The subversion of coffee shops

(for the record, I took photos to go with this post, but when I got home they were not saved on my phone. What am I doing wrong?!)

There’s a girl sitting across the table from me wearing headphones connected to an iPhone, sipping a Costa Coffee “Fruit Cooler”, and reading the book P.S. I love you. She’s still wearing her school uniform and may or may not have hit puberty.

At the counter two adolescent boys in private school suits order lattes.

the cameo (thanks to http://dazzledbyedward.com/2009/02/26/stephenie-meyers-cameo-in-the-twilight-movie/)

I love coffee shops and have ever since I could spare a few dollars a day to drink coffee. I eat lentils at home and walk instead of taking the bus if it means I can get my two hours a day at a coffee shop. I relate to stories like that of JK Rawling and Stephanie Meyer who wrote their hit books in coffee shops. (Did you know that Stephanie Meyer cameos in the film Twilight? In the scene, she’s typing at a computer in a coffee shop.) I always related to Carrie in Sex and the City for one reason – and one reason only – because she writes at Starbucks.

While I call multiple countries home and feel like I belong in no specific cultural category, if ever there was a socioeconomic category which I felt I truly owned, it was “thirty-something white female who writes books in coffeeshops.” Yup, them’s my people! And you have to admit, we form a rather notable and distinct cultural category.

So I feel like a little of my identity is being taken away at this particular moment, as I share a Costa Coffee with a gaggle of teens and pre-teens who just got out of school and are spending their weekly allowance on a large, expensive coffee drink. Is the younger generation taking over? Is this culturtwining or culture replacement? Do I really have to outgrow my coffeeshop lifestyle and leave it to the next generation?

for lack of my own, image borrowed from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13853460

(Shout-out here to my teenage friend Karina who regularly rocks the Caribou Coffee in Beirut with some truly impressive coffee drink combinations. She and I have been known to sit together, typing away at our Macs and sipping our joe.)

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  • I love the idea of sitting at a coffee shop and writing. I just can’t live with the cost of the coffee. 🙂

    • Hey, you’re back! Glad to see you… Yeah, it is a bit ridiculous. But I’ve taught myself to love plain black coffee with just a splash of milk as that’s inevitably the cheapest on the menu. Now I don’t even like the fancy shmancy drinks anymore 😉 And…uhhh… I’ve been known to pass up on basics like eating lunch just to afford the coffee shop. I suppose I’m not a model to be emulated, huh?

  • tony yang

    I guess it depends Katie. As a 30 something professor I’m avoiding the Starbucks so as not to mingle with my college student if I’m around my university. That said I’m perfectly fine going to the one down from my house.

    • Ah, that’s exactly my point… don’t you miss the day when we didn’t have to worry about which coffee shops were frequented by the next generation down, our students or what-have-you? It makes me feel old and like my world has been taken over!