Skip to content

(Coffee) Shop Talk

Welcome to the shop where I talk about things that go well with coffee, which is almost everything.

People who live in Manhattan–I mean really live in Manhattan, in style, not stacked four deep in a tiny loft space in the upper eighties–talk about Middle America in the same tone that they use for Brooklyn and third-world countries. Middle America, or The Flyover States, starts in Jersey City and continues up to the outskirts of Los Angeles. Excepted from this are Las Vegas, Texas, Florida, and The Northwest. The South is spoken of like the Congo – dark, mysterious, probably full of Voodoo, an interesting place but certainly not somewhere you’d want to live.

I recently met someone who had been to Little Rock. The conversation went as follows:

“I went to Little Rock once. I don’t know…I mean, I don’t have anything against the place. I think I was just there too long.”

“How long were you there?”

“Four days.”

The same person went on to tell me how the most uneasy situation he had ever faced–including military excursions into Lebanon–occurred outside a gas station/convenience store in Missouri.

Texas, at least, gets the benefit of the doubt from most people. Austin is routinely well-reviewed by New Yorkers, and while no one seems to actually enjoy their time in Houston, no one talks down about it either. The rest of Texas is assumed to consist of desert, cactus, and Mormons, which are all very cool and interesting to talk about in spite of their lack of tourist appeal.

L.A. is like China: a different country with strange customs, a competitor, but definitely a place you should at least visit. The Northwest is also an alien land, incomprehensible but cool in it’s own right. Las Vegas and Florida (and when people say “Florida” I think they usually mean Boca Raton) are interchangeable. When you’re tired of taking your week of vacation in one, you go to the other.

Of course, I haven’t met even a very large percent of the people who live here, so this all fairly anecdotal. No statistics were harmed in the making of this blog post.

%d bloggers like this: