Shane and Mel, in particular have been really into tea lately, perhaps because of the changing weather (and terrible wind). And I have been enjoying a few different flavors as well. We recently discovered St. Mark's Coffeehouse within walking distance of our new place (5 blocks!) that has many different flavors of tea. The only problem is, it is a place where people sit in silence, with their computers and ipods, and no community.
When we walked there the other night in search of delicious tea and a change of scenery, there was not one empty table (and about 35 people with their laptops). And if there had been one table in the midst of that scene, we would have felt like we were disturbing the peace. Shane then told us about how in certain coffee shops, they are blocking outlets to bring in more income, but also to create more of a social environment. Can you imagine a place that doesn't serve alcohol where people gather to drink coffee and socialize? Can you imagine a coffee shop where you don't feel like you need to whisper your order to the barista as to not disturb those sitting in silence around you?
But I can see both sides of the argument. I just wish that people could sit in a place like St. Marks and talk with their neighbors and their friends and read their books and observe the world around them.
Until then, we sit at the bar next door instead and enjoy our time together and our tea.