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Subject #22: Penney Balmes

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Filmed December 22, 2007
11:11 Teahouse
Atlanta, Georgia

Penney Balmes is the owner/operator of 11:11 Teahouse, a teahouse/venue in Atlanta, Georgia. Before I arrived at 11:11, I suspected that this "teahouse," like many so-called "teahouses," would really be a generic coffeeshop in a hippieish, new-age disguise. I am happy to report that America's ubiquitous bourgeois coffee culture has not polluted 11:11, which, is it turns out, is truly tea-focused. I spent four hours at 11:11 on December 22, 2007 and, if this Teahouse does furtively play host to lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos, or cups of Joe, I did not see them. There wasn't even a coffeemaker!

I suspect Balmes' influence has prevented 11:11 from deteriorating into a generic urban coffee-klatch where self-employed individuals in search of caffeine fixes and wireless connections bustle about wielding Macintosh laptops and mugs emblazoned with pseudo anti-capitalist slogans like "Fuck Work." A trained herbalist, Balmes moved from the Northwest to Atlanta to bring the benefits of camellia sinesis, a.k.a. tea, to ATL's stressed-out citizens, most of whom are employed by a corporation that peddles super-caffeinated high-fructose corn syrup sludge (Coca-Cola) or a corporation that invented the 24-7 news cycle with the aid of severe computer graphics (CNN). Perhaps due to the influence of her own herbal recipes, Balmes seemed particularly un-stressed when I filmed her in the Teahouse's "green room" next to a stack of guitar amps.

Comments

  1. #1

    so, it's been AGES now since you didn't wrotte or post anything in these pages... we miss you, come back and keep us informed. we love your writtings. thanks from eastern france.

  2. #2

    I don't even know anyone that works at Coca Cola, maybe one or 2 at CNN.

    Why don't we discuss all the weird things going on in our nation's capital right now??

    cool article nonetheless. penney is awesome.

  3. #3

    oh, I am not Justin Moyer but an Atlanta fan of Antelope with the same name. We miss the band playing in our town. . . .

  4. #4

    very good o/

  5. #5

    Fine one publish. Basic drawback can be G. transform their mind far too frequently.

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