Being the procrastinator that I am, this post probably wont make it online until friday. Do forgive me devoted readers, but I have a good excuse, the best excuse possible in fact. I have spent the last few hours engrossed in slam poetry at The Sidewalk Cafe, for The Intangible Collective’s first Semi-Final of the year. Joanna Hoffman carried the night and won a spot on the Intangible’s Grand Slam finalists. I even got to participate as one of the judges (in slam, it’s simply audience volunteers who give scores to the poets.) Though picked because I didn’t know any of the poets personally, I’d like to think it was because I exuded an aura of “informed poetry critic,” so I’m just going to run with that version of events.
The Intangibles have just started using The Sidewalk Cafe as a semi-permanent home and the contrast from the nearby Nuyorican couldn’t be greater. Although that’s bound to change if the spot catches on, it’s quite different to experience a slam in a quieter, darker, overall (and i cringe to use it but) chill environment where the candle-lit tables paint us in mysterious, pensive tones and the PBR flows as strong as the Hudson River. Plus, many of the poets remained after the slam available to chat. While this might seem minor to most, I can’t stress enough how starstruck I was. I had died and gone to Poetry-Nerd Heaven (turns out heaven is a small venue in Alphabet City. Who knew?)
The only drawback I’ve run into after two visits is the cafe’s insistence on a two-drink minimum (both alcoholic and non) which provoked a few members of the waitstaff to commit Fauxpas Numero Uno and loudly inquire about drinks during the poet’s performances. But apart from this complaint (which I just made in three languages…top that Starbucks) I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would highly recommend the experience.
The Intangible Collective returns to the Sidewalk Cafe Thursday, December 2nd. Go feast on some well crafted poetry.