Archive | Heard In The Houses

Heard in the Houses

Posted on 19 September 2010 by John Rippo

Some guys just don’t get it: Guy dazzled by a blonde beauty at Rebecca’s tries to say something, anything, to catch her eye, and fails. Tries again, only to be told by blonde’s girlfriend that the blonde is taken— by her. Guy doesn’t understand; speaks again to blonde who finally tells him, in loud, pidgin English: “I am gay. No like guys. No like you. Get lost now!” Guy wanders off toward the Whistle Stop.

Had a magnificent espresso at El Shaddai, on South 43rd for only FIFTY CENTS! You read that right; 50 cents for a single!

Woman walks into Santos, looks at coffees available and asks “Which coffee is most like Starbucks?” Barista was dumbfounded; woman bought coffee anyway.

Meltdown at Cream—Guy opens laptop, checks email and learns his paramour has broken up with him. Tries to act cool but his sudden, sharp contortions, gasps, tears and bolting out the door ruffle others’ feathers. Two hours later, he’s still punching air on the corner as his laptop battery runs out of juice. Eventually, the laptop fades to black, the coffee grows cold and the guy walks around the block for the twentieth or thirtieth time.

A couple sat one evening at Carpe Diem, chatting about their military service. He was a helicopter mechanic, returned from Iraq; she was a machine gunner in a helicopter there. They told war stories about shooting people from helicopters in Iraq that got them odd, pointed looks from several others in the place.
The new Filter opened at University and Richmond Streets. This place has wide open walls that face the corner. A group of women got their drinks and sat facing the street in the huge doorway to watch the show go by; reveling in their leading-edge seats. This lasted only a short while before the charm wore off. When the first one mentioned that she was cold, they all beelined deep into the interior of the new coffeehouse.
It never ceases to amaze better classes when peasants act out: A group of Argentines sat discussing their team’s loss at soccer at Cup o’Joe. Their Spanish conversation brought out rude comments from nearby Ugly Americans who told them to go back to Mexico. The Argentines told the Yanks to go back to their own planet, STF up and leave them alone. Since there were eight Argentines and two Dweebs, the matter ended there—fortunately.

Drive thru dilemma at Better Buzz: Walt and Marcia recently moved to PB, where Marcia goes through withdrawal daily as Walt takes her to Better Buzz on the way to where they work instead of supporting Sbux—which is where Marcia always gets her coffee. Marcia tried to order her fave drink at BB using Sbux lingo and was calmly, politely translated back to English by the patient, sweet-voiced barista. Flustered, frustrated Marcia finally calmed down when she got her caffein. YT thinks she must love Walt a lot to put up with this kind of thing. So does Walt.

Even though the war on tobacco is all but won, there are still some brave holdouts against the split of coffee and the demon weed. Tabac had a full house of outdoor tables smoking cigars as YT passed it one day, and Liberty Tobacco is looking to finally add a coffee cart to its lineup so that its clients can gloriously marinate in two addictions instead of just one. Even Racine & Laramie which has wasted a decade wondering if there’s a link between coffee and tobacco seems to have finally discovered West Bean Coffee Roasters.

OB is the scene of a growing battle between scruffy, slacker youth out for spare change from whomever they can intimidate it from and everyone else. Some riff raff has learned to stay away from several of the coffeehouses (which we won’t name) that have run said people off with baseball bats, dumped hot water on aggressive panhandlers or in one case, shot a dog that some fool was using to threaten people. YT thinks it shooting the dog was entirely too cruel—shooting the fool using it as a weapon would have been better.
Con Pane fled the corner of Rosecrans and Cañon Streets and is now at Liberty Station. Their landlord has been foreclosed on and now the building sits empty, waiting for another café bakery to take its place.

