CLHP Intern Blog: Martha Snow

Food trucks and Friendly Ghosts I first heard about the Caffè Lena History Project through an advertisement in the Skidmore College email system, and was immediately interested. I have grown up in a family that has always cherished music, and as an American Studies major, I am fascinated by the way that humanity can be found in the past and related to the present, and the stories that still hold resonance and weight in modern society. This past semester, I took a class whose central theme was “Community,” where we asked fundamental questions about what creates and sustains a community, what values bind them together, and what forces have the potential to break them apart. I had heard of the strong community created around Caffè Lena, and wanted to know...

Read More

CLHP Intern Blog: Sallie Kuritsky

Last Thursday afternoon I took my mother and grandmother to the famous Hattie’s Chicken Shack. As we walked outside, sufficiently stuffed with fried chicken and biscuits, I noticed a middle aged man standing next to the restaurant, in front of Caffè Lena. He looked like a weathered musician, with worn jeans and a guitar case in his hands. I asked him if he was playing at the open mic night that was starting in a little while. He looked at me smiling and said, “I hope so!” Immediately I felt the warmth and camaraderie that the Caffè was famous for. After having spent the last five weeks transcribing interviews of folk musicians that had played at the Caffè, the stories and memories from the cassette tapes seemed to come to life in that moment. I proceeded...

Read More

CLHP Intern Blog: Alex Becker

Dear 1960s, I never knew you! So, why do I like you so much? Of the many thought-provoking questions that have surfaced this summer during my work on the Caffè Lena history project, I find myself going back to this one often. It’s no secret that we, at least some of us, and particularly those who never lived through the years, have developed a strong sense of nostalgia for the ‘60s, a decade rediscovered in our culture today on television and in movies, in songs and photographs, in text books, and of course, in stories. As I’ve encountered more and more stories from Caffè Lena patrons and performers over the past few weeks, I’ve begun to piece together a clearer image of Caffè Lena’s important role within the folk music scene and the larger 1960s...

Read More

CLHP Intern Blog: Emily Werner

We're delighted to be working this summer with Caffè Lena History Project student interns from Skidmore College. Their energy, insight, and ideas are already enhancing CLHP research and outreach in incredible ways. They will each be contributing a blog entry about their work and discoveries. The first installation comes from Emily Werner, recently featured in The Saratogian which highlighted her work with Caffè Lena.

Read More