Starbucks at 8AM, a tale of New York
As we speak, it’s 8AM. I’m sitting at a Midtown Starbucks. Not that Starbucks is my number one choice of cafés in The City, but I thought it would be the place to people watch. It’s one of the bigger ones, right on 49th street & 8th Avenue. I’m sitting at a big community table, drinking a tall (or small in normal non-Starbucks language) blonde roast. My regular order. No sugar, no milk.
Left of me are three girlfriends eating breakfast and drinking coffee while chatting away about their latest crush or something fun that happened last weekend. They are Hispanic and will occasionally throw in a Spanish word that I don’t understand. There are also a lot of ‘Okree’ thrown left and right. Like we’re a part of the latest Cardi B music video. They are laughing. A lot. I think they are best friends.
On my right is an older male. Hispanic. He’s currently speaking Spanish with someone on his phone. Before that he was watching some sort of game (I’m guessing soccer) on his phone. He had the sound on loud. I never really understood the ‘not using headphones’ thing. Why do we all need to listen to whatever you’re watching?
Across form me is an Asian male. Older. He’s on his laptop, sipping his coffee. Not much to say here.
There was also an older white male sitting next to him, but he left. He was different though. He was wearing suit and tie. He wasn’t on his phone nor his computer. He just sat there, sipping his coffee. Observing. Smiling. I mean, why are we all so busy being busy anyway? For some reason, I feel like he works at The New York Times. At least, he was my stereotypical writer. Old school, calm, observant. Black coffee. Briefcase.
In his (old) spot is now a young girl. She came with her mom, who’s sipping her coffee at another table. They’re not sitting together. Separate tables, on their phones. Again, like the ‘no headphones’ scenario, I don’t understand this either. What happened to hygge (read: a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being — regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)? Conversation? Again, we’re so busy being busy and in our own individual worlds.
I don’t see a single person in here reading the paper. I see nine people on their phones, including one of the girls next to me. She’s here with her girlfriends, but she’s not really here, because she’s on social media. But that’s a whole other talk. Social Media. The made-up world. An inspirational hub, but the in-real-life devil.
Oh, the young girl is doing homework. Then it makes sense to me that they’re not talking, but the ‘separate tables’ I still don’t get.
Except from the little girl with the homework, I’m the only one with a pen and a paper. Sometimes I wish that we would go back in time. The 90’s where social media was only a far out dream of Mark Zuckerberg’s, phones and computers where heavy AF, no one was looking down while walking on the side walk or crossing the street. We lived the real life, less internet life. But hey, what do I really know. We might have longed for something else back then.
The girls left. Probably for work. The little girl and mom left. Probably for school. Actually, most people suddenly left. I think I was sat here with the ‘before work’ crew.
Have a great day New York!