father sat down with his cup, and i noticed that his logo was spelled differently (correctly), did i realize just how personal the mug was, this fucked up one was certainly my mug away from home.


i like secret places. sometimes secret places arent secret, they are just uninteresting. sometimes they are both. the cavernous guts of the wholesale ‘marts’ in downtown atlanta are not secret, they are private, and they are incredibly banal, but sneaking into them on a weekday afternoon, when all 20 floors of the full city block are empty and dim, is like being one the last of two people on the earth and staying silent about all of your memories and desires from the old outside world. of course that is hyperbole when describing the storage crawlspace behind the trompe l’oeil door in the basement restroom of koffee, but its creepiness, its moist limy odor, and the fact that i think it might have connected to the other bathroom, made it a memorable find in what is certainly a competitive field of odd coffeeshop waterclosets.



the milky light from the skylight ran down a brick pillar next to my chair. on the pillar was taped a poster featuring an adult with down syndrome. he looked out under a banner text that read something to the effect of ‘do you see me, i see you.’ it appeared to be for a mentoring program or a social advocacy group for the treatment of mentally handicapped folks. his eyes were full and sad. i see it when i see folks with down syndrome in the street or out and about somewhere, a longing kind of look. it didnt make me feel sad, sitting next to the poster, i actually thought about looking up the group. i saw a poster on the train back home in atlanta and thought about it again. i just remember the milky light and the sad eyes. i dont think about it too much.


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104 Audubon Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

One Response to “Koffee”

  1. Barrett

    You deduced well from the list that the New Havenianiter gave you. I assure you, that IS the best cafe in New Haven, though second to it is Book Trader, in summer especially, as there is a nice tree-shaded courtyard. Maybe next time…

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