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Kendon Hawkins showed me this one. He's proud of his baby. "It's my first bathroom with grass on the ceiling," he says. Okay, AstroTurf. Even better, though, the walls are all blackboard, so you can write that brilliant thought down before you forget it.

This is hART, the very groovy coffee/hookah lounge across from the New School of Architecture in the East Village (734 Park). Kendon came to help convert this from the deli-liquor store it was and just kinda stayed, because he likes it.

"There were three of us who started this," says Arturo González, one of the partners (the other two are studying at the NewSchool of Architecture across the road).

“We wanted a place where students could get their art supplies, and then we thought we could make it a great gathering place too. Now it’s developing a life of its own. We have art shows, and on Wednesday nights we show movies.”

At first it was just a hookah lounge (you pay about $10 with three coals). Now the coffee’s up and running, and in the next couple of weeks they’ll have food, too. Sandwiches, panini.

But don’t expect a lot of meat. Arturo says Harsh Bohra, one of the three partners, is a Jain, from Mumbai. “Jainism is a tradition which believes you shouldn’t act violently against any living thing,” he says.

They’re open 9:00 a.m. to midnight, seven days, or later, specially Fridays and Saturdays. They even made some of the tables high so architecture students can come across to clack out term papers or finish wooden design models they’re working on.

Fridays, it’s open mike. “People can sing, say what’s on their mind, whatever.”

Or, maybe, just quote from a poem someone’s scrawled on Kendon’s bathroom blackboard...?

Pictures: The hART sign; East Villagers Christian and Ariel share hookah ($10) and study papers with Alora, Savage and Miriam (right); Kendon shows off "his" bathroom, and its hand-made auto-pour basin. The chalkboard walls get written on a lot; Geisha guards back counter; 13 paintbrushes sweep entrance; Brendon in front of mural by Tijuana artist Gloria Muriel; Alora, Savage and Miriam share citrus hookah ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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