Insanity, Realized: Heineken Green Room

It’s been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. I figure I’d start chronicling my lapse of insanity where I keep going to music events and parties under the delusion that I’ll magically cease to be awkward upon entering. Hence the insanity, that has yet to happen. Granted, I should probably stop going to things by myself, but nobody goes with me anywhere. And why should I sit out on things just because I have no friends? I’ll just make new friends there, duh!

Not this time, though. My first adventure in awkward will be last night’s show, the Heineken Green Room featuring Denitia and Sene and the Illvibe Collective. So did I have fun? Well,

It was supposed to be a holiday party. And I had another holiday party at my favorite coffeeshop I was going to just before that, so naturally I threw on my ugly sweater. It’s the perfect ugly sweater too. While I was looking for one that was oversized and super ratchet, I found this nice-fitting one last year that’s a solid burgundy red with a big fuzzy sheep slapped on the middle. At least I think it’s a sheep. It could be a giant white fuzzy…shape, with eyes. Who’s to know? But I love it and I couldn’t wait for its debut and tonight was the night. I mean what else am I supposed to wear to a holiday party?

Something else, apparently. Because I get to this place, and these people are just too cool. The club can’t handle these guys. Literally. They’re so cool they threw a party in a shoe store. I ran into one of my coworkers and met her friends. They were alright. I couldn’t squeeze into any of their conversations so instead of following my friend around I figured I’d go do me somewhere…whatever that was supposed to mean. I went upstairs to where everything was happening. I grabbed a beer…and I discovered Heineken is kinda gross. I look on at the mass of people, and I’m like…I am going to do…something. Yes.

No.

Storm’s first attempt to social:

Went up to say hi to the djs I knew. But they were talking to people and doing stuff and I was like…neeeevermind maybe later.

Storm’s second attempt to social:

Found my friend again and met some dude she knows.

He

was

creeps.

I told him my name was Stormy and as per typical, he didn’t believe that was my real name.

“What, you wanna see my ID or something?”

“Nah, I’m just tryna see if you make it rain…” *commences weird hand gesture*

Oh, is that some crude innuendo?… Ew.

I don’t get what would compel dude to say that, but I didn’t much appreciate it. Does that actually get results? Am I the strange one here? Should that have read like poetry to me or something? Because I repeat, EW. And he kept looking at me and gazing up and down and I gave him hella stank face, like, what are you looking at? Is it the sweater? I can tell you where I got it. Just stop it with the eyes, it’s so not cute. You’re not cute. So much ew. Too much ew.

Need to find way to esca—Hey! Dude I like! Dude who is very un-ew! Perfect, I’m gonna talk to him and get away from this creeper. Hugs and how are yous, aaaaand, dammit he’s gone. But no, wait, conversation or something! No? No. Oh well, it was excuse enough for me to wander away from Ew (yes that’s his name now). Ew kept showing up at random and bumping into me. I mean physically walking up and leaning into me til I almost fall over like that’s something to do. And I’m thinking, um excuse me sir, could you not. I’m trying to like…stand and whatever. Don’t I look out of place enough without you throwing off my equilibrium? What was his deal? There was plenty of space for him to stand somewhere that wasn’t, y’know, ALL UP ON ME.

Storm’s third attempt to social:

I kept seeing people who I recognized from the Internet. I wanted to talk to them. I wanted to tell them how much I liked their hair. But you can’t walk up to people you’ve kinda seen online before. They’re strangers. But you know of them kind of. To speak to them is to try and conceal the fact that you already know their name, or you were at that concert last week that they went to, and woah wasn’t it great?  Yeah…I stayed in my corner.

My phone was getting pretty low on power, meaning I couldn’t stand around and text until it was time to leave. So I went downstairs and stood around my friend’s group again, and kind of conversed a little bit. Not much, but I did, so point for me. Then I shuffled…I don’t even know, elsewhere.

Three times was enough. I wanted to slide out and leave but that would have defeated my purpose for coming, which was to see Denitia and Sene. So I continued to wallflower, giving up on battery conservation and texting anyways. And FINALLY, Denitia and Sene came up to perform. And they were fantastic. I stood right up at the front of the stage, sang all the songs I knew, danced a tad, and it was great.

Since my phone was too dead for pictures, I asked them for hugs when they got off stage. Hugs abounded! Denitia was like, “I saw you rockin’ with us!” She did see me rockin’ with them. I saw her seeing me rocking with them. She gave me a couple approving nods during the show, it was cool. They’re chill people, I look forward to more releases by them.

And then I was free. No longer bound to stick around anymore, so I left. Well not quite that fast. I creepily waited until I spotted un-ew dude I like so I could say bye. And I did. And then I left.

So did I have fun?

I actually think I did.

None of that really sounds like I had fun, but I’m looking back at yesterday like, huh that wasn’t so bad.

You know how most women can’t remember labor pains outside of them being terrible? That’s kinda how I am about going out by myself. You should see my book of contemplating where I wrote last night. It’s like, I’m just gonna stay in my lane and chill with my cat and write about nonsense, only enjoying music via the Internet WHERE I BELONG. WHERE EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE. And yeah, that was pretty dramatic. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’ll no doubt be going to another event with the expectation that I’ll social like I’ve never social-ed and I’ll be the life of the room. It’ll happen guys, I know it will. And you’ll be hearing about it. Until next time.

