pickin’ in the pines

Pickin’ in the Pines & Firecreek Cafe

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800px-Sierra_HullAMERICAN TOOLBOX will be back on the road, visiting Flagstaff in September.  Why?  Pickin’ in the Pines September 18th to 20th, 2015.

Sierra Hull will be there with her mandolin!  

Below is a reprint of the Firecreek Cafe review, in Flagstaff.  When I’m not at the festival, I’ll probably be here . . .  


1609684_10152166560151281_1612280284_nWITH A FRESH FRENCH press, I sit in a long dim coffee shop.  Coming and going are the ubiquitous tourists.  More likely in queue, however, are one of the 22,000 students of this college town.  And post students, people who stay and give the community its continuity.  The true vitality of Flagstaff, shaping its future.

Bianca, 20-something manager of Firecreek Cafe, sit’s with me as I take a break from The Great American Road Trip, Part II.  She grew up in Flagstaff and knows it’s heartbeat.  After a stint at a Bay Area art school, studying permaculture, where best to settle?  And settling she is, building an adobe house north of the peaks.  Next visit, more on that!

10639678_10204058714123651_3102200037375503650_nFirecreek Cafe is Hub of the Universe of Flagstaff.  Surrounded by the majestic San Francisco peaks, this eclectic hall with its exposed structural walls and open floor plan is the 1st Third Wave
coffee shop to hit town.  Lighter roasts are back!  But they may be better known for their cappuccino, made with organic unhomogenized Straus milk.  Quality is not cheap!

1016169_10151955090346312_1062384862_nFormerly the famous Alley Bar, Firecreek continues this legacy as an indefatigable hub of this active community through dance parties, costume-related theme parties, even the INNERSPACE DJ event,  transforming the entire 20′ x 120′ space through decoration, lights, and music.  A constant influx of forestry, English, and nursing students supplies steady support of touring musicians, art shows, and poetry slams.  Locals ensure continuity between sessions.  A self-perpetuating cycle.  The lifeblood is, in the end, the locals.

10268550_598440976929856_4889311221435158698_nTry the chai, Firecreek’s own blend of spices and herbs.  Very popular among the artists of this art-related town!