Walking Pablo south from our house instead of north, on Main, has a different feel, toward the Plaza, over to Broadway and back up. I walk past an art supply store adjacent to a beauty supply called Oh Beauty. And there is a classy interior decor store standing alone like it has been there for years, very Christmas-y already. I'd go in, but Pablo would pummel a Hummel. After years of living single and not really gearing up for Christmas, I have gone all-in on decor. But not on Christmas music. The Buck Owens Christmas album is all I need. It's the M-1 carbine of Christmas albums--reliable, never jams, nothing fancy.
Main is a wide street, people drive pretty fast, and it is kind of iffy above 41st or so but slopes down toward affluence and safer crossing as you head South. In that middle ground there is a Starbucks that feels pleasantly out of date--a weathered Jack Palance Starbucks in a city full of upstart hotshot gunslinger coffee shops. The fixture update budget seem to have been nixed at corporate, and all the tables are wobbly. It's a student hang.
I should say that I also pass a highly recommended coffee shop called Oddly Correct, but they close before I get home from work and aren't open on Sundays, so I haven't tried it yet. They roast in the space next door, which doubles as a print shop--letter press or block prints, I'm not sure what all. Like the Utrecht's Art Suppy/Oh Beauty combo down the hill, this pairing is soulful. Ink solvents and roasting coffee, two smells I love.
Another thing that jumps out is the natural foods store at 43rd. Pablo always wants to go in there, but I do not. I know the smell of this type of store, I can smell it from across the street, from years in Eugene. I like Thriftway up the street better. A hip hop artist named Kansas City Slick works there. In front of the organic place a mentally challenged lady gave Pablo a Cheetoh. I hesitated, not sure that it was a healthy choice.
Here is a Black Flag gnome that showed up at our new pad, hand-painted by my friend Dave. Dave makes art for general consumption--Testface albums and gigs, art shows--but more than anyone I know, he makes fun stuff for his friends on an individual basis. THANKS DAVE!