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12/03/2008  — 

Blert, A Zeen

One of the things I like about watching facebook and twitter statuses is how conversations seem to occasionally overlap. At the risk of looking like a chat-and-tell blogger, I offer you another brief chat transcript. In this case, a friend told me that his last blert shirt recently reached the threadbare stage.

blert, a zeen

A few friends from way back decided to get a big batch of these shirts to promote a really cool magazine they were planning. The shirts proudly declare, "blert a zeen." The magazine didn't stick around too long, the band resurrected the name for a while, but these shirts have made their way all around my circle of friends and family.

I passed kudos back to the graphic designer who designed the shirt and was half of the genius duo behind this early incarnation of the blert lifestyle.

    CG: welp, I just wanted to pass that tidbit along in case your ears were ringing a few days back. about the blert shirts.

    JM: i don't think they were. do you need the artwork?

    CG: you still have anything from that? Maybe this is a job for cafepress...

    JM: (i still am not entirely sure what this thread is about.) lol. i doubt i've ever thrown a design away in my life

    CG: well that's your design, right? yeah.

    JM: yeah. i'm a designer, you never throw away artwork

    CG: So it's a classic by now... 15 years on or something? still relevant. people are still talking about it.

    JM: it's sacrilege, you just get a bigger hard drive and pray the formats are backward compatible

    CG: lol. well if you dig something up, ping me, transfer and I'll put it up on cafepress.

    JM: it's a classic design. actually, it doesn't feel dated. except a zeen is kinda an irrelevant concept now.

    CG: totally. blert, a blog

    JM: lol

    CG: blert a tweet. A tumblertog

    JM: i'll have to wear one of my shirts tomorrow. just cause now

    CG: I'll do it too and snap a pic.

01/23/2008  — 

Chasing the blue dragon: Blue Bottle Coffee Opens

Blue Bottle Coffee opened up a cafe near my office today. I snuck over to check out the absurd contraption they're employing to make a cup of joe. Yes it's as kooky as it looks, yes they're as earnest about javic-perfection as you'd expect from someone using a $20K Mr. Coffee machine, yes it's expensive (my 3-cup pot was ~$10.50), but yes the coffee is great.

They had three items on the siphon bar menu. I ordered the C.O.E. Cooperativa Vasquez from Nicaragua: earthy and subtle, extremely well-balanced. Its subtly floral notes reminded me of the Panama Esmeralda Geisha that a generous friend brought over a while back. I got about 3 cups from my 'pot'. 'Kaleidoscopic' is a good term for the flavor; each cup brings out different qualities in the coffee.


The master at work


Brand new siphons






Cleaning out the grounds




So set your expectations: premium beans + meticulous preparation = mmmmm (for a price). They serve regular coffee, espresso, etc. as well. Hopefully the novelty of the siphon won't overwhelm the place and make it impossible to pick up a latte (though I'll remain a Trieste regular). Also, look for much bloggation about this in the near future. I saw about a zillion mobloggers on iphones snapping pics.

One final note is that this location is in an area getting a facelift. Looks like this will make a handsome addition to the neighborhood.

01/21/2008  — 

34 million lattes on Howard St.

I just heard that Slide landed a big pile of funding. The fact that they're getting $50 mil on a $500 million evaluation is really cool too. It's WAY above the ~5 mil median and they're still only giving up 10% of the company. Congrats to you!

Slide's neighbors, Metaweb flush with recent funding too. They pulled a 42.5 mil B-round a few days ago.

Both of these companys should be around for a while. This comes to a little under 34 million lattes at Caffe Trieste. Both of these events hit the wires a few days after my recent Caffe Trieste post. Coinkidink?

01/09/2008  — 

Caffe Trieste in SOMA is the place

I've worked in SOMA for the past few years. It's a great place to be if you like soaking in the rich stew of several hundred startups. Most folks are working on neat projects. There's a great buzz!

A few places have turned out to be buzz-centers. Caffe Centro on South Park was obviously a place where you could overhear business plans, deployment strategies... Heck, I've seen Visio UML diagrams in their recycling bins.

Since our office moved toward Market St. we've been hitting the north SOMA locus: Caffe Trieste. Step in and overhear discussions on scaling plans for the next few quarters, schema changes, testing strategies... the talk is as rich as the pastries.

Of course it is, there are a zillion companies in the Trieste neighborhood:

These are only the folks I'd recognize. There are definitely a zillion others. Who else have you seen there?


View Larger Map

As for the coffee... it's great. Yes, Trieste is a local chain. The folks behind the bar at this location keep close contact with home-base (the original location) up on Vallejo St. Stick with the espresso drinks. They know what they're doing.

Look for me: I'll be on the couch with a small latte and a raspberry danish.