Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Coffee House Demographics

A few nights ago, I sought refuge towards the end of a productive but brutal week of traveling and work. With a few clicks into the Denver music scene, I came across Common Grounds on West 32nd Ave and within a 10 minute trek experienced it to be quite a find with most excellent coffee in relaxed environs whilst Matt, Ben, Sarah, and Kinsley ( a collection of local artists) made a go at the Open Mic amidst chatting, computing, reading patrons who all seemed to feel right at home in this cozy caffeinated venue.

I don’t know about you, but singer/songwriter venues minister to me in ways difficult to explain. I avoid cover bands like the plague but gravitate to the creative, simple, unplugged ambience of open mics and indy artists. There’s substance and sustenance amongst the creative and this evening- was no exception. Eclectic or not, may their tribes increase.

One thing did strike me –even disturb me a bit. This lovely inviting Highlands coffee point seemed a bit too monochromatic and homogeneous. Take away the coded language - too white with no one older than thirty something or younger than 20. Yet, the music, atmosphere – even the buzz of conversation- was really nice and I’m convinced the homogeneity is not a function of individual prejudice but a consequence of neighborhood demographics and the outworking of a capitalism in urban centers.

Who knows? I suspect a shift in the median age would certainly shift the music towards the less creative with lyrics of lessened contemplation. So, it's hard to get upset- even as one outside of the suspected local demographic. (AKA: "old guy") Nonetheless, just for kicks I ran a quick check of the demographics.

Here are the stats:

Area: 1 mile radius
50/50 Male/Female
34.2 years Average Age
11,417 households
27,304 people
$46,733 Average Income
1.6% Asian
1.5% Black
27.9% Other
69 % White

But don’t spend too much energy fretting the consequences of new urbanism. Whilst I agree that gentrification makes for a relevant conversation, it is clearly a complex matter requiring a solution that trancends this brief post. However, for the moment, simply, order a latte, open your laptop, settle in for a song or two, and enjoy.

All the Best.

Read more!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Orange Coffins and Awkward Brand Extensions

Death and dying don’t often lend themselves well to laughter. In fact, they are typically distressing teammates. (The whole Israeli and Hezbollah thing included.) So, I really want to seize the chance to chuckle at an adjunct matter of mortality and failed brand extensions.

What is this orange motif anyway? Here’s an article from yesterday’s FT (Financial Times) that may shed a bit of light on the question.
Observer: Six Feet Under
Published: July 19 2006 03:00

Not every business idea thrown up by the UK-based serial entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou - whose ventures in cheap air travel, car hire and internet cafés under his "easy" brand have proved so successful - turns out to be winner.

Observer hears that plans by the youthful tycoon for a funeral service - which was dubbed "easy death" and would have seen "customers" despatched from this mortal coil in coffins coloured the group's trademark orange - have been quietly buried.
Quietly buried until it hit the press. I'm certain Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is pleased. (Actually, maybe any press - good, bad, or humorous- can be a good thing sometimes.)

Read more!