Center Camp/coffee debate

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Sensei
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Post by Sensei » Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:16 pm

Chai Guy wrote:... And in the mean time, join me for the 2nd FREE CHAI protest outside center camp cafe at noon on Friday! : )
Oopsy. I'm sorry; didn't mean to bump.

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Post by atossab » Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:47 pm

Roll your own Galouises, now that's yummy.

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Gothalot
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and the thread is?

Post by Gothalot » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:53 am

Interesting, the debate of the Center Camp Cafe. People love to hate it but when they need a cup o joe where do they go? Is there really a debate here? Clue me in because I really think some people are just stirring up shite cause they are bored and have nothing better to do.

Every sucessfull city needs and has its center. A place for those to meet up, a focal point. Hense why LA seems like a poop hole sometimes to me. (I live in LA by the way so L.A,ians dont flame me I actually like it here).

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Post by unjonharley » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:08 am

Larry said: Let there be coffee but not free.

So there was coffee but for a fee
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Re: and the thread is?

Post by Rob the Wop » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:14 am

Gothalot wrote:People love to hate it but when they need a cup o joe where do they go?
Uhm. I make it myself, but that's the whole pesky self-reliant schtick.

I personally would like to see a burger joint and micro-brewed beer garden. All or nothing.

Selling ice is a way to be the 'good guys' to the local high school, so we kinda have to keep that up though.
[b]The other, other white meat.[/b]

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Post by Gothalot » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:23 am

You can open a can of bear and grill yourself a burger too , that wasnt the point. Where's your cat box i wana kick yer litter around now damn it!

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Re: and the thread is?

Post by unjonharley » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:26 am

Rob the Wop wrote:

I personally would like to see a burger joint and micro-brewed beer garden. All or nothing.


/\
Ah, But there has been a micro-brewed beer garden the last two years. It was out in the burbs. Where we are shunned as low class. Ever notice none of the moving art go's out there. BM could place some art out that way too.
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Re: and the thread is?

Post by Sensei » Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:25 pm

Gothalot wrote:... Is there really a debate here? Clue me in because I really think some people are just stirring up shite cause they are bored and have nothing better to do.
Yes, there really is a debate and no, some of us are not just trying to stir up shit. Each of us sees this beast differently of course, but for me the idea of using center camp (which the entire city is built around) for commerce is sending out the wrong message. I've always wanted to see the coffee sales handled exactly like Camp Arctica does it. They could be right next door, and (this is brilliant, thank you) they could use the same plans to build the exact same structure, BUT add a little round 'handle' on the side? Get it? It would look like an upside down coffee cup! (Like I said, brilliant). 'Course, like Rob said, they might brew their own damn coffee. Again, for me it's not the sale of coffee that I disagree with so much (ok, maybe a little), it's where they do it. Just get it out of the big tent.
unjonharley wrote:... It was out in the burbs. Where we are shunned as low class. Ever notice none of the moving art go's out there. BM could place some art out that way too.
Now you're talkin'. We who live out in the burbs (Sedna, baby) have often wondered why we couldn't have at least a couple of art installations out in walk-in. And yes, sometimes we do feel a little shunned. Just cause we don't want to live on the esplanade doesn't mean we wouldn't appreciate a little public art. On the other hand, we get to live close to Danger Ranger, who is sort of a walking art installation, if you know what I mean. Except for the DPW parade, everyone else seems to ignore us. That's why they get all my beer.

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Post by HughMungus » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:43 am

Center camp was, this year, in one word: horrible.

I expected to be able to go to center camp this year, sit somewhere, and chill. What I found, instead, was a space that was EXTREMELY pedestrian and bike-oriented (like a drive-thru) with very little space dedicated to just sitting around (someone in another camp described the many benches and tables as "too formal"). The one area where you could sit and chill was both dominated by annoying stage performances with an annoying PA system + not enough space.

