Collectively running a lefty cafe and bookstore is just not as romantic as it sounds. Vox Pop in Ditmas Park is in deep weeds; the health department shut down the food-and-beverage operation at the shop in January because of $29,000 in unpaid fines, not to mention evidence of vermin. Now the phone's been disconnected, they're three months behind on the rent, and some locals are worried that the demise of the four-year-old gathering place may signal a broader degentrification in Ditmas Park. Employee Debi Ryan explains to the Times: "There are financial problems due to—I don't want to call it mismanagement, I want to call it lack of management." Former co-owner Sander Hicks, who also founded Soft Skull Press, resigned over the unpaid fines, but it's a vicious cycle: without revenue from the cafe it's hard to raise the money to pay the fines to reopen the cafe. All this has customers like Oliver Moné deeply vexed: "This is aggravating. I like the coffee. I like the place. Dunkin’ Donuts is O.K., but this is prime stuff. I mean, I hate Starbucks. God, I hate Starbucks."