Not really. It’s not in meatspace. You can’t walk in and riffle through merchandise. You can’t shoplift. It’s just another page in the cloud. But you can pre-order my new book or buy some of my old ones or purchase some art or send me some money to make you a picture. So, I guess in the important aspect of relieving you of your funds, my new store is just like any other store.
The main reason I opened this new virtual door right now is because I’m publishing Soviet Stamps on my own and need some sort of online place to send people who want it. The other reason is that it allows me to take credit card payments without using Paypal. I don’t know about the ethics of the people behind Square, but they have to better than those of Peter Thiel.
About the same time I was hanging out my virtual shingle, there was an announcement that Atomix Coffee would be closing at the end of the month. That coffeeshop has had a remarkable run of nineteen years. That kind of longevity is unheard of. Keeping the doors open on $3 cups of joe is a tough racket. I stopped in and bought a mug to have as a keepsake.
Atomix was never my favorite. For one, I didn’t live close enough to walk there, for another, the space was awkward and kind of cold. Like a retro lunch/break room in a nameless factory. Nevertheless, I liked the people who ran it and worked there, so I’d pop in when I was in the area.
Of course I also had a couple art shows there. Seems like I’ve had an art show in about every coffeeshop in Chicago. Not many galleries though.
Apparently another coffeeshop will take Atomix’ place, but once the Gagarin mural is painted over and the decor is changed, a bit of my local history will be whitewashed. There will be one less reason for me to linger at the corner of Chicago and Damen. That’s how it goes. I wonder whether I’ll miss it? Ask me in a year or two.
—Here are some doodles from Marc Maron’s show at the Vic.
—This is a sketch of Mute Duo playing at the California Clipper. I’m currently working on album art for their new record, which is killer. Makes me think of Paris, Texas. It’ll be out early next year.