the non-starbucks starbucks.


saturday was hot as balls. we went anyway, our $24 tickets in pocket, along with the promise of seeing two bands we liked. nearly seven years of living in seattle, a handful of summers, and it took us this long to get to a capitol hill block party. they closed off the streets, and the main stage was located near broadway and on pine, next to the shell station. there was also a vera stage and a neumo's stage, but we didn't bother checking those out. i just wanted to drink, eat junk food, watch indie rock, and feel american.

she had some fish 'n chips at the fish 'n chips place. i ate some of her fries, but mostly, i was glad for the free ice cold water. "who's fabulous?" i asked. we people-watched, and there was twenty-something after twenty-something walking around with big sunglasses, floral-print dresses, mesh hats, scarves tied around the neck, flannel (this is back?) shirts with the sleeves rolled up. how hip, how fabulous - it's good fashion.

i got my beer at some place where they were making fancy pizzas. $5 for a cup of peroni beer. i downed it, then had another. $5 for something else, i can't remember the name. $10 in and i was barely buzzed. another friend met us in front of vita. we decided to get hot dogs. a polish one for me, a veggie one for her. i got onions and cream cheese on mine, then i added some ketchup, mustard, relish, whatever i could find. it was the most amazing hot dog i ever had.

that wasn't enough, though. i wasn't feeling american enough. we decided to go to molly moon ice cream, and i got a scoop of maple walnut on a sugar cone. the girls in there must've been dying, it was so hot. we ate our ice cream in the park. "there's a band playing? don't they know there's a block party going on?" i sat up. "what band?" "that band over there!" i could hear faint music playing at the other end of the park. "fools," i said.

full of ice cream, we sat around, hardly saying a word. what was there to talk about? it was hot out, and we had ice cream, and there were bands playing - bands we didn't particularly care to see - and i was feeling american. what else was there? "let's go check out the coffee shop on 15th." "the non-starbucks starbucks?" i asked. "yes." we walked up 15th, and it was good to walk off the impending food coma.

"so, i read about this," i said. "it's trying to be a mom and pop coffee shop, but it's owned by starbucks, is that it?" "yeah." "i don't get it. are they trying to fool anti-corporate hippies who don't like starbucks, but don't know they're still supporting starbucks? that's a weird demographic to reach." "i'm not sure what they're going for. there were protesters outside when it first opened." "what? what was their message? 'don't deceive me?'"

we had time to kill before the main act, sonic youth. i wanted nachos. we went to taco del mar. they were okay. "i wanted the stuff with the really nasty cheese, though," i said. "i wanted the kind with like radioactive orange all over it." we had on these orange wristbands for the beer garden, and a red ska stamp imprinted on our wrists for re-entry. i had a sprite. no one else wanted a soda. "i'm gonna go home and change into something warmer." it was finally starting to cool down.

we met up with her again at cupcake royale. "seattle is gonna get fat," i said, "what with all these cupcake and ice cream places opening up everywhere." there was a group of kids making a ruckus a few tables over. "what are they, undergrads?" "they look like high schoolers." they started hugging one another. "i wouldn't wanna be in high school again." "but look how happy they are!" "this is depressing. did the best days of my life already pass? it's all gonna be downhill?" i tried to reassure her, but i think i did the opposite. "no, it's all uphill from here!"

we went back out to the concert, but none of us could see the stage. it was pointless. the capitol hill block party was retarded. people started pushing past us, spilling their beer this way and that. "i wanna get out of here," she said. "yeah, i'm ready to go, too." we swam against the current. i loved sonic youth. the breakdown in "sugar kane" alone made me want to learn how to play the guitar. i gave up, though. i couldn't see shit, and anyway, it wasn't worth it.

back in the car, i turned on the radio. it was a cool summer night, and the song about the apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur was playing. what a relief.

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