The Ballad of the Rad Cafes: London’s Coffeehouse Culture from 1959

2-is_coffee_house_london_1959
 
Before coffee houses were homogenized into interchangeable Starbucks, and sucked dry of atmosphere and character, the espresso bar was a meeting place for Beats, musicians, writers, radicals and artists. Each coffeehouse had its own distinct style and clientele, and provided a much needed venue for the meeting of minds and the sharing of ambitions over 2-hour long cappuccinos.

It was the arrival in London of the first espresso machine in 1952 that started this incredibly diverse sub-culture, which became a focus for writers like Colin (Absolute Beginners) MacInness and pop stars like Tommy Steele, Billy Fury, Cliff Richard and Marty Wilde, who frequented the famous 2-i’s cafe. This beautiful, short film serves up a frothy serving of London’s cafe scene in 1959, long before Starbucks ruined it all.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘50 Shades of Chicken’ gives new meaning to the phrase ‘food porn’
11.09.2012
05:56 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Food

Tags:
cooking

slutty chicken
Dirty bird
 
I’ll spare you any more bad puns, but this is legitimately the best thing to come out of Fifty Shades of Grey. I never thought I’d say this, but without a doubt, I will be buying this parody cookbook. Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook, is exactly what it sounds like, with spot-on imitations of the horrible prose that got so many lonely housewives all aflutter.

A sampling:

The way his apron hangs from his hips already has me all wobbly. But as he coats my thighs with sticky liquid I can hardly contain myself. Is it the wine, or is my aroma starting to drive him crazy too? He heats me up fast, it won’t take much too?

He heats me up fast, it won’t take much to finish me off now. His lips quirk up to a smile. My own juices are mixing with the coating and running all over the place. I get the strangest, sweetest, hedonistic feeling up and down. It’s epicureanism run wild!

He spreads my thighs out on a plate. Sticky hands and at least five wet napkins. What will the housekeeper think? Who cares?

The recipe looks good, too!
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Cold sore-themed cupcakes
11.05.2012
10:10 am

Topics:
Food

Tags:
Cupcakes


 
I’m just going to park this one here without comment and run away.

Cold sore cupcakes are by Tattoo-cakes who you can follow on Facebook (NSFW-ish) for their “appetizing” updates. You’ll be in cupcake bliss(ter).

Via Everlasting Blort

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Nun caught on security cam stealing Four Loko
10.08.2012
12:37 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Belief
Food

Tags:
Nuns
Four Loko


 
Here’s security camera footage of a nun—dressed in a traditional habit stealing beer (and some Four Loko?) from a convenience store. If she even is a nun, and not just a clever grifter disguised as a nun, because everyone knows that nuns don’t shoplift. Whatever the case may be, she’s a dangerous mind, indeed…
 

 
Via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Artisanal mayonnaise is giving me a post-modern headache
10.05.2012
08:51 am

Topics:
Amusing
Feminism
Food

Tags:

Mayonnaise People
Mayonnaise “artisans”!
 
There is an artisanal mayonnaise shop in Brooklyn. Even though I know I hate this (and believe me, my hate is pure), I’m not actually sure why.

I delight in unexpected foods. And I like mayonnaise. I like bahn mi and euro-style fries and even the classic turkey sandwich. But it does represent something so amorphously generic, doesn’t it? Mayonnaise, I mean. Am I besmirching a noble condiment, due to my own prejudices?  Is it political? Is it the imagery of the jar gracing the tables of 1950s suburban middle-class households, the class position to which my family never quite ascended? Could it be that I’ve conflated “wholesome” with empty bourgeois lives? I’m sure price factors into it to some degree, at least; 4 oz for $7? Is this the sauce of the petty bourgeoisie? Or does the current state of all mayo, luxury or otherwise, just reflect our capitalist alienation?

