Coffee Shops: America's Touchiest Subject

"I'd rather see more coffee shops and restaurants open than bodegas and nail salons," said one dude opening a coffee shop in Crown Heights, currently home to many bodegas and nail salons. There is so much beef now.

One dude whose family has had a shop in Crown Heights for 30 years goes and opens a coffee shop. Then these other newcomers go and open a coffee shop right down the block, and now it looks like Franklin Ave. could see new bloodbath just like the bad old days:

The owners of the second shop posted a comment announcing their opening and boasting of purveying organic coffee. That provoked a pointed retort from the owner of the first shop, the Pulp and the Bean. "I won't be selling organic coffee (whatever that is) but I will have really good coffee," the owner, Tony Fisher, wrote.

Hopefully guns shall not be drawn. Just wait until the slighted nail salon owners weigh in to defend their pride. Coffee shops are one of our society's most cherished Love/Hate institutions, particularly in still-gentrifying hoods, where they are essentially huge flashing "Burn Me First When the Riots Come!" signs on boulevards full of, you know, nail salons and bodegas.

Which is fine, because coffee shops live on self-loathing. As Michael Idov writes in a long WSJ essay doubtlessly composed in a coffee shop, "At any given moment, a typical New York coffeehouse looks like an especially sedate telemarketing center...The laptoppers hog the tables, but they do the coffeehouse experience an even deeper disservice. They make it a solitary one, and it's a different kind of solitude from the stance sung by Hemingway. You're not just alone-you're in another universe entirely, inaccessible to anyone not directly behind you."

Yea, that's what I thought too, until I started working in a coffee shop on a laptop every day. Now I just want you to stop typing so loud. This isn't Romper Room. It's a god damn coffee shop.
[Pic: I Love Franklin Ave.]