Opinion | Mar. 1 1:30 pm EST
FITZPATRICK

Keeping it cool in the crypt

What happened to you, Columbia? You used to be cool.

Well, okay, I guess we’ve never been cool. But certainly not this lame. At first, I was happy to read the news Tuesday that Postcrypt Coffeehouse will live to fight (or strum) another day. For those of you not following the story, in the wake of administrative demands made at the end of last year that required the venue to hire another alcohol proctor and security guard for its twice-weekly coffeehouses, Postcrypt was in danger of shutting down.

The cost of such hirings proved too great to cover for the organization’s modest revenue, which has always been largely generated by alcohol sales at the performances (admission is free). The bottom line: In order to sell beer they had to spend more money, but the only way to make more money was to sell more beer. A doozy, as far as catch-22’s go.

In the end, they opted to – for now, anyway – stop selling beer altogether. Not exactly an ideal situation (they were forced to find a new revenue stream in the form of grants and donations). But shucks, at least they get to go on existing.

I’ve never actually been to one of these coffeehouses, but I like the idea that I could go if I wanted to. I suppose that’s why I was so disappointed at the behavior of the administration during this whole process. Postcrypt has been operating in the basement of St. Paul’s chapel since folk became cool again (1964). In that time, it’s become an institution of sorts, loved by both students and members of the Morningside Heights community, and has hosted performances by the likes of Jeff Buckley and Ani DiFranco.

All of that is really, really cool. What’s more, with two shows every week, Postcrypt is probably Columbia’s most reliable – or only reliable – on-campus activity.

If I were the administration I’d be bragging like an Ivy League parent about such a long-lasting (and cool!) institution. Hell, I’d make it a must-mention for every campus tour guide. And, more importantly, I’d give it enough money and freedom to make sure the coolness lasted another 46 years.

Of course, this is Columbia, so they didn’t do that at all. In fact, they did the opposite of that. So I ask, in the words of the immortal Bart Simpson (and many before him): What happened to you, Columbia? You used to be cool.

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COMMENTS (9)

  1. yep • March 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm • Reply

    hear, hear.

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  2. NEIL FITZ • March 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm • Reply

    is the man

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  3. why is neil getting the comment shaft • March 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm • Reply

    Like what the hell, this post is awesome.

    Does no one care about Postcrypt?

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  4. mmhmm • March 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm • Reply

    he’s right, and the admin needs to wake up and see it

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  5. although • March 1, 2010 at 5:11 pm • Reply

    tour guides make stuff up all the time, it seems.

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    • Rozi • May 17, 2012 at 4:31 am • Reply

      I love the part about providing othres with a job THEY like to do! I used this thought many years ago when I hired a house cleaner. It was such a freedom feeling for me I almost cried too!Lynn

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  6. postcrypt • March 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm • Reply

    is in good hands right now–galen is a baller, and hopefully she can restore the admin’s faith in the group (not that they should have ever lost it in the first place)

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  7. tony • March 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm • Reply

    galen is indeed a baller

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  8. Anonymous • March 3, 2010 at 12:40 am • Reply

    I LOVE NEIL

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