Behold the Rapture

Tomorrow marks the opening of Rapture Caf and Books. Located on Avenue A between 12th and 13th Streets (the site of the former Korova Milk Bar), the new hangout is exactly what the East Village needs—an inviting alternative to Starbucks and a reminder that the neighborhood's indie spirit is still very much alive.

Last week's opening bash was a smash success, with all sorts of colorful folks marveling at the spacious and attractive venue.

Rapture's mastermind, Joe Birdsong, a.k.a. Mr. Joe, is flanked by artist Dominic Cloutier, left, and haiku master Hapi Phace, who was one of several performers that entertained the eager crowd.

Writer Karen Moulding accessorized her December outfit (!) with her fave kids' book, It's Okay to Be Different.

Talk about dressing up for an opening. After attending designer Marc Jacob's Venetian masquerade-themed holiday party, video artist Rob Roth, left, rock legend Debbie Harry and DJ Johnny Dynell joined the Avenue A festivities.

By the way, if you're still searching for holiday presents, Rapture offers gift certificates.