Friday, October 15, 2010

Starbucks How I love ye

The Leopard has always had a love/hate relationship with Starbucks. At first, I hated the place for its obvious pretensions: The goofy “French” cup sizes, the snarky “hip” graphics, the total blanketing of all New York neighborhoods (in Manhattan, it seems there’s two per block).
But lately, the place is becoming more and more useful. They’re offering wi fi for free. So one can walk into any Starbucks and get online no purchase necessary. And I enjoy the subtle social atmosphere. Everyone comes into Starbucks now - from the homeless to the well-to-do. We're all lined up in front of laptops or staring blankly into iphones. The hipsters, the hip-hoppers, the yuppies, the buppies, the skateboard kids, and the Wall Street crowd - we're all rubbing elbows and sharing dirty bathrooms.

You see the culture. Yesterday, there were a group of people sitting near me who were discussing what sounded like their marijuana drug operation. A week or so ago, I saw a young man viewing what looked like to me bestiality porn on his laptop for hours. I've seen people argue, fight, gossip, cry and make out so openly that I felt compelled to give them directions to the nearest hotel.
There's something stimulating in the place. I find myself working here more and more. I’m writing this blog entry now in one. It’s better than the warm, cozy, safe isolation of my apartment. It feels like I’m part of the real world, for better or worse.