Oh, by the way, you should check out Denitia and Sene, because they’re my favorite people in music this week. And here’s one of my favorite songs:

Square One Coffee

My favorite spot to blog hands down has got to be Square One Coffee. Their original location is in Lancaster, PA, but their Philly location, on S 13th St, just past Spruce, opened earlier this year.

I found Square One completely by accident. I was playing assistant for Pablo Batista, an amazing Latin percussionist who was rehearsing with his band The Mambo Syndicate for their jazz residency at the Kimmel Center. Pablo sent me on a coffee run, and I knew he hated Starbucks so I went around to look for a local shop. It was just nearing 8pm, so every shop I found had closed or was close to closing. Then I walked down 13th St, about to concede defeat and grab some Starbucks,

and that’s when I found Square One.

The two baristas were bringing in the outdoor seating and they were generous enough to make one last drink for me since they hadn’t turned off their cappuccino machine yet.

I guess you wouldn’t consider it new anymore, but back when I went, they were on their 3rd day of business. They hadn’t even had an official grand opening. The little hipster inside my head was rather pleased at our find. But I’m getting distracted.

I told them I needed something strong but pretty sweet, large, and make it two. Mac (she’s the best), made me caramel lattes and I sipped mine and it was flipping great. Back then I had only really used Starbucks as my office, and I didn’t even know of the wonderful world of local coffee shops. As you can see I haven’t been the same since. Square One was the true descent into my deep espresso addiction. It’s the gateway. I of course didn’t stay for long because I had to get back to the Kimmel, and when I gave Pablo his coffee, he flipped out too. Square One then became the fuel behind the whole Kimmel production. I went four days in a row.

That was a longer story than I had planned it to be. Anyways! On to my reviewing bit.

Coffee
As I already described, their coffee is fan-freaking-tastic. I live on their caramel lattes, but their vanilla lattes are great too and they let me try a glass of their cold brew one day and it was actually pretty good. From someone who likes all the creamy and all the sweet, I actually enjoyed it. I’d still prefer all the creamy and all the sweet, though. Also, during the summer they had affogattos, and that was pretty amazing and I wish I didn’t have to wait for next summer to have another one.

Service

The Square One baristas are my good friends now, having spent so much time in there. We follow each other on Instagram, so you know it’s legit. They’re all great, super helpful and friendly, and open to random conversation. There is no pretentious air in there, everyone is of the utmost chill. If you sit down before they finish making your coffee, they’re happy to bring your drink over to the table if they don’t have other guests to take care of. They’d probably even give you a hug if you asked. My friend who works there even let me film behind the counter for my media project (that’s where I filmed my coffee piece in my video), none of which I ended up using. For SHAME. But it was still pretty cool she let me film.

Variety

You know, I haven’t even paid that much attention to what else they have on the menu besides my beloved caramel latte. Oh wait, they have assorted pastries! Yeahhh I’ve eaten baked goods there. The brownie is ridiculously good, and their cupcakes are great too. I think my friend had a chocolate croissant once and she liked it. I actually don’t even know if they have meal-ish food like sandwiches. They…might. But!  Square One is surrounded by food stuffs, and they don’t have any rules against outside food. Or at least if they do, nobody has yelled at me yet. There’s a little deli right on the corner of the block and I’ve had good stuff from there. There’s also some pizza and sushi spots around. So yeah, you can easily chill in Square One all day like it’s your job. And I do, all the time.

Atmosphere

I love Square One’s layout. It’s a really big space, and instead of crowding it with sitting space, they kept it really open. All the seating is along the walls, and the counter is right in the center of the shop. There’s a glass storefront, so there’s tons of natural light.

square one instapic

Look at how BRIGHT! Also, those flowers are REAL!

Yellow is their theme color, which makes me happy. Because yellow is my favorite color. And sometimes yellow can be overwhelming and so happy that it’s offensive, but they utilize it perfectly in my humble opinion. Also, they had their espresso machine custom painted yellow, and it looks fantastic. They play decent music in there too. Well, it varies. Some days it’s all these awesome old tunes that force you to sing along and then quickly remember that you’re in a coffee shop and people are trying to get work done. Like True by Spandau Ballet, and You Get What You Give by the New Radicals. I get nothing accomplished on those days. And I’m not even mad about it, because unsolicited karaoke is too much fun. And then other days it’s like indie coffee shop playlist. Which is iight. But they don’t play it very loud, which is appreciated, and I usually play my own music from my laptop.

Bathroom

Square One’s bathroom is definitely one of my favorite coffee shop bathrooms. Actually, it seems like Philly coffee shops take great pride in having fabulous restrooms. Rivals’ is nice, Elixr’s is really cool, Chestnut Hill Coffee Co makes me wish I had to go more often…Is that weird to say? Eh, whatever, you just have to see it. Anyways, Square One’s bathroom! It’s a decent sized bathroom. Like I could have a one person dance party in there. And that’s saying something when you just picture five feet and twelve inches of limbs flailing all over the place. That could be dangerous in small quarters. But I could have a dance party in there. So you have so much space while using the facilities. And there’s a yellow chandelier in there! It’s cute. It’s always clean and looks clean in there. And they have that industrial, blow-the-skin-right-off-your-hand dryer! I love those things. Their toilet is weird though. It’s like this environmentally friendly commode, and you can kick it up or down depending on how much water you need. I have no clue if I’ve ever flushed it correctly. I can at least say I’ve tried to use less water. It’s entirely possible that I’ve been flushing down extra water by accident. Oh well, if anyone more competent than me figures it out, which you probably will, please tell me how it works. Thanks friends.

So anyway, that’s Square One, my favorite shop to date.