Monday, April 27, 2009

Out of the Bodega and Onto the Scene

INDIO, Calif./ OUTSIDE a small ranch house in the Southern California desert on April 19, one of the satellite parties of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was reaching its midafternoon peak. The D.J. blared Lil Jon into the open air, the V.I.P.’s escaped the baking sun for shade, and the girls by the pool giggled as they tossed around a bright yellow beach ball marked with the logo for one of the party’s sponsors.

But unlike most of the 18 other brands on display here (Imeem, Vitaminwater) this one stood out: Café Bustelo, the old Cuban-style espresso. Around the pool, its retro-kitsch symbol was everywhere: on the empty cans of Bustelo Cool littering every table; on the burlap gift bags stamped with “I ♥ Café Bustelo”; and on the artfully ripped T-shirts on the models handing out
coffee-and-vodka cocktails they call Dirty Bustelos.

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