I noticed that Peet’s Coffee in Fremont (the one a few doors down from Starbucks) has closed it’s doors forever. Here in the center of the “center of the universe” there’s still Fremont Coffee and Cafe Ladro, so all is not lost. My prediction of what business will take Peet’s place – a dog underwear boutique. What do you think? Isn’t this a niche waiting to be filled?
My prediction of the next business to go under (so to speak) in Fremont is Urban Float, the isolation tank business. My only association with floating in salt water enclosures is Dr. John Lilly, who may have developed the modern float tank. I guess that really dates me as an oldster. He used to go into them under the influence of LSD or ketamine. I went to a public talk he gave way back in the day. Someone in the audience asked him a question: “What state of consciousness are you in now?” His answer: “Do you mean me or the man talking?” He seemed very much interested in being perceived as the far-out mystery wisdom man, but that’s just my retroactive impression. Aliens, dolphins, psychedelics … it’s all too beautiful.
But anyway, back to Urban Float. I believe they will sell a fair number of first-time floats ($45) and maybe some first-time three-float packages ($179), but then customers will realize that an hour massage might be nicer than an $89 float. I could be wrong. I don’t wish them ill. I just have doubts. A question on the FAQ page asks, “Is this new-aged (sic) mumbo jumbo?” The answer: “Floating has been around for over 40 years and has oodles of research to back it up. No mumbo or jumbo here.” Why then is there no link to the oodles of research to back up whatever it is they are backing up?
I recommend going next door and getting a warm bowl of pho. You’ll find slippery noodles floating in the salty, soupy nutrient broth. Let it cool a bit and set your face in it for a moment to get a mini-float experience. Then you can eat it, which you don’t want to do with the fluid in the isolation tank. Just ask the woman with the British accent in the video on the Urban Float home page. She can’t talk back of course, but if she could, she’d tell you not to drink the “silky” epsom salt water. By the way, her eyebrows look plastic. Why is that?
If you scroll down on the home page, there’s a photo of a woman in a business suit, sitting cross-legged with her hands making that classic “O” shape with the thumb and index finger – the pose you only see in advertisements. There’s also a photo with a man in a spacesuit, holding a surfboard and standing on a psychedelic beach. I’m not kidding. That’s meant to attract the modern-day John Lilly with discretionary cash. Maybe one who works at Adobe or Google. You too can be a psychonaut!
Last but not least, watch the video by Dr. Darren Weissman on the Urban Float site. He explains how the salt water pulls “toxins” out of your body and the floating allows you to “move through life and life to move through you.” It allows you to “make that heart connection” and “be in a space with who your real self is.” That, my friends, is classic new age mumbo jumbo.