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Who is Northwest Smith?

Being a fictional character, Smith's travels and adventures often take him to many fictional places. To show that these places are utterly fictional, I've listed the real places with which they might be confused, and give their addresses and descriptions of why they are little or nothing like those imaginary locations that Smith frequents from time to time.

From the Desk of N.W. Smith
Good Places

Phantom of the Attic -- "Phantom" or "POTA" (pronounced like "boat - ah") is the best comics and game shop (technically shops--more on that below) in the 'Burgh proper, if not the whole metropolitan area. Unlike Smith's Downbelow Station, the POTA is actual two locations on Craig Street in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.

The 406 South Craig Street is the Comics shop, which is just up from the Forbes Avenue intersection and a flight of stairs from the stree. It has a truly staggering collection of new and used comics, much of which is on display with the rest easily accessable at a top secret warehouse sited in a pocket dimension. They also have a big selection of graphic novels, anime on DVD, bound manga, and related Japanese model kits, toys, and kitsch from the Land of the Rising Sony. Comics related posters, t-shirts, and collectables round out the mix.

Meanwhile, just up the street at 214 South Craig Street is the Games shop, two rooms crammed with every possible thing which might be called a "game": board games, war games, role-playing games (RPGs for those in the know), card games, collectable card games, collectable strategy games, collectable miniatures games, old-fashioned war-game miniatures, game-related comics, novels and non-fiction books, dice, play-money, and other accessories. They also have weekly gaming sessions and the rooms in which to stage them, as well as regular events to promote new games and other happenings as circumstances permit, demand, or occur.

61C Cafe -- The 61C Cafe bares not the slightest resemblence to Smith's favorite hang-out, The Ugly Coffee. The 61C Cafe, located at the corner of Murray Avenue and Bartlett Street in the Squirrell Hill section of Pittsburgh does have great coffee and other beverages, pastries and other noshes to die for, plenty of tables, and both sidewalk and patio seating outdoors when the elements permit. But it is not plagued by the wailings of stringy-haired white-girl folkies, and it sits right at the bus-stop for the route for which it is named, one of only four or five buses in the 'Burgh that run just shy of 24 hours a day, and which cross paths with each other during that time.

Kiva Han -- Kiva Han is nothing like the fictional Hava Java that Smith patronizes in some of his adventures. Located at the corner of Forbes Avenue and Craig Street in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Kiva Han is a big, bright space with sidewalk tables, a nice selection of pastries and other light eats, and a large variety of beverages. It is also right across the street from a recently opened Starbucks, so you can strike a blow against cookie-cutter corporate crap by pointedly ignoring it and patronizing a