Ken Leighton 3:37 p.m., June 18
New library: Where's the beef?!
Ed expects great things from the library café...
New library, open!
Been waiting for this. Not because of the thousands of books and snooze-spots that have opened up. But because they were going to have a café in the forecourt. Place to have Deep Thoughts and eat at the same time.
So I hop off the bus (and btw, MTS has gotta provide a new Library bus stop. Right now they take you two whole blocks on up to Market Street) and make my way back to the main entrance. I leap up steps riddled with wise sayings to this brand-spanking new outside area leading in to the awesome doors.
Have to take a quick peek inside, and whoa, this is some entrance hall. Huge arch. A little dark and industrial for a temple of enlightenment, I'd say, but still pretty impressive.
But guess I must have missed the tables set outside. When I ask the security guard where the café is she says "You just passed it. It's not open yet."
"It won't be open for months," says the guy at the library bookstore. "They still haven't awarded a contract for it. You interested?"
For a moment...but no. I couldn't run a army of one. But hey, anybody out there, looks like this opportunity is still knocking.
I head outside into the lunchtime sunshine. Tours are passing through. Now I see the actual cafe in the middle of the chairs and tables.
But the café itself? Closed.
A few people sitting around, but only two, Sheona and Melinda, are actually eating.
"We brought our own, " says Melinda. "We just work a block away."
Sheona's brought a loaf of cut bread and salad to put in it. It looks delicious.
"We've been waiting for this for months," she says. "Can't wait for the actual café to open."
I hate to tell her it's gonna be more months before it does.
On the other hand, that's good news for EcoVerse, the Taiwan-based Buddhist bookshop/coffee shop right across from the library's main entrance (EcoVerse, 304 N 11th Avenue, between J and K streets, East Village, 619-756-6299). These guys have also been waiting for months for the library to start drawing crowds who could turn into EcoVerse customers.
Maybe full-on library opening and no chow is the perfect storm for them. Of course, they have no food either, except a few crackers, but the coffee's excellent. And you don"t even have to pay for it. They're a non-profit so you can give a donation. Great study place too.
So hey, who needs the library? No, we mega-need the library. But Mr./Ms. Head Librarian: we got the books, now could we put food on the front burner??