Center camp needs to go back to what it once was: a nice, open, comfortable space where people can chill and let things evolve and happen if they are going to evolve and happen and/or as a central point of reference and meeting, not a space dedicated to selling coffee and ice where people can sit on a bench while consuming coffee (not to mention the idea of collecting other people's coffee trash which runs directly counter to LNT).

If people want coffee, they should either bring it or get it from their neighbors. It's not hard to make with a french press and it's not hard to ask someone if they have coffee or to bring your own and ask them to make it for you. We made coffee for all our neighbors and got closer to them as a result. THAT is what Burning Man is about.
It's what you make it.

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Post by Gothalot » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:00 am

I'd have to admit that it was pretty crowded this year and there was a little TOO much entertainment. I think an issue here at the cafe is that its not JUST a cafe and they wanted it opened up a bit to diffuse the commerce issue. I don't know how or why people were riding bikes under the tent but thats simply rude and a no no. Not to mention a few bikes I saw chained up to a piece of art. That was just rediculous. To balance center camp is quite a feat, the people I met that are running it ( i was doing an article for the BR Gazette) work terribly hard and are doing their best to balance the environment with coffee, chi and some entertainment. Not an easy task.

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Post by Fat SAM » Thu Sep 09, 2004 12:21 pm

We made coffee when we needed some and when we didn't, there was a WONDERFUL group of people at 8:00 and Urectum who were passing out coffee and tea every morning from 8 - 11. Ah...they were so nice.

Center Camp -

I was a little surprised. I was sort of expecting this kind of lush, arab-esque, oasis type of thing with lots of pillows and sitting and stuff. I wasn't really that thrilled with what it really was and for the most part didn't go there. On, uh, wednesday night I think it was - I was kind of babysitting some folks who were tripping and they all wanted to go there. That was the only time I ever went. The benches were all hard, straight lines and hard places to sit and the barristas sold us tepid instant coffee and chai. It was an unthrilling experience. Nothing like going to the coffee corner in the morning. Friendly people, quiet acoustic guitar playing and singing, talking, people passing MANY gifts to the coffee folks...It was wonderful and all they had were a couple of lawn-type umbrellas and some plastic chairs. It's amazing what a difference intent makes.
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Sep 09, 2004 1:28 pm

The lady at the 8:00 coffee corner is RudyII. This is the second year they have made coffee and friends.
They told me they are already planing for next year. HiRudy
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olivia
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Post by olivia » Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:26 pm

i really really really love the cafe a lot. i know it conflicts with the supposed bman ethic of radical self reliance, sort of. i mean, no one lives by chai alone. but good christ the coffee is wonderful. i love commerce camp. i love the lemonade. i love the volunteers. i love the terrible, awful, unspeakable spoken word and contact improv. god, i love it so much. i hope it never goes away, but i totally support the people boycotting it. they have a point.

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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:52 pm

I have no problems with having coffee available 24hrs a day. Sometimes when I wanted a cup of something I wasn't really in any condition to be messing with fire. 4am and feeling like a cup ... head to center camp. The part that DID piss me off a little, though, was all the fucking people SLEEPING there. Come on ... get to camp. Center camp isn't a flophouse. I think someone should try to rouse people that have been sawing logs on a couch for more than an hour or two and help them move along. I have no problem with 40 winks ... a little nap ... but it is turning out to be skid row.
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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:59 pm

Actually, after giving it a little more thought, rousing people out of a sleep probably isn't a good idea. Tough call. How do you keep the campless from claiming center camp's couches as their own personal bunking space for hours at a time?
Pabst Blue Ribbon - The beer that made Gerlach famous.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:04 pm

geekster wrote:Actually, after giving it a little more thought, rousing people out of a sleep probably isn't a good idea. Tough call. How do you keep the campless from claiming center camp's couches as their own personal bunking space for hours at a time?
Good question. Squirt bottles set on "Stun"--whoops "Narrow"--seem a possible starting point. I have a vision of 3 or 4 dozen of us showing up at 2:00 am on Thursday or Friday with some sort of action... Maybe round them up and demand that they write a "Street Sheet" homeless paper and spend the rest of the event passing it out. Fill it with impassioned poetry and socio-economic anyalises of playa homelessness. . .

