East Village: Raygun, Eden, and Domestica Friday October 4, 2013
People mingling at Eden
Response by guest contributor Olivia Albers
The literary reading I attended was on Friday October 4 and took place at three different stores in the East Village: Raygun, Eden, and Domestica. The reading was for volume three of the local literary magazine Spoilage. Excerpts from the third volume as well as volumes past were read at each venue for art enthusiasts and store-goers to enjoy. I found the concept of moving from place to place intriguing, and it made the experience more enjoyable in my eyes. I was able to see the magazine in a different light at each space and saw the various types of people who mingled around the different stores. Readings were scheduled at specific times at each store allowing people to come and go as they pleased.
The first store I stopped at, Raygun, was where I met Ashley Tape Fleming. Fleming was the cover designer for Spoilage’s third volume. The design is a black and white sketch of downtown Des Moines with familiar structures like the Principal building and pedestrian bridge. Although Fleming was at Raygun promoting the magazine, there didn’t seem to be many people interested in literary magazines. Many of the people in the store were simply shopping and laughing at Raygun’s clever t-shirts.
A chandelier at Eden
When I walked into Eden, the atmosphere was immediately different. The hanging chandeliers, understated white walls, and soft lighting made the space feel upscale yet not too serious. The room was full of people mingling and sipping on wine and other spirits. Men were dressed in suit coats and several women donned high heels. Patrons were constantly picking up candles and smelling them. People chatted about all of the lotions, creams, and perfumes the store offered. Again, I don’t believe these people were necessarily discussing art, but were rather enjoying each other’s company.
When I got to Domestica after 7:30, there were about 20 to 30 people there specifically for the last reading. I expect the crowd turnout was the biggest compared to the other stores since people might have missed the previous readings and wanted to make sure they heard at least a few stories before the night was over. There were three readers who spoke at Domestica. The reader that caught my attention was John Busbee, a local writer and production coordinator. From his vocal inflection and the charisma he showed while speaking, I could tell he truly engaged with the text and appreciated the story. The audience was very receptive to the readings, often laughing and clapping. The feeling in the room was one of lightheartedness. There wasn’t a strict schedule or the feeling of being rushed. Everyone was just living in the moment.
On the inside cover of Spoilage is the magazine’s motto: “A cultural metric of, by, and for the people of Des Moines.” After reading volume three of Spoilage I can say the people of Des Moines have talented writers living amongst them. I read stories ranging from topics like an alcoholic chain smoker, a person who won “Christopher Walken’s head,” and a man who lost one of his dear friends due to a lost cell phone. Ultimately, I feel Spoilage is a wonderful resource for writers to express themselves and people in the Des Moines community to read well-crafted stories. If you have not already, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of the latest volume.
I am Olivia Albers and go school at Drake University. I study magazine journalism as well as graphic design. When I’m not at school, I live on a farm outside of Lincoln, NE. One of my passions is interior design. I have a blog that is full of easy DIY projects. The URL is www.homeyourway.wordpress.com. Feel free to check it out. If you are interested in following me on twitter my name is olivia_albers1.