Many days I have walked past MidCity Caffé and wondered whether it got business. It’s located up a flight of stairs, not all that well signed, is small, people never walked in or out. It was the little engine that could of coffee shops of my mind. The coffee shop I loved being there but never actually supported by buying coffee from it (oh, you KNOW you have those things, ahem, Tonight Show with Conan o’ Brien, ahem, Snakes on a Plane etc, but I digress).
And then I went inside….
All the signs were there. Vintage utilitarian furniture, magazine racks filled with New Yorkers, maple syrup as a free coffee sweetener, young people in distressed demin typing on laptops, talking about how surreal it is that the Decemberists are on NPR now since they knew them when only 10 people came to their shows and it’s so ironic because of something something I can’t remember because I stopped listening because it was a super boring conversation and because I had REALIZED. MidCity Caffe wasn’t a struggling coffeeshop, no. It was a blogger coffeeshop. And it was doing JUST fine.
The kind of blogger coffeeshop that the bloggers probably hate me blogging about but the owners don’t because it’s actually a business. Intimidated by the happy communal surroundings, I ordered a plain coffee (figured that was a safe and sufficiently ironic choice) from a genuinely nice cashier, and slinked back down the stairs to blog from the shadows of my studio.
MidCity Caffe has the blogger recipe down: the perfect mix of ambiguity, utilitarianism and David Bowie that will attract even the most diehard of bloggers. You know, like this:
Jesus. But more than that, it’s an excellent coffeeshop. The employees are nice, the coffee is good, the music is not overbearing, and you have a view of 14th Street. I have returned to MidCity probably 6 times since and will go back again. It really is a perfect little coffeeshop. Just come early or you may be waiting out a NYT crossword puzzle… and we all know how long that could take.
MidCity Caffé, 1626 14th St NW, DC 20009; (202) 234-1515 (will spymap), http://www.midcitycaffe.com/