Monday, April 22, 2019

Final Writing From Winning Coffee

Last Latte at Winning Coffee
Final Writing From Winning Coffee

Post-Script: We used to buy our coffee beans from Winnings, a biweekly pilgrimage that would also see us enjoying a plate of enchiladas and eggs (slathered with red and green chile sauce) or the bagel sandwich - typically on a Sunday morning, when the regulars would be seated at the big oval table near the serving line, doing the crossword puzzle and discussing the week's events.

The sidewalk in front of the shop is wide and brick-paved, with numerous patio tables and chairs, which were always filled with an eclectic mixture of students, regulars and semi-street people. Though smoking isn't permitted within 20 feet of a building here in ABQ, it was common for people to be smoking on the patio, using Winning-supplied, sand-filled ash trays, with the aroma of hand-rolled tobacco wafting on the breeze. Our very own little Left Bank; the Left Bank of Route 66.

I came here often enough to notice the regulars, and would strike up a conversation with some, even though I lived across town in the suburbs - which they were keen enough to pick up on. One such fellow was a young guy who always dressed in a black suit and white shirt, and would be writing poetry in a ragged notebook. Another regular was Cherokee, a middle-aged lady who's been living on the streets for decades, though she'd have enough money for a cup of coffee and a plate of breakfast. She'd be warming herself in the early morning sun, wrapped in her off-white blanket that you could smell from a block away. I suspect the management of Winnings might have given her a plate of food now and again for free. That's the way they were.

Three times a week Bradley would set up his books on the counter adjacent to the coffee roaster. He did a good trade in classic 20th century literature, aimed for the university crowd. I saw him and his wife today, as I was typing up this piece. She said he'll probably retire his mobile book business and perhaps take up music production. He would always have an assistant to haul the boxes of books to and from his truck, usually a local who needed the work. Bradley was that kind of fellow. I'm going to miss him.

There were lots of regulars, many who had their own table, sitting in the corner perhaps, writing on a laptop, or in a notebook. Chris, the co-owner, told me today that at least three doctorates were earned from UNM by folk who did the majority of their writing here at Winning Coffee.

I started coming here in the late 1990s, and would write in a journal book, using either mechanical pencil or fountain pen, then later in my AlphaSmart Neo, though I rarely took a typewriter, mainly because the place was so busy on weekday mornings, with people reading or studying, that I didn't want to disturb them. I wrote many blog articles and short stories here, including the Loser's Blend series, which I self-published, and was also featured in my story for Cold Hard Type.

With the increased pace of my YouTube video production schedule I haven't been frequenting Winnings very often during the last few years, since it involves a time commitment and drive across town. Now I regret not spending more time here. And I wonder if perhaps I'll soon have an urge to sit down at some worn table, eclectic music in the background, coffee-stained hardwood floors that have seen a lifetime of wear, sipping a wonderfully rich and dark latte that makes Starbucks taste like warmed milk, channeling my inner Muse as I put words to paper, in some newly discovered coffee shop very much like what Winnings was. I hope so, but there are no guarantees in life. But the spirit of Winning Coffee lives on my memories. Perhaps there's one more story for the Loser's Blend mythos still waiting to be penned? We shall see.

Typecast via Canon Typestar 4 onto Staples thermal fax paper.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Spring 2019 ABQ Type Out

Spring 2019 ABQ Type Out

Once again we are blessed to have Pennysmiths Paper host our spring 2019 ABQ Type Out. This is a public typewriter gathering where we bring a wide assortment of machines for people to enjoy, while inviting others to bring their typing machines too. The venue is located at 4022 Rio Grande Blvd in northwest Albuquerque. Food and drink will be available from the nearby Flying Star Cafe. I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 05, 2019

Santa Fe, Day Two

35 North Coffee, Santa Fe
Santa Fe, Day Two

Post-Script: It’s fun to deconstruct the local arts economy, as a means for greater understanding; just like you would when studying a work of art itself. Though the Santa Fe aesthetic is this unique blend of multi-cultural views and traditions, it’s very much ruled by the laws of economics, of supply and demand. Galleries and shops come and go, as do the careers of artists themselves. Marketing and promotion is a huge part of the job of artist, probably more important than the work itself - a sobering thought for the fledgling artist.

We look forward to returning here soon, as tourists rather than former residents.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Santa Fe, Day One

Iconik Coffee, Santa Fe
Santa Fe, Day One

Typecast via Hermès Rocket. Yes, I decided to take both the Rocket and the Canon Typestar, as a means of comparing manual against thermal ultraportable typewriters while on the road.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Cybernetic Synergism

Hermes Rocket at Stag Tobacconist
Cybernetic Synergism

Post-Script: I take no credit for this; I don’t know what came over me!

I’ve decided to take the Canon Typestar, for no other reason than I haven’t yet done a road trip with thermal typewriter. I hope the Skyriter and Rocket aren’t too upset.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Vacationing the City Different

Vacationing the City Different

Post-Script: This was a trial run of blogging exclusively using an iPhone. So far, easier now that I’m using Chrome instead of Safari.

I didn’t give myself enough space on the right margin of this piece, so there’s a bit of wonkiness with the scan; but at least it’s readable. Certainly making it possible to do while away from the Mac and Epson scanner. In fact, this might end up being my normal workflow here at home.

I didn’t use the bright video lights for illuminating the page, just indirect window light. But nighttime will be more challenging.

I’ve been doing a lot of thermal typing on the Canon Typestar lately, so it was fun getting back to a manual typewriter. The Skyriter still needs more work, both with the skipping and occasional smudging, like the carriage is still moving when the type slug hits the ribbon.

Last week I also spent hours realigning the type bars. Had to make some minute adjustments to the printing guide, but now it looks better. This is a UK-made Skyriter, I’m not sure if I’d rank it better than my Hermes Rocket. Yes, it has a quieter sound, and longer carriage return arm, but it’s thus far more touchy than the Rocket. And the keys seem closer together while requiring a deeper stroke, meaning it’s easier to miss-hit neighboring keys with my stubby fingers.