Some cool University of Colorado images:
Image by nooccar
[The below was originally published on New Year’s Eve 2008 here: nooccar.com/2008/12/31/beehive-coffeehouse-a-memory-collage/]
Sometime in the early 1990s during high school I began hanging out at the Beehive Coffeehouse on East Carson Street in the Southside of Pittsburgh. Some of my earlier memories were when it was only one store front wide (now it’s three), and we’d play Galaga in the back room by the leather couch. The female manager had blonde and pink hair, and she’d sleep back there. This must’ve been about later 1990 or early 1991. I know this because I could drive then, and I had my blue Dodge Colt. I remember several months where I’d make sure I came down here once a day even if it was just to grab a coffee and play some video games. In the summer, the doors would be open and it’d be muggy as hell here.
After high school I went away to Penn State , but none of the State College coffee houses could do this place justice. I would return on weekends and summers, and always be here. I knew the people from the locals who hung out here to the baristas (some of whom are still here!). I remember in 1992 seeing Jason Szalla hang work he did at Baldwin High School from the ceiling in the Beehive. I remember the different people who’d flirt with each other, and some of the girls who flirted with me. One of whom, in the late 1990s, I still know. Alicia talked to me one night for hours. She was a Fordham student who loved iguanas and worked at VH1. We still know her, and she is still here.
I remember playing cards here through the mid-1990s. Spades was the game, and each night we’d have several tables going all at once. Elliot was a character, and we can to really enjoy his company. One guy we played with had to run off to not go to jail. I think his name was Fruit. An odd fellow. Another guy was just wild. Donna and I ruled the table by this time.
Occasionally famous people would walk in. I saw Patrick Stewart near the front one night, and another night I met Robert Downey Jr buying coffee. He suggested I read Wonderboys which they were filming nearby. I read it that night at a front table. The whole thing.
I remember grad school. The Beehive was the place to study. I’d walk across the 10th street bridge from Duquesne University, and it didn’t matter if it was -10 with the wind chill factor. I’d still do it. I would sit here and write, read, study. I remember bringing my first laptop down here for the first time.
y this time my mother was hanging out here too. Everyone called her Mum. Even the old people. She was everyone’s mother. The funny thing was when we, her biological children, called her “mum” no one knew we were really the children. Jaime got in with Scott and Z the owners, and he followed them from project to project. I buried myself in books when I had to study and cards when I had some time off.
In the summer of 1998, I was in the Beehive when Donna returned from school for the summer. We were just friends then and nothing was going on. I told her to meet me at the Beehive. I still remember sitting in a large red booth ten feet from where I sit when she came in the door. That was May. By July we were back together, and we spent much of that summer in the Beehive.
By fall I was student teaching at Mt Lebanon High School and Donna was back at Lockhaven for her senior year. One night we went out to Dee’s, and I got drunk. I decided to head to the Beehive to sit it off and get some coffee. One of my students walked in! Not the best idea (although I was of age).
By summer of 1999 Donna and I were engaged and moved to Arizona. Alicia came to the wedding; she framed shots of the Beehive for us. Black and whites of some things we will never forget.
Since then, the first few years we’d try to come in. Slowly, it was shifting. We knew less people. The building expanded to a second nonsmoking room (perfect since it was always smokey in here!). My Mum stopped coming and Meghan moved to Colorado.
Until today now I could not tell you the last time I was here. 2005? 2004? People grow and change, but this place. This place stays the same. It’s always for those memories. Today I sit here. Christmas 2008 wondering when I will be back here. Maybe next Christmas (have no trips planned to PA until then), or maybe it won’t be until Claire is older and I can tell her the stories. We will see.
Image by Yann Ropars
Bikes at University of Colorado
Image by Jerry W. Lewis
Student transportation around Boulder.