Central Perk

I’m visiting coffee shops and hanging out so I thought I should blog about what I see. Of the shops I’ve been in so far, Central Perk wins the “most inviting atmosphere” award. There are several tables and even some couches (one of which I currently occupy). There appears to be ample outlets for us computer junkies and the lighting is good. That being said, I will give you the rest of the story.

I love that there are sofa’s available because it has such a homey feel to it. However, this is likely to become my home until I can get a couple of strong patrons to extract me from the fluffy jaws of death that enveloped me when I planted my posterior. I enjoy a soft seat as much as the next guy, but I suspect the next guy is still buried here in the fluffy goodness of home decor next to me.

The music is too loud and, for my taste, a bit too weird. I don’t think the weirdness would bother me if it were not so loud and intrusive. It is some form of hippy emo style that occasionally slips into some head-banger rock. If I didn’t know better I’d think the owner’s son and his buddies have a band that meets in his garage and this is their only venue. In the long run the music did come to my aid in an unexpected way. When I first sat down and was plotting my escape from the sofa I became aware that a woman was crying. I looked around to find the source of the plaintive sobs and determined it was coming from the “employee’s only” room. I felt quite distressed as the crying intensified and I was weighing the merits of violating the sanctum of that holy room to offer my assistance to the dysphoric woman trapped alone with her grief in the back office. Before I could muster enough gumption to burst through the door and dispel all tears (after all, what am I if not a rainbow wrapped in sunshine destined to brighten any day) music swelled behind her tears. I stopped and listened closely a moment and realized that I was having a fit of empathy for an actress on a soap. Boy would I have felt silly bursting in as Captain Compassion only to ruin someone’s break. The music saved me by surging loud enough to drown out the majority of the dialogue in the soap.

Some have suggested that I am a bit frugal in my financial dealings. Actually they use other, less accurate terms to describe my wise stewardship, but I know what they mean. Anyway, I feel compelled to actually patronize the shops I visit and not just suck up their ambiance. Today I ordered a roast beef sandwich on multigrain and a cup of tea. The gentleman waiting on me was very friendly and polite with an accent that suggested he was not a native Delawarean. I only had to ask him to repeat his question four times…not because I understood after the forth time, but because I was too embarrassed to ask for another repetition. I did the only logical thing–smiled and made selections as if I knew what he was saying (e.g., “yes, that sounds good”), and trusted my luck. The only thing I understood clearly was when he said $9.20. I frantically tried to explain that I only wanted one sandwich and one cup of tea, I was not buying a round for the café. I feel like a rube on his first visit to the big city as I think $9.20 should buy a week worth of lunches with enough left over for a date with my lovely wife. Clearly, I need to adjust my world view.

2 thoughts on “Central Perk

  1. I always feel compelled to “help.” I helped a woman pick out a blow dry brush in TJ Maxx today. The hairdresser in me couldn’t help it.

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