The long wooden table stretches the length of the frosted storefront windows. The rough hewn, chapped and splintered, lacquered surface alludes to a repurposed life and a weathered soul. Frosted window panes sweat between the winter morning sunshine outside and pressing body heat of patrons inside. The liquid trickles down and congregates in small puddles at the feet of latte sipping, Mac users. A bubbling brook of childish chatter and clicking computer keys ebbs and flows over and around the soft reggae music playing overhead. Plain gray walls stretch soothingly upward with only the occasional blemish left behind by past art hangings. Bundled and mittened patrons blow in and bustle out to desk jobs, college lectures and the next big business venture.
The coffee shop is a complex organ. It is an open vault of intellectual wealth. Coffee shops across America are in the business of getting individuals into grad school, out of debt, into mortgages, out of slumber, into relationships, interviewed for jobs, reconnected to old friends, or simply to pause over a newspaper, a book, or a blog. It’s where people assess where they are, where they’ve been, and where they’re going – and then they get to it. With caffeine pumping through their veins, they charge into their day.