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Heard in the Houses

Posted on 08 June 2010 by John Rippo

On a Saturday morning, the parking lot at D.Z. Akins disgorged a squadron of Austin Healey roadsters and a single Bugeye Sprite. The Ancient British sports cars belonged to a club that occasionally infests the deli on weekends. They made a great show; nothing sounds like a big Healey….
A SDPD parking cop stuck his head into a coffeehouse door and yelled that anyone at a dead meter had one minute to put in a nickel before he started writing tickets. This was an astonishingly humane thing to do and is so unique that YT has refrained from naming the cafe involved so as to safeguard the man’s job from the bureaucrats who’d doubtless can him for passing up a chance to skim more money for the city.
Outside Rebecca’s early one morning, there sat a man waiting for a bus, trying to wake up with a cup of coffee. A woman came by and reminded him that he needed a shave, whereupon man pulled out an electric razor and began trimming his face, at a bench, in the early morning, with a cup of coffee, outside Rebecca’s, while waiting for bus.
She dances at Peet’s in Point Loma with her four hula hoops at around 5AM when the coffeehouse opens. It’s a great place to hang and it’s completely safe, too.
Early morning at Newbreak: Barista preps for opening, walks out the door, locks it behind her, goes to next door doughnut shop for breakfast and coffee and returns a few minutes later to open the shop.
At Spacebar, you can get coffee in the morning and attend a yoga class, too.
If you’re going to be injured, this is the place to do it: At the Mercy Hospital coffee cart, a small kid climbed on a chair while his mom was occupied in registering someone in the emergency room. Kid fell off the chair and landed on its head and was immediately attended to by a couple of interns, a security guard, a barista and a patron of the cart who happened to be a cardiologist in need of coffee.
Pair of 1-L’s (baby law school students) quiz each other about Contracts class at Bassam’s one afternoon and display a marked lack of understanding about the course material. This irks a retired judge and two attorneys at a nearby table so much that the ancient jurists jaunt outside to continue their discussion, leaving the blind to lead the blind inside.
Pizza is very good at the Café Mundo in Middletown. Only pizzeria coffeehouse in SD.
Girl goes to Pannikin La Jolla to get rid of some excess kittens. She carries a very rambunctious little kitten in her hands that tries to get away from her while she tries to convince a man to take the unwanted varmint off her hands. The man offers to pet the kitten and the girl drops it on his chest. After a few seconds spent reassorting itself in his shirt, the kitten goes to sleep. “I guess it’s yours now,” the girl says, running off to get another cat.  Man asks for the girl’s name—as a name for the kitten.
Seen at the Santa Fe station café: Guy waits for an early morning train; gets coffee, goes onto platform, lights up, breaks out a roll and a sack of jerky from his pocket—and is tersely informed by a huffy security apparatus that he can’t smoke, can’t eat and can’t drink there.
Same guy, same day, Solana Beach Coaster Station—gets off train, goes to Caffé Boca, gets coffee, goes outside, lights up, unpockets roll and jerky and finally enjoys breakfast.
Guy goes to Cafe Opera, buys a bag of macaroons and attempts to impress his date by tossing macaroons high into the air and catching them in his mouth. Though his performance was flawless, his date  –who unlike him was obviously not some hillbilly  untermensch–was embarassed and hid behind her hair—no doubt longing for a ride home with someone else.
World’s Oldest Cafe Patron took a trolley one morning to Market Street, and from there he clambered into a pedicab that deposited him at Java Jones at 9th and Market. The WOCP even paid the cabbie for an hour and bought him coffee, and at the end of the hour got back in his pedicab for a ride back to the trolley, and home.

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Heard In The Houses

Posted on 26 January 2010 by John Rippo

Sarah Palin was in town last month, meeting with an editor over a coming book.  A meeting took place in a quiet corner of the La Jolla Living Room and went off without a hitch.
2 A.M. outside Honey Bee Hive: Guy sits alone at an outdoor table, laptop on tabletop, websurfing and drinking from a beer can, obviously working in a time zone all his own.
3 A. M. at Mystic Mocha: Guy sits outside the coffeehouse with a guitar, picking a 12-string. Said he prefers the place when it’s closed and that it’s great for thinking up new music. No word on what the neighbors think.
Old Guard at Brickyard cloud up the courtyard with cig smoke and negativity some mornings, bellyaching about the economy, Obama, creeping socialism and everything else. One nondescript regular regularly takes down their words for a screenplay he’s working on. Turns out he needs dialogue for the “loony fringe” characters in his story.
Misspelled at Bread &Cie.; a literate observer noticed that a sign for pecan tarts was misspelledA at the famed bakery, and complained to the clerk. She asked if it mattered. He replied, “Only if you don’t want to seem like an illiterate moron.” The sign was corrected at once.
Rebecca’s was the site of a reunion of coffeehouse patrons from the famed Quel Fromagecoffeehouse which existed in Hillcrest between 1978 and 1996. There seems to be a growing group of former patrons of the much-loved coffeehouse who got connected via Facebook. One of that who attended the reunion did so via laptop; the electronic attendee was in Japan at the time. Man, did we all love the Quel…
It was her birthday. He showed up with flowers, some little gifts, a box of her fave chocolates and something in his pocket. She took the gifts graciously and smiled at him like a woman who likes the man she’s smiling at. When he had enough of that, he gave her the little box from his pocket and whispered something in her ear. She widened her eyes, took a deep breath and wept as she slipped the ring on her finger. Then she ate the chocolate at976.
A man sat outside Caffé Calabria one morning, quietly reciting verses from his Koran. At the other end of the outdoor tables sat a man with a notebook and a New Testament.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Older Than Dirt Man at The Other Side lip synched to Betty Boop’s recording of  “I Wanna be Loved By You” very early one morning. So surreal was this episode that YT had to go off to Caffé Calabria for coffee.
Murphy’s Law at Bassam’s: On her day off, Mary Grace came in to fill in an unexpected absence. She didn’t change before she arrived and showed up in a gossamer silk blouse. Someone hoped she wouldn’t stain it with coffee and she didn’t—she accidentally spritzed some cherry syrup on it instead, about thirty seconds later.
Guy goes to Java Jones, orders a capp and sits down to watch the eye candy traipse by. Sees a woman, follows her with his eyes onto another one, then a third until he’s mesmerized by the passing pageantry. Does not notice that his date has returned from the bathroom, unamused, with tight lips, pulsing, gritted jawbone and clenched fist and all. Some guys are just born that way.

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