Starbucks SalonStarbucks Salon

Look at these suckers waiting in line on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to get into the Starbucks Salon in Soho. Starbucks has really pulled one over on these sad consumers, wiping out coffeehouses from coast to coast only to start opening these ersatz dens of literature and music. Can you believe that there is a bouncer and a press entrance here? Can you believe the soundtrack on their website? The only positive side I can find of all this is the addictively brilliant portrait game they put on their site, which I spent thirty minutes playing with yesterday, much to Nathan’s horror.


did you draw your portrait and submit it?

Ersatz? Damn, you got me goin’ all F12.

But they clearly to have taken the art of deejaying to a whole new level. They don’t spin, they “curate”.

There seems to be an ongoing “mallization” in America. People are quick to choose the homogenization and “safety” of a chain over that which is smaller, local, quirkier.

Bakerina did a nice little piece with a similiar theme a while back about the closing of a long time New York candy store and how New York is losing these businesses while people flock to places like Trader Joe’s (or Starbucks).

Uncle Ted: Of course I submitted my portrait! You know how I roll.

Carly: Everyone’s an artist these days. Excuse me while I go curate some salami onto my bagel.

Julie: You’re right. This might be the downfall of our society, that we rely more and more on anything branded. It’s like we think something is safe only if other people are using it elsewhere. Thanks for sending Bakerina’s piece. It’s hard not to feel sad, but there’s nothing we can do except support small businesses (as long as they are worth supporting).

Yes, the portrait thing is stupidly addictive. :)

Hate to be a naysayer, but I was there on Sunday afternoon (no lines, except for the bathroom) and saw Jonathan Lethem perform an unpublished short story and answer questions, then an amazing set by Eclectic Method. All free, no sales pitch for lattes, and I would assume this would be far too spendy to do as anything other than brand-building as they start to expand into media (like their movies).

As a born and bred Manhattanite, I hate the mallification of the city (the part of the city below 125th st, that is), but any time a corporation makes the effort to bring art to we the masses for free, it’s hard to bitch about it.

Letting Starbucks choose what “art” to bring to us masses is horrifying. Can’t we all just sit around, smoke pot, and talk about empathicalism without their help?

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