Liquid Networks, Where Good Ideas Come From and a Brand New Hair Cut

Javas Cafe Rochester
Some of you know that I’m a lover of the great European coffee houses. The smell, the people, the atmosphere, the sounds and sometimes the artwork. So imagine my surprise when I discovered the Java’s Cafe in Rochester NY, not more than 2 hours away from here on our trip to the International Museum of Play. And while it’s too far to hop over for a spontaneous coffee, it’s definitely worth a visit next time I go to the Eastman Kodak House.
Here are a few more images:
Javas Cafe Rochester

Rochester - Java Cafe

There’s even a billiard room downstairs with wild paintings, reminding me a bit of places one might find in a big city. It was empty and spacious and great for running around and letting off some steam.

Javas Cafe Rochester

But after listening to the TED lecture below by Steven Johnson “Where good ideas come from“, I love coffee houses even more. “Liquid networks” he calls them. According to Johnson, good ideas are usually not Eureka moments, but happen in busy environments like cafes, where people with their thoughts mingle (as long as they’re not staring at their devices). Ideas don’t happen “all of a sudden”. They incubate with other thoughts, conversations and stimulus. When all the puzzle pieces finally come together that’s what we remember as the birth of a new idea.

The question proposed is how do we create environments that allow great ideas to come together? It seems that it’s not the home office or studio. If you want to know “Where good ideas come from”, make yourself a cup of coffee (you Europeans might be ready for a glass of red wine) and listen to Steven Johnson:

Sometimes, ideas are born in lonely bathrooms staring at the mirror and wondering how one would look with shorter hair. Here’s my new haircut fresh from yesterday. Husband installed these great mirrors, so I can cut my own hair. DIY doesn’t have to be limited to hand sewing and crafting, right?  I took a quick snapshot, in case I wanted to replicate that style – hahaha – in the future.

New Hair

Does anybody cut their own hair? Or their husband’s hair (if it’s still there) or kids….

There’s also sewing going on in my house: a shrug, a skirt and a zipper tutorial to come…

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22 Responses to “Liquid Networks, Where Good Ideas Come From and a Brand New Hair Cut”

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  1. Steph says:

    I like your haircut.
    I got my hair cut super short last week, but I wouldn't have done it myself. I cut my kids hair, it's not perfect but I like the fuzzy look. It reminds me that they are due for a new haircut soon, maybe tonight.
    In Europe I like how you can go to the same café whether it's early morning or late evening, and you order coffee, beer or wine depending on the time of the day and mood. When I was younger people didn't have laptops and the café was a pretty social place.

  2. Strikkelise says:

    Your hair looks very nice! I like the gradual thing in the back (my English is very poor in the hair department). Impressive work!
    I used to cut my own hair when I was young, now it's only the bangs (if I have those). Everyone else in the family gets a home treatment every now and then, inbetween trips to the hairdresser's. A pair of thinning scissors actually proved to be a good investment.

  3. suschna says:

    Right here, another DIY haircutter. When I was a student it was a financial necessity, now I still cut it myself when I am too impatient to wait for an appointment at the hairdresser's. I cut my daughters hair as well. But I must admit, I have my best ideas when having my hair washed at the haidresser (or when sitting in a boring theater play/opera/concert/movie).

  4. Sanctuary Home says:

    Wow you did a good job, cute haircut. I stopped cutting my own hair a long time ago. I realized that I cut it during bouts with P.M.S. and I always regretted it.

    Cool cafe…I imagine I would be inspired just being there. I feel like having coffee right now just looking at the pictures…see there…

    I'm going to watch the video…thank you for sharing.
    Susan : )

  5. annekata says:

    @Steph: I like the European coffee houses as well. The ones, that morph into bars at night. I also miss the times when people brought notebooks and thought they were be poets (me). Now they twitter (not me), and it's sometimes poetry, but often it's not.

    @strikkeliese: Thinning scissors. What a good idea! Never thought about buying proper equipment, although my scissors are hairdresser's scissors. Hair thinning would work perfectly with my out of control hair.

    @suschna: Du schneidest dir die Haare selbst?? Echt? Haette ich nie gedacht, da du doch so einen accuraten Schnitt hast (der dir uebrigens excellent steht). Meiner sieht ja immer so ein bischen nach "frisch aufgestanden" aus, da merkt man (ich?) gar nicht wie unpraezise die Haare geschnitten ist….

    @sanctuary: I've ended up with some pretty unflattering haircuts during those moments as well. Now, I usually cut my hair, when longing for some sort of change, often not related to my appearance… Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's just hair after all.

  6. Carla M. Turner says:

    Ooohh Ooohhh!!! Me! =D I cut my own hair, as long as it's below chin length. When it's shorter, I like a prim clean cut bob and my hair is very straight so I have it done. My husband is military and a weekly haircut is mandatory so I cut his, and also cut my daughter's and son's.

    I learned by trial and error, and from frustration at paying for bad haircuts. I learned the hard way that paying a high price doesn't necessarily mean a good cut. Really, it just takes guts right? lol ~And screwing it up a few times, but I had to ask myself: What's the worst thing that can happen? ~Bad haircut, that's what. Then, you just pay someone to fix it. No biggie. I have thinning shears too. Bought some beautiful $60 ones from Germany at Marshall's (of all places!) for $7. Have a great day!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Rachel in Canada: I like your style! I cut my husband's hair and he cuts mine. We both cut our children's hair, depending on who's available. We've been doing it for years, and our family haircuts are every bit as good as professional ones – sometimes better, since we take as long as necessary to make sure we're happy with the results. It's all part of having as many "self-sufficiency" skills as possible, and saving money for things like travel and education.