Or maybe my objection is feminist. Is it the mythos of a condiment once fine, now ubiquitous to every insipid kitchen, making a mockery of “feminine” labor? What was once a delicate combination of oil and water, a volatile emulsion requiring expertise to produce, now only elicits the vulgar industrial tubs of my food service days. Mass produced mayo was meant to simplify, save time and enrich the lives of women, like the vacuum cleaner. But with the vacuum cleaner came the standard of wall-to-wall carpeting, slightly different dull labor and a more stringent barometer of cleanliness. Have our innovations in modern domesticity only made domestic life that much more banal and disaffected, haunting us like some sort of Betty Friedan nightmare? 

Or is it a cultural issue with these people? These… mayonnaise people. Have I assumed their pretension too harshly? Did I falsely detect a sense of irony so thick they don’t even know when they’re kidding anymore? Why do I assume they aren’t earnest in their love of mayonnaise? They look like nice people.

Why would I hate the mayonnaise artisans?  I mean, hey, I’ve often waxed affectionate over the esoteric intellectual motivations of my dearest friends.  My favorite people always have some sort of strange specialty; one friend with an encyclopedic knowledge of 1980s queercore punk rock, another a talented typesetter, passionate over fonts. How does artisanal mayo inspire such ire, while the relentless academic pursuit of a near-forgotten Marxist inspires such tenderness? Could I ever become endeared to these people, as I am endeared to my dearest of comrades? Could I really see them, as lovely to me as my own loved ones who know every Richard Pryor routine by heart, or who would stirringly lecture you about art nouveau toilets?

No. I could not. Because it’s artisanal mayonnaise, and I have my limits.

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
‘Lick me, lick me’: Female horror icons as cake pops!
10.02.2012
09:59 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food
Movies

Tags:
The Exorcist
Cake Pops
Carrie
Misery


 
Some scary ladies getting some love in the cake pop industry with these wild “Women in Horror Cake Pops” by Miss Insomnia Tulip.

I wonder what they taste like?

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Game of Thrones’ severed head cake pops
 

 

 

 
Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Asian snake venom wine (It’s a real thing)
09.20.2012
10:46 am

Topics:
Animals
Food

Tags:
Snake wine


 
I knew nothing about snake wine until the above photo—it’s kinda pretty in its weird colorful way, isn’t?—started popping up on my Facebook timeline. I noticed a lot of people were calling shenanigans in the comments, saying the photo was fake. Well, it’s not.

“The drink was first recorded to be used in China during the Western Zhou dynasty (771 BC)” according to Wikipedia.

The snakes, preferably venomous ones, are not usually preserved for their meat but to have their “essence” and snake venom dissolved in the liquor. However, the snake venom is denatured by the ethanol; its proteins are unfolded and therefore inactive.

Snake wine can be found in China, Vietnam and Southeast Asia. If you can’t travel there to get your mitts on this exotic hooch, you can order bottles online at Asian Snake Wine.
 

 

 
More photos after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘Zelda’: Amazing 1920s flapper cake
09.17.2012
10:31 am

Topics:
Art
Food

Tags:
Cake
Flappers


 
The detail in this “flapper” peach cake soaked in Bourbon by Karen Portaleo/Highland Bakery is astonishing.

This cake is simply too beautiful to eat. I’d feel guilty slicing into this tasty-looking masterpiece, named “Zelda.”
 

 
Via Super Punch

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Planets to suck: Solar System Lollipops
09.05.2012
08:48 am

Topics:
Food

Tags:
Planets
Lollipops



 
Etsy shop Vintage Confections makes these wonderfully tasty-looking planet lollipops. The backs of these spacey suckers “are black flecked with silver edible glitter that simulate stars.”

They’re made-to-order (you need to specify what flavors—and planets—you want) for $17.50.

Via KMFW

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
Mexican wrestler bottle openers for your Luchador libations
08.23.2012
10:23 am

Topics:
Amusing
Design
Food

Tags:
Luchador bottle openers


 
I like these Luchador bottle openers by Ariel Rojo and Andres Lhima for the Kikkerland Mexico Design Challenge.

You can get ‘em on Amazon.
 

 

 
Via Super Punch

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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