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Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
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stinkyjones
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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2005, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

dankbean Said:

you're all just a bunch of zeros and ones to me.

especially stinky.  and he's definitely a zero. ;)

Posted October 20, 2005 link

I resent that!
I used to be a zero--then i lost a bunch of weight.  now i look more like a 1.

saabsaabsaabsaabsaab . . . in the shop . . . saabsaabsaab

 
The pillars of inspiration are all falling down.
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slidingmike
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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2005, 2:09pm
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

Great article.  It's sad when walking (or driving) down to your local cafe and ordering a drink is the only human interaction we have on some days.  I've found myself doing and thinking the same thing.  But cafes do provide that gravity, to pull us out of our online existence.  It's rare when a cafe really realizes the full importance of its existence -- not just to make shareholders money, but to provide a place for great coffee, for social awareness, for public discourse, for private meetings...
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dankbean
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Posted Thu Oct 20, 2005, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

stinkyjones Said:

I resent that!
I used to be a zero--then i lost a bunch of weight.  now i look more like a 1.

saabsaabsaabsaabsaab . . . in the shop . . . saabsaabsaab

Posted October 20, 2005 link

hahahahaha.....

i was going to make a joke about you looking like a million bucks.

a one with a lot of zeros.

but that was more lame than your cowculus joke, so i didn't.

i'll bet the mechanic knows you by your first name.
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Perkins
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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2005, 3:38pm
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

Sorry Chris.

These days I find cafes to be less a place of togetherness and larking about over a quiet mug than a disappointment.  The sense of discovery and ohilosophical and social discourse I used to enjoy are fleetingand the local joints have become a place where people bolt down over-sweetened 'Coffee Drinks' (as opposed to actual coffee) and either ignore one another or talk exclusively within the clique they walked in with about nothing.

"Did you see that last game?"
"Yeah the Mariners really stink this year!"

I can't remember the last time I saw or overheard someone in a cafe talking about anything deeper than the last episode of American Idol or Survivor.

I know that wasn't the complete gist of your premise, but it really bugs me, and so mostly I tend to avoid the places.

I guess you're right.  The greater picture is definitely people out being alone together, but mostly I find that sad.  I grew up in a small town where the local coffee shop was a place where the community came together.  There was a huge table in the corner where the mayor would periodically show up and people would sit down and chat him up.  It wasn't bohemian, it was pure midwestern America in all its apple-pieness.

In Art School I hung out a place called Muddys in Denver.  I don't think its even there anymore.  Scratchy black turtlenecks and leather motorcycle jackets were the uniform of our nonconformity and the place was always hazy though I don't actually remember seeing anyone actually smoking.  There were live figure drawing groups meeting in the basement and a used bookstore which was more of a lending library for the adherents of the place to pull down a paperback edition of whatever to prove the point they were trying to make.  We'd never heard of Starbucks yet, and Barnes & Noble was still overshadowed by the venerable edifice of The Tattered Cover.

Now I live near Seattle, supposed hub of American coffee culture.  But even here, in places where there are still poetry slams and local art on the walls, it all seems to be a thin veneer over a vacuous core... Like they're all posing but secretly begging the Frappaccino crowd to come into their shops and order something too sweet and too much like Dairy Queen to be served by a serious barista.  

Maybe we've grown out of it.  Most of us have taken off our scratchy turtlenecks for more comfortable attire and I personally retired my artistic scowl ages ago.  Maybe I've grown cynical as I've watched Seattle's coffee culture take over the rest of the world while Seattle loses its culture in the vacuum left behind.

For stimulating discourse, I now turn to the internet.  Which is where I (and, I think, Chris too) find ourselves drinking a good deal of our coffee in digital companionship.  Alone and yet bound together across the miles.  

Like the man said, ultimately its all ones and zeros.  But it usually has to do for human interaction these days... between optimistic and ultimately unfullfilling trips to the local cafes.
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Insane
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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2005, 11:25am
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

I like the sentiment of the article. It reminds me of simpler times before I had a car, and before I discovered real coffee. Back then, I'd walk into my local Charbux or Peets and sit for hours, reading or doing homework.

The main difference now is that I am more likely to make my coffee at home, and enjoy it somewhere by myself or with a small group of friends. My favorite thing is to take my travel mug and go hiking by myself. A recent example was hiking to the top of the Stawamus Chief (north of Vancouver, BC) with a fresh brew from my french press (Barefoot beans!).

I still hang out at coffee shops, just a more select group. I'm working on visiting all of the shops in the South Bay so I can actually know who has the best coffee and atmosphere.

Cute female baristas are the first tie-breaker. =)
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Perkins
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Perkins
Joined: 24 Oct 2005
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Location: Fox Island, Washington
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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2005, 4:59pm
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

Insane Said:

Cute female baristas are the first tie-breaker. =)

Posted October 30, 2005 link


Hmmmmm.... yes, you have made a wonderful point.
One more pip in the 'drinking out' score box, please!

"Your idea has merit.  I would like to subscribe to your newsletter."
                                            - H.J. Simpson
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sinople
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Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 24
Location: usa
Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005, 7:31am
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

I'm actually in the process of trying to find a new coffee shop. For 7 years I've been going to the same place.  But since they've added free Wi-Fi, they went from being a rambunctious meeting place with interesting conversations, to quiet as a library without books or any place to sit and enjoy a drink.
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Perkins
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Perkins
Joined: 24 Oct 2005
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Location: Fox Island, Washington
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Nov 12, 2005, 11:49pm
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

Yeah I hear you.

Talk about going out and being 'alone together'.
I think WiFi is neat... in certain places.  Like libraries, schools, bookstores even.  But in cafes Sinople is right, it just quenches the real fire that draws us away from our home brew and entices us to brave the rain, sleet, snow, etcetera for the sake of... what?  Atmosphere?  It's not the coffee, not usually (unless you are lucky enough to live near a good roaster).  

If I wanted to drink coffee in a library, I'd take a thermos to the library.  Cafe owners are trying to survive, reach out to what they see as an un-tapped demographic.  Maybe they envision a European E-Cafe atmosphere developing, but I haven't seen it yet.  Recently I actually got 'shushed' by a woman at a cafe!  She wanted to concentrate on what she was doing on her laptop and couldn't be bothered that I was there to have a cup of Joe and talk to my friend.

I should have mentioned that lively conversation and coffee was the raison d'etre for the cafe we were sitting in.  I should have asked if she knew there was a library nearby where her and her I-Book could be alone.   I should have waxed prosaic about how Lloyds of London started as a coffee shop, about how the French Revolution was borne in the cafes of Paris.  I should have chastised her roundly for stomping on an ages-old tradition.  I should have... but I didn't.  I guess I'm getting old.

Put another pip in the 'drinking at home' column.
Even a cute barista can't balance that one out...

Scott

"Writer: noun - A mechanism whereby coffee is transmuted into words."
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sinople
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Joined: 12 Nov 2005
Posts: 24
Location: usa
Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005, 12:52am
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

Wi-FI is ruining coffee culture.
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ChicagoSandy
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Posted Sun Nov 13, 2005, 2:41am
Subject: Re: Two Hours of Joint Solitude, The Cafe Stage
 

stinkyjones Said:

I resent that!
I used to be a zero--then i lost a bunch of weight.  now i look more like a 1.

saabsaabsaabsaabsaab . . . in the shop . . . saabsaabsaab

Posted October 20, 2005 link

there are only 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't.

 
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
-------------------
Life's too short to drink lousy coffee, play crummy guitars and write with ballpoint pens.
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