Little City is a coffee shop that’s become a bit of an Austin institution over the last 17 years. They’ve lost their lease and will close May 13th. Gwen and I had a last lunch there today.
We recently rented Slacker, and the movie is slice of Austin’s past. Almost none of the locations in Slacker still exist in the same form. When I walk around town, I see what used to be superimposed on what is, like a palimpsest
Little City wasn’t in Slacker (the fact that it’s too new is a bit odd to contemplate), but in a few days it too will become a layer of palimpsest that I can’t help but see.
Every workday, I send Gwen off to her job with a small stainless thermos full of coffee. It’s basically impossible to clean this thing effectively, so instead, I just fill it with very hot water and shake it up.
Today, when I dumped out that water, these bits of film came out. They’re jet black, very smooth, very thin, very uniform, and very brittle—I was reminded of a cheap plastic bag that had been left in the sun for a long time.
Though I was initially incredulous, it turns out this was the husk of coffee residue in the thermos. Most of it got shucked off (some is still in there). I’ve never seen anything like it.