By Cheryl Ryan
This is a piece I wrote before the shutdown and it hasn’t felt relevant…until now. I’m feeling so hopeful that we can get back to this:
I’m writing this from my favorite coffee shop. They play the right music at the right volume and the temperature is almost always perfect. I like the food options and the people that work here are friendly and kind to everyone.
Fingers crossed that one day I’ll get a real office but in the meantime the hum of voices, sporadic laughter, and loud phone talkers – ok not loud phone talkers – makes me feel connected.
There is a rhythm about it, from harried commuters and moms with small children to retirees and lunch seekers. Everyone is welcome. The afternoon rush greets high schoolers testing their independence and 2nd round caffeine seekers all mixed with the scattering of working hustlers hunched over computers.
It’s intriguing to me that all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic groups come to sit side by side. There is something special about that. From the Renaissance to the Realist movement, cafes and coffee shops throughout Europe were a place to discuss new ideas and engage in intellectual banter and socialization. As I look around my local Starbucks I see a modern-day version of that.
I tend to jump between shops so as not to overstay my table hoarding welcome. From independent coffee shops to large corporations I love that each location is unique in its personality and representation of the surrounding neighborhood. Each location has recognizable regulars and staff – not unlike an office.
I buy food and beverages while there which, hopefully, offsets my electrical usage, and try to be respectful when things get crowded by moving to a smaller space. I love the synergy and communal dynamic even more than the coffee.
Just revisiting this makes me excited to get back. Do you have a place in your neighborhood that you’re excited to get back to?