Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sleepless In Seattle

Hello from the West Coast. As most of you know I am out visiting the Seattle area this week, and I promised I'd keep you updated with stories from my travels... dealing with music anyway. So here you go.

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to spend the day in the beautiful city of Seattle perusing small book stores, skate shops and of course a few coffee houses. Now, I know what you're thinking. Did you see the original Starbucks? The answer is yes, but I didn't get coffee there.

Instead, I headed a few miles east of the coffee giant's first store to a smaller and lesser known shop. Bauhaus Books and Coffee. It's a moderately sized coffee house filled with fresh java, a massive wall of books and hipsters galore. Everyone there is either on a laptop, reading a book or hunting through piles of flyers for a local show to hit up that night.

As I walked through the open iron gate that sits in front of Bauhaus' doors I was greeted by a calm and quiet shop. Nothing like that Starbucks I had seen earlier
with a line out its door. It was nice to get in from the drizzle and grab a hot latte before heading upstairs to catch a glimpse of the Space Needle's east side.

It's a dimly lit sort of place. Although Bauhaus sits on the corner of East Pine Street and Melrose Avenue, it seems tucked away. It's a place for intellectuals, scensters and the curious traveler. Its dark brick walls are a perfect contrast to the swirling and colorful contemporary art that fills the space.

The coffee itself is great. Oversized mugs at cheap prices would have me going back if I lived out here. Fresh doughnuts and pastries run a plenty here for those looking for more than just a hot cup of coffee. Bauhaus is a must hit if you're in the Seattle area.

But by now I'm sure I've got you thinking, what does this have to do with music? Like... seriously.

Well I'll tell you. If you're familiar with the band Anberlin you might remember that they recorded their album entitled Cities out here in Seattle. And it was the Bauhaus coffee shop that they spent a good deal of time in while not in the studio. It's also the place where frontman Stephen Christian found inspiration for his novel The Orphaned Anything's.

The Orphaned Anything's is an almost memoir like account of Stephen Christian's life through the character of Ayden
Kosacov. And low and behold, Ayden's works at Bauhaus where he dissects every last inch of the place; making it seem more like a dead end rather than a place to stop and think.

Either way, the story is wrapped up in this coffee shop, much like Anberlin were while recording arguably their best album. So it was a no brainer that I had to hit this place while out on my brief stay.

Sure enough, there was something different about Bauhaus. Looking around I thought to myself that maybe the next great musician or writer was sipping their drink at one of the small wooden tables upstairs, and that maybe they were even closer than I imagined.

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