In New York Stabucks is pretty much all that is left in terms of coffee shops. A city which prides itself on good taste, and high culture drinks the flavorless swill, and super sweet milkshake like connoctions, gratefully. Gus tells me of a corner where you can stand and see 4 (or was it 5) Starbucks within a block.
Seattle is subtler and more prickly, they appreciate their coffee more, and their independence. The number of independent, and generally excellent coffee shops in the city is staggering, But there is sinister forces at work. I stood and watched people yesterday choose between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee (owned by Starbucks), and Torrefazione Italia (owned by Starbucks). This is a city under seige.
That said I haven’t had much time to go prowling the city coffee shops, but I’m already very fond of Zeitgeist (weekends with the laptop), Espresso to Go (mornings), Chai House (afternoons), and the americano at Espresso Roma (though perhaps not “the Ave”‘s atmosphere)
Re-reading my collected Borges this evening, I was struck by the fact that mermaids (sirens) are given a category all their own.