I walk through the door into a room with white and green tiles, I hear a murmur of a reggae beat coming from the kitchen as a small young blonde women behind the counter asks me what I want. “A bagel with sun-dried tomato and pesto spread, with a small cup of coffee,” I say. “A café latte” she asks, having trouble hearing me over the various grindings and clattering happening in the kitchen behind her. “No just a small coffee,” I reply. I move to the side of the counter. On display are a variety of pastries ranging from various sweets and Danishes to muffins and breads. I pick up my coffee and bagel and head towards the other room.
The other room is much larger; the walls are painted a soft brown and greenish teal. Off in the corner is a comfy looking couch surrounded by various stuffed chairs. The place is warmly lit and has a relaxed air to it. Besides the couch is a vacated bar with several beers on tap. Pictures of fruits and vegetables shot close up hang from the walls. The room is solely occupied by college-aged men and women. The clatter and music from the kitchen has become harder to hear and is mixed with the quiet murmur of a conversation happening around a corner. “One time I poured boiling water all over my lap,” says an excited voice, for a moment cutting clear through all the background noises.
In front of me is a man and a women probably in their early 20’s. The man has his back towards me and is playing solitaire on his computer. He is wearing a long leather jacket with tassels hanging from his shoulders and his sleeves. The women has short black hair and is absentmindedly flipping over a Xeroxed copy of what I assume is required reading for some class. Over the noise I can here that they changed the song to “Boss DJ,” by Sublime.
The young couple gets up to leave. The young man luxuriates for a moment as the women herself yawns saying, “I’m so tired.” From the kitchen I can hear a women telling a story. I can’t hear what it’s about, but it apparently has her greatly pleased as her voice rises excitedly throughout and when she finishes a young man replies, “That’s so awesome.” The song changes to another Sublime song, this time the hit “What I Got.” Three boys walk in the door. They don’t look older than 15.
An older man with thinning grey hair walks in the room. He immediately begins walking around the room, placing his hand ON and shaking each chair. If a chair appears too loose, he flips it over, takes out a screwdriver, tightens it up and places it back on the ground. Meanwhile several people briskly walk in and out. They come in empty handed and leave with small white paper bags filled, most likely, with some breakfast pastry or bagel.