  8. Cydney says:

    I wound up with a bad haircut, and whacked it all off (about a half inch was left). People loved it, though it took me a few weeks to get used to it and I am glad to not be a slave to my hair anymore. I had been colouring it for so long, I was quite excited to see what colour it would be (turns out it's just dirty blonde).Now what to do with all those hair appliances I spent the big bucks on.
    Yours looks great.

  9. Juliann D says:

    I cut my husband and son's hair (buzz cuts only), but not my daughter's any more or it looks like it was done with a weedwhacker. Thanks for the coffeehouse tip. I'm a near-Rochesterian and I'm thinking the George Eastman House and Java's will be our next Friday afternoon date destination.

  10. The Mom says:

    What timing, it was haircut day here. I cut everyone's hair. My own for sure, but I paid big bucks in November for a cut by a pro, I will never do that again, what a waste of money (really!) Sure the cut was sassy, stylish and all that… BUT now my hair is all these crazy lengths that don't make sense, it will take ages to get it back to something familiar…

    I like the "evening with a glass of wine and an hour to myself cut", I just follow where my fingers lead and if it's bad: it grows BACK, right?

  11. kathryn says:

    Your hair looks great!

    I cut mine too, although I havn't been brave enough to go shorter than my chin length – the mirror system must help with that. I started cutting my own to save money, but I really love how I can choose exactly how I want it and can just keep fiddling until I get something close to what I want. Just like making/adapting your own clothes to make them more special.

    Love your posts, always something to smile or be inspired about


  12. The Mom says:

    Oh and could you please share the mirror setup? Very curious –sounds like I need the same set up, I usually just struggle!

  13. Charissa says:

    I'm enjoying the comments here. Kathrin, looks like you've found many kindred spirits! My mom has cut her own hair for many, many years. I cut my husband's well and am still working on how to successfully cut N's hair (now almost 2 1/2). For myself, though, I'm finally coming to grips with going to a nice salon and feeling good about it.

    All the comments about thinning scissors make me want to get some too, though! Pretty sure they would help disguise the unevenness of my son's haircuts.

  14. Shelley Noble says:

    Good job on the cut. And YES! I've been cutting mine and my husbands hair for years, without any knowledge of how to cut hair. The cuts are so much better than we used to pay for and it's so much more convenient to get an appointment at home.

  15. nicole says:

    i used to cut my own hair and called it 'creative hair sculpting'. I also cut my husband's hair and my boys' hair – it's great fun. especially when you are actually not a hairdresser ;)
    your new haircut looks fantastic!
    we also went to a fantastic cafe on the weekend that had that liquid network feel – great atmosphere, good coffee, fantastic food with a hint of beach, surfing, yoga and bali…

  16. Anairam says:

    I like the haircut! My husband has cut my hair for the past 15 years. It is perfect – I can boss him around (which I would not dream of doing with a hair stylist), I can go back after a while and get bits fixed (which I would not dream of doing with a hair stylist) and best of all, I do not have to pay. No, actually, best of all is that I always like my haircut afterwards (and I almost never do when it was done by a professional)!

  17. Mon Café Couture says:

    This place seems to be so nice, looking at the pictures gives me the feeling of smelling that coffee. Your haircut is a success, which is not always my case; but yes I do make haircuts to the four of us, unfortunatelly the result is not always the one I wanted.

  18. Vicki K. says:

    Your haircut is very flattering! I like the layers and your profile is really cute. Sometimes I cut my bangs and I used to cut my children's hair. Getting them to sit still long enough used to involve a fruit-tofu-popsicle and a favorite video. It's a fond memory :)

    That kind of coffee house just looks so rich in layers of atmosphere…you can smell the coffee in the photo!

  19. Mary says:

    You are very inspiring! I'd like to be able to cut my own hair, but the times I've tried it didn't look so good. Maybe I just need to keep at it – and get a good pair of hair dresser's scissors.

  20. Rowena says:

    I like the cafe and I like your hair.

    I cut my own hair and have for the last dozen years or so. I also cut my kids' hair, but no other adults, because I don't trust myself with anything much more complicate than my daughters straight long hair with bangs, or my son's hair, which is much like mine, wavy-curly,, which looks best when it's choppy anyway.

  21. Tina S says:

    re coffee shops: I am sure this was mentioned in the lecture (I haven't heard it), but coffee shops were quite the site for fomenting revolution in England in the 16th/17th century! Apparently they were seen as very dangerous — got people riled up in productive ways more than pubs did, I guess!

    re DIY hair cuts: my boyfriend refuses to pay for a barber (le sigh), so he uses a clipper on his own hair and I am in charge of the edges and all final touches. It always makes me nervous that I'll cut him!

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I like your new haircut! My husband cuts his own hair and mine. It's very convenient and saves a lot of money. Plus, as Anairam says, one doesn't have to be so diplomatic about getting it exactly the way one wants it.

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