Archive for the ‘Cageliner’ Category

A handwritten sign on the door conveyed the news to disappointed customers.

It is unsurprising that Starbucks would fall victim to nautical mishap: its name derives from a character in Moby Dick.  From Monday, November 12th, at 8 AM, until Thursday the 15th, at 11:30 AM, the Starbucks Coffee in Van Ness, a regular haunt of Burke students and teachers alike, was closed for “plumbing issues.”  A water pipe elsewhere in the building collapsed, leading to a failure of the various plumbing installations in the building.  The fallout from this incident was rumored to be disastrous.  The floor drains, supposedly, began to regurgitate dirty water, and Starbucks’ district manager, Lauren Esveld, would not speak in detail about the conditions in the restrooms.  It will suffice to say that it was “gross.”

This calamitous event was not only gross, but inconvenient.  The closure led to the loss of an estimated $10,000, and countless customers were left disgruntled and groggy.  Lauren, the manager, said that they were mostly understanding, and happy to receive the free coffee that diligent employees gave out during the day.  Although there was free coffee, it might have turned to ashes in some people’s mouths because it was not a Pumpkin Spice Latte, the most popular item on the menu.

Throughout the closure, customers would peer in the windows anxiously while shadowy figures moved around within, perhaps preparing to reopen, or perhaps doing something more nefarious; it was impossible to tell.  The only part of Starbucks where you could see clearly what was going on was the pastry cabinet, where gloved and ungloved hands (disembodied) would reach in and adjust the pastries.

Chris Jones, a self-styled “Starbucks-aholic,” describes how difficult it is to be deprived of Starbucks.  He once spent an entire year, as a New Year’s resolution, eschewing Starbucks.  As soon as a year passed, Chris immediately slipped back into his Starbucks habit.  Melanie Brill, a student, performed a small, joyous dance maneuver (Beyoncé inspired) when she saw that Starbucks had returned to business.   Clearly, overpriced coffee deprivation is more challenging than you would expect.  Any hot beverage enthusiast will assure you that coffee at 7-11 is simply not as good.

The closure is not without its benefits.  One passerby admitted that they smoked fewer cigarettes because of the closure. By both addicts and dilettantes, the re-opening of Starbucks was heralded with delight.


Read Full Post »

A delightful young voter conducts some last second candidate research.

Watching the people in line outside Burke, waiting to vote in the 32nd precinct, I noticed that almost everyone was on their Smartphone.  I even witnessed one individual asking Siri who to vote for. What has this world come to when voters are making their decisions right before entering the voting booth??

Read Full Post »