ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"and he was in the coffeehouse business"

"The first coffeehouses in the district --- two spare neighboring rooms called Edgar's Hobby and David's --- had opened in the late 1940s for the area's Italian population. Their inheritors --- more than a dozen places all around the Village with progressively whimsical names such as the Figaro, the Rienzi, the Caricature, the Cafe Wha?, the Dragon's Den, the Bizarre, the Why Not?, and the Hip Bagel --- now offered folksinging (sometimes mixed with poetry readings, jazz, and comedy) to the mobs of weekend visitors, including uptown residents who would stroll around the Village, just minutes from their homes, as if it were a resort. The owner of a small garage on West 3rd Street, a block south of Washington Square, took a threadbare wool couch with one leg missing and miscellaneous battered furnishings from  neighborhood trash piles, tacked a "Folk Music" sign on the front wall, and he was in the coffeehouse business."
David Hadju

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