Chalk Talk: Coffeehouses, Fuel of the Enlightenment

ChalkGimmeCoffeeKK.Chalkboard Easel, IntelligentsiaTHE AGE OF REASON WAS FUELED BY CAFFEINATED CHATTER in the cheap and cheerful English coffeehouses of the late 17th and 18th centuries, says historian Brian Cowan of McGill University. Unlike the brews in the alehouses, coffee sharpened thinking and revved up the exchange of ideas that led to what’s called the Enlightenment. Keep that in mind while considering these two chalkboard easels (click on the image for a larger view). The one at left was seen by Brooklyn Artisan across the East River in NoLita, outside Gimme Coffee on Mott Street; at right, along Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue. (The Intelligentsia insignia looks like a salute to some Army Air Corps flyer who managed to make it home on a wing and a latte.)

(Photographs by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

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  1. […] TO CHALK TALK: Look closely at the center of the Intelligentsia winged insignia. In place of the customary propellor or star between the wings, this clever image seems to show an […]

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