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Free the tea too!

Post by solaritea » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:31 pm

One of the best times I had in 2003 was using the extra 15 gallons of water I had left over to make a bunch of iced sun tea and passing it out in the cafe. What was really great was walking up and down the long lines and having people drop out of line as I filled up there water bottles with refreshing iced tea. I did a little of this this year as well but I'm thinking it would be nice to free the tea on a much larger scale in 2005. And while it's great to give it away to your neighbors and from your own camp there's nothing better than subverting the coffee sales of center camp. Maybe next year I can find someone who wants to brew up gallons of coffee or chai and we can go out there together?

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Post by Ivy » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:42 pm

Solaritea, meet Chai Guy.

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Post by geekster » Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:53 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
geekster wrote:Actually, after giving it a little more thought, rousing people out of a sleep probably isn't a good idea. Tough call. How do you keep the campless from claiming center camp's couches as their own personal bunking space for hours at a time?
Good question. Squirt bottles set on "Stun"--whoops "Narrow"--seem a possible starting point. . . .
Hmm, put some avgas in that squirt bottle and I am there. ... Gee Ranger, I don't know ... I was just sitting here, lit a cig and the guy exploded ...

I am not all into telling people what they have to do, but I wish there was a way to discourage it somehow. Maybe wake them up and ask in a nice way why they have been forced to sleep in center camp or something and sound all sympathetic and shit. Then someone else does it 15 minutes later ... and so on until they realize that they aren't gonna get a whole lotta sleep there. Mind you I am not at all bothered by someone that is just chilling and getting a few z's ... I am talking about the ones wrapped up in their sleeping bags with their backpacks taking up floor space too.
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Post by unjonharley » Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:26 pm

My kid was nuresing a hang over one day. He started bitching me for cleaning camp around him. I told him to go lay down at center camp. Bout an hour and he came back. No rest for the wicked heheheheh.
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Post by solaritea » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:40 am

I was homeless this year by choice - I got there Friday evening and figured I wasn't going to be around ong enough to set up a tent.
I never did sleep in center camp though - I got a few z's down at Nap Camp just past the Space Cowboys. The way they dealt with sleepers was to wrap them up in warm, fuzzy "tool". The "tool" was window screen - not so warm or fuzzy. I don't know if it was to discourage napping or just for entertainment - hell, I didn't even wake up when they wrapped me.

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Post by Chai Guy » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:13 pm

no one lives by chai alone
Speak for yourself!
Solaritea, meet Chai Guy.
Hi Solaritea!

Just a note: Our Free Chai Revolution was a huge success! We gave out approximately 25 gallons of chai (about 1200 cups worth) in front of Center Camp Cafe on Friday. We even sent some comrades into the cafe to persuade people out of paying for chai and getting it from us for free!

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Post by unjonharley » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:34 pm

Chai Guy wrote:
no one lives by chai alone
Speak for yourself!
Solaritea, meet Chai Guy.
Hi Solaritea!

Just a note: Our Free Chai Revolution was a huge success! We gave out approximately 25 gallons of chai (about 1200 cups worth) in front of Center Camp Cafe on Friday. We even sent some comrades into the cafe to persuade people out of paying for chai and getting it from us for free!


Damn you and your sneaking around. Couldn't fine you all week. Where is my cup of tea¿¿¿
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Re: Free the tea too!

Post by Fat SAM » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:59 pm

solaritea wrote:One of the best times I had in 2003 was using the extra 15 gallons of water I had left over to make a bunch of iced sun tea and passing it out in the cafe. What was really great was walking up and down the long lines and having people drop out of line as I filled up there water bottles with refreshing iced tea. I did a little of this this year as well but I'm thinking it would be nice to free the tea on a much larger scale in 2005. And while it's great to give it away to your neighbors and from your own camp there's nothing better than subverting the coffee sales of center camp. Maybe next year I can find someone who wants to brew up gallons of coffee or chai and we can go out there together?
What a great idea....Is this a theme camp idea or just a nasty subversive idea? I like both. I'm so in. I'll start buying tea tomorrow.
Thanks to Addis, I had more free time.

