Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Coffee Shop Musings

Leaving the job hasn't been all fun and games. I have been logging some serious chair time at the Peets Coffee shops on College Ave in Berkeley and Piedmont Ave in Oakland. And then there are the overtime hours spent at Caffe Triest, also on Piedmont Ave., There, I check my e-mail for job notices, send resumes and cut and past cover letters that have little likelihood of being read. I also put in some serious time people watching and chronicling human behavior. So, what conclusions have I reached? They would be:

1) There is no majority demographic that hangs out in coffee shops. There are the students, the retirees, novel writers and job seekers. There are hipsters, yuppies, jocks, sorority girls and frat boys all there to pick up some caffeine.

2) The music playing in the background is rarely mainstream. No hip hop, no metal or even rock from the 60's. No, the music is light and happy mostly from Brazil, the islands of Hawaii, Jamaica etc and occasionally the border regions of Berkeley and Albany. While dive bars have inspired songs like "In the Wee Hours of the Morning" these shops only inspire people to write short stories that won't be read by anyone or to have light fluffy conversations about topics that are forgettable and non-controversial like this blog.

3) No one will mistake the coffee shop for the round table at the Aloquin Hotel. Mention the name Sarte and the frat boys will think you are making a fart joke, the hipsters will strain to remember the name and decide to go to the City Lights bookstore and find out and the ancients will remember Jean Paul as being some lefty that was against Trust Funds and places like Piedmont in general. No, the conversations at the coffee shop mostly revolve around academia-classes, tuition and how to get tickets to the Dave Matthews concert.

Still, there are worse places to hang out and until I get a job, you will find me here, checking my e-mail, reading and trying to decide whether to get the peanut butter or oatmeal cookie.