1:49 on a muggy Monday afternoon, the threat of torrential rainfall lingers in the air, yet my bike ride from West Eugene was surprisingly dry. “You just missed the lunch rush,” says the server as I order a pizza bagel from The Humble Bagel, “And there’s a $5 minimum on card purchases.” I swear under my breath and order a white mocha as well. “I’m here every week and I still never know what to order,” says an old man to his friend behind me, he eventually settles for a bagel with lox, the barista laughs and says “I knew you’d pick that.” Apparently the lox is popular at The Humble Bagel.
The cleanup has begun, straw wrappers and puddles of spilled Mountain Dew are picked up by a man wearing Ipod headphones and an annoyed scowl. The Humble Bagel is across the street from Roosevelt Middle School and it seems as if an adolescent tornado had torn a path through the quaint little bagel shoppe. The occasional teenager strolls in, backpack on hand, but the bulk of patrons wear their shirts neatly tucked and their glasses thick. I can count four hybrid cars in the parking lot, three of which accommodate small lap dogs howling out the half-raised windows. The sounds of yard-work seep through the windows.
I’m not the only person nestled in a corner with a laptop, this seems to be a popular bagel shoppe for the laptop-capable and caffeine-dependent. But as the middle school and high school students roll in after (and sometimes during) class, the age range shifts. I’m seeing more Iphones in the hands of middle-schoolers than I normally see on campus. I can clearly hear every unedited lyric to a Yung Money song blaring from the headphones of one student who can’t be much older than 13, making me question, “when did I become old enough to worry about what our kids are listening to?”
One of the things I noticed is the clash of traffic on 24th and Hilyard. Like a life-sized game of Rochambeau, vehicles yield to bikers and bikers to those on foot. Walk sign or not, the fearless teenagers of the Amazon neighborhood own these sidewalks.
The Amazon neighborhood seems at peace today, besides the lack of bike lanes on the busier roads (Hilyard and Patterson) it was rather easy to find my way to the hub of the Amazon neighborhood. Many doors were opened for others and the conversations were sometimes polite and sometimes critical. Mostly, however, people kept their words between themselves and their lattes.