Friday, June 17, 2011

Springhurst Starbucks

How can a Starbucks go out of business? They're like pizza places; there's just no point of saturation for them. Granted, this wasn't my favorite Starbucks, and believe me, I know them all in this town - even the ones hidden inside hotels and Krogers and Targets. This one was rather computer-unfriendly, having only ONE electrical plug that all us rovin' ramblin' wi-fi rounders were constantly competing for. And on two separate occasions, I went in there to find that their wi-fi wasn't working, and when I told the counter help to reset their router, on both instances it was some giggling youth who said she had no idea what that was or where it was.

Since you asked (you did ask, right?), my favorite Starbucks in Louisville is the one on Blankenbaker, who hosted my solo art exhibition All History Does Unfold back in 2008.

Monday, June 13, 2011


The 1970s-style nightclub Vinnie's, along with all the other classic City Block tenants, is sorely missed.

Below: Vinnie's in the good old days, still visible on Google Maps Street View:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ray's Monkey House

Words can't express how glad I am to see this place gone. Ray's Monkey House was an ultra-left-wing coffee house that prided itself on being "child friendly". A coffee house that actually encourages parents to bring their toddlers just doesn't fly with me. And though there was a sign near the children's play area stating that kids were expected to behave properly, it was never enforced during the times I was there - it was a cacophonously noisy day-care-like setting.

You'd sit at dirty furniture and look at garishly painted walls that were plastered with lefty political screeds and pictures of Barack Obama, Hugo Chavez, and Cindy Sheehan. A malnourished-looking woman with tattoos on her face actually berated me angrily there for bringing a Starbucks travel mug into the place, and started babbling uninvitedly about "fair trade", corporate responsibility, blah blah blah, etc. Mind your own damn business, lady; this sort of preachy crap is exactly why I prefer Starbucks!

They had a blog that featured unappetizing things like Abu Ghraib photographs, exhortations to its readers to complain to Congress about Israel's presence in Gaza, and info on Vegan events like "The Great American Meatout". I always think of myself as a liberal until I go into hippie places like this, and then I realize that I want nothing to do with these sort of people.

Some may say I'm being way too hard on them. To be fair, I never went there at night when they had live music, which would probably have made a much more favorable impression on me. But the vibe I got from the place in the mornings was an offensive turn-off, and I just couldn't get past their goofy and disrespectful in-your-face politics.

(Before Ray's, this was one of my favorite bookstores, Twice Told Books. I keep hoping I'll wake up and find that it was all a bad dream and that Harold's Twice Told is still there.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


What was Pure, anyway? Last I noticed, this location at 2009 Highland Avenue was the Key Lime hair salon. Things move pretty fast in Lou-town.