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not a camp

Post by solaritea » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:14 pm

More of a subversive idea to have some fun. There's plenty of people giving out coffee and tea from their camps - I like the idea of either taking it on the road or taking it to center camp.

As for theme camps - I'm planning a laudanum and san pedro bar . . .

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Post by kikidelosfeliz » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:50 pm

Re coffee camp - we made our own coffee deliciouslee in the mornings but it was sure nice to get the iced stuff straight into the veins during the hot afternoons. Why so down on coffee/chai camp? I was told that at least some of the money goes to fund tix for folks who otherwise can't afford them. I volunteered a four hour shift there, as one of my newbie ways of giving back. It was a lot of fun, and the outpouring of love from the grateful recipients of caffeine was most energizing. Not to mention the chance to dance on the counter tops! By the way, people also give lots beautiful gifts to the volunteers, and loads of money in tips. I left mine for the art grants, but for someone more needy, it might be a life-saver. Or at least gas home.

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Post by jimbobby » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:49 pm

spoken word
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KellY
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Post by KellY » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:57 pm

Two of the issues that have been brought up recently- the sleepers and the hard bench furniture- are completely intertwined. The first year I worked for the cafe (that'd be 2000, if'n yr curious) there were tons of couches and pillows and comfortable things to lean on. Unfortunately, that encouraged a pretty extreme "cafe=flophouse" vibe, and the powers that be have been pushing for less sleep-friendly furniture ever since. That's also one of the reasons why the lighting was brighter this year.

And yes, working at the cafe for five shifts can get people a partial ticket reimbursement, and I do know some folks who can afford the event for that reason. Tips were actually lower this year, mostly because instead of highly visible tip jars, there were holes in the counter for people to drop tips in. It seems that some people were concerned because certain twits made a bunch of noise on the internet about stealing tip jars, and they decided to take measures to avoid trouble.

Personally, I never got the logic of going after tip jars. A tip is a gift, right? Especially at a coffee counter, as opposed to a sit down restaurant where tipping is pretty much mandatory. Why did people get upset about freely offered gifts? If they were serious about their anti-commerce stance, wouldn't it have been more logical to go after the cash registers and leave the tip jars alone? Of course, that could have landed them in real trouble...
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Post by Isotopia » Fri Sep 10, 2004 8:55 pm

A tip is a gift, right? Especially at a coffee counter, as opposed to a sit down restaurant where tipping is pretty much mandatory. Why did people get upset about freely offered gifts?
When tips are audibly solicited - especially by the person (manager) in charge - I find the 'gifting' idea completely bogus. When there's an expectation of someone freely giving then the gift and all that lies behind it becomes contaminated.

My .02

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Post by windmistress » Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:41 pm

Isotopia wrote:
When tips are audibly solicited - especially by the person (manager) in charge - I find the 'gifting' idea completely bogus. When there's an expectation of someone freely giving then the gift and all that lies behind it becomes contaminated.
Definitely. I was solicited on several occassions. Moreover, when the already tipped "volunteer" filled a grande sized cup to the top with milk and handed it over as a cappuccino, she got especially pissed that I asked her to do it again. Sorry but, I actually didn't order 16 ounces of milk and a shot of espresso.

If these folks (even as volunteers) are asking Starbuck's prices with a very limited menu (ie. little skill ramp up time) and assume and or solicit tips, guess what? They're going to get asked to do a better job if they're messing up. And, they're going to hear our rants about feeling icky regarding the "please" tip us business. To add fuel to the fire, a $1 dollar tip is a 33% percent tip for a $3 dollar drink. We owe this percentage of tip to a CC barista for what reason (or any barista for that matter)?

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