Thursday, November 13, 2008

Doesn't Anyone Work in this Town?

After three weeks of being in New York, I have finally settled into my writing life. I may have been hiding for the first few weeks in my bed, the seasonal change affects me like that. But the other day I emerged, excited and ready to write.

The problem is: where? I love to work at home but I really love to explore the city and find cozy coffee shops that inspire me. Unfortunately, finding a café in New York City is like finding deodorant on a hippie.

Obviously the city is full of coffee shops and cafes, Friends made that statement with Central Perk. The problem is this city is also full of people. People who don’t go to an office and work. People who go to cafes and sit for hours and hog seats so that real writers like me can’t get a seat.


Three days in a row, I have had to walk block after block with my backpack (a laptop is better on your back this way), in the cold, looking for a place to sit. I try my best to avoid Starbucks because I have this at home. And I don’t like their coffee. But on day three I had to relent.

Starbucks it was. And things happened at this Starbucks that I have never seen before.

On my left, there was an actual catfight over a table. Okay, maybe not a catfight per say but a definite rising of voices and odd gesturing. An upper-west side woman who looked constipated and held her lips as if she had a lemon in her mouth shouted at three Japanese ladies trying to sit together. Not only was there a language barrier, but a manner-barrier as well. New Yorkers have none, Japanese have too many. The ladies lost.

On my right, three girls, as in maybe ten years old, sat with their grande non-fat hot chocolates, super expensive Starbucks sandwiches and school bags talking about boys and braces. They were actually well behaved and soft-spoken little girls. It just took me aback to see them sitting there like little grown-ups, caffeine-addicts in training, pouring mounds of sugar in their hot chocolate.

And in the corner, a little old lady cleaning her teeth in her coffee cup.

I swear this city has it all. And more. Maybe too much more . . . .

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