(originally published July 26, 2010)
I have never understood cafes which actually cater to the “I don’t want to talk to anyone” types who hog tables and chairs for hours while they play with their laptops or Kindles or cell phones or iPads. I guess some café owners permit this (and even offer free use of computers) in order to get business. Yeah…business. One group of people sitting for hours can’t possibly bring in more revenue than a constant flow of sippers and munchers who stay for short periods of time.
When I walk into a café and see these hulks buried in cyberspace, I usually turn and leave.
One day, my husband and I took a motorcycle ride and decided to stop in Arroyo Grande, California for breakfast. The area had a small “old town” feel to it, with roosters walking in the street. We went into the café and everyone was talking! Whenever someone new walked in, it was “Hi” all around. Nice.
Walking around the streets of most cities, you’ll often see people on cell phones, texting or talking to themselves (otherwise known as talking through their “Look Ma, no hands” Bluetooth devices).
It’s not nice to not interact.
Café Grumpy, in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, banned laptops and cell phones. Besides the smell of coffee, the sound of people actually talking to each other fills the air. In the late afternoons, people are writing on paper, reading print newspapers, and lingering over books in a corner. The owner makes the rounds, talking to these solo patrons. Person to person contact is made.
Humanity is resurrected…resistance is futile.