Americans; Coffee houses

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Tim McGnaw, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    Or Diners too I suppose.

    They seem to play such a huge part of American culture, and coffee houses and diners play a very big part of the TV and Movie representation of American life.

    But my experience of Americans is that they work long hours and have fairly limited free time, so my question is how much time do Americans really spend or how often to they visit the coffee house?
     
    #1 D_Tim McGnaw, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  2. exwhyzee

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    My town has a coffee house downtown where all the cool kids hang out. Local art on the walls, lotsa of people with IPads and IPhones, piercings, and bicycles outside. Patrons actually hang out there, have meetings, or just read the paper. In fact, I met up with a recently banned LPSGer there less than a year ago. This is in contrast to Starbucks, which doesn't have a shop downtown and has limited seating in the suburban stores it has here.

    I meet my dad twice a week for breakfast in a diner. Its been a tradition for years. My grandfather loved eating pancakes there when I was a kid. In this region, if you want a big breakfast, and you don't want to go to a chain like the International House of Pancakes, Denny's, or Cracker Barrel, then a diner is a good option. I tend to prefer them because they often serve local food traditions, like biscuits in the south or scrapple in the north.

    We certainly don't have the free time I have seen in places like Spain and Italy to sit at a table all afternoon with our friends and chat or watch the world go by. We also don't gather in pubs at the end of the day the way the British and the Irish do. Some day, I'd like to live in a place like that if only briefly. But we do have to eat, so we tend to double up our time with friends to have lunch and catch up with friends or meet-up over a cup of coffee. I've seen worse in China where it seemed life is all work and no play.
     
  3. D_Hey Sailor

    D_Hey Sailor New Member

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    I like to frequent coffee or tea houses for first dates, meet-ups with friends and family, or just as a treat. I would say that that twice a week on average would be a fair number, quite a bit more through the winter months.
     
  4. nudeyorker

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    hilaire have you been watching Seinfield and Friends reruns? NYC I think is the diner capitol of the world; it seems there is a diner on almost every corner. I never go to them I find the food hideous and greasy. (For the same amount of money or slightly more you can go to a decent restaurant and have something good) There used to be more coffee houses in NY but I don't think they could compete with Starbucks. I had a friend who used to have a really cool coffee house in The Village and when the non-smoking laws went into effect he could not make it anymore (90% of his customers liked to have a smoke with their java)
    Hawaii is another story in itself... There used to be a place called King's Hawaiian Bakery & Coffee Shop and we used to go there after the bars closed for breakfast. Now I'm happy going to The Manoa Marketplace
    Hawaii Restaurants and then eating it outside. I'm also no stranger to Shrimp Trucks and Manapua Stands Shrimp Trucks of Oahu's North Shore
    I've been to some wonderful Diners while driving in other states particularly in the south east and the west. Whenever I'm in LA I always go to Dolores - Los Angeles, CA, 90025 - Citysearch and have a pancake sandwich.
    To answer your question I think diners are comforting to people in the US because who does not want to go someplace and sit in a booth and have a nice lady named Flo come by and ask "More coffee hon?"
     
    #4 nudeyorker, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  5. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    OK, clear something up for me, you're Canadian right? I have at least one Canadian friend who completely denies that Canadians can be called Americans (in the general sense, as in a person from the Americas, as opposed to the US demonym) when you saw this thread did you think "Oh he just means people from the USA" or did you take "Americans" more generally?


    I'm glad to have a Canadian perspective. :wink:
     
  6. D_Tim McGnaw

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    Wow Hawaii really is a different kettle of fish, fascinated by the Shrimp Trucks! They look brilliant! :biggrin1:
     
  7. bigbull29

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    Americans spend a lot of time in coffee shops -- a lot. It's the main place for social interaction for many (and diners, too).

    People find time to do what they want, no matter if they work hard or not (namely going to restaurants, coffee shops, shopping malls, bars, as well as spending time internet surfing, etc.).

    I know lots of Americans who don't work hard at all and get paid big bucks (cushy jobs).:biggrin1: On the other hand, I know a lot who do work hard with more spare time than you'd ever imagine.

    When I lived in Australia, I discovered that they seem to work longer hours than Americans, but still find the time to party or do whatever the hell they want.
     
    #7 bigbull29, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  8. TomCat84

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    Theres something about greasy bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, with a coffee (or several) that starts my day off right. My mom and I went to one yesterday morning- it's cheap, the coffee is good, and the waitress knows what we order.
     
    #8 TomCat84, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  9. D_Hey Sailor

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    lol, it totally slipped my mind, to be honest. I guess I just saw Americans and subconsciously thought "well, close enough!"

    The Canada/America distinction is pretty slim anymore, at least to me.
     
  10. D_Tim McGnaw

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    Particularly in Toronto though right? :tongue:
     
  11. D_Hey Sailor

    D_Hey Sailor New Member

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    Well if you could put the landmarks, flags, and politicians to the back of your mind for an instant and focus on the people, Toronto is a pretty close approximation to NYC, or any huge urban center for that matter.
     
  12. nicenycdick

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    Even though you could never tell the difference unless there was an inadvertant "eh" that slipped out, my Canadian friends would hate to be called "American".
     
  13. D_Hey Sailor

    D_Hey Sailor New Member

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    Most Americans I've talked to in person think I am from Bay Area of California :confused:

    Stereotypes aside (and hoping they don't apply), I could never understand why, but it never gave me no offense.

    (I'll stop hijacking now)
     
  14. spoon

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    i've heard it said that canada down thru mexico is all americans, ie-north america.

    i think diners and coffee shops are part of the american culture. believe it or not, i met my ex at the coffee area at a borders.
     
  15. PornForPatric

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    I visit my local coffee house, Brew Urban Cafe Downtown, at least once a day. I work from home and it is nice to walk over there, get a cup of coffee, an italian soda or Orangina and relax for a few minutes. I do notice there are many people who hold meetings there, bring a laptop and work or just hang out endlessly. I'll usually spend about an hour answering e-mails and making calls, but that's about it.

    We have a gay cafe called Stork's which is nice, but a bit out of the way for me. I'm not a fan of the place as too often they'll give preferential treatment to their buddies or whichever hot muscle guy walks in.

    There is a diner on Las Olas Blvd. called The Floridian. It is open 24/7 and the food is good. I'll end up there a few nights a week either alone or with friends. It is a good place to end the night getting a bite to eat or to stumble to and sober up before driving home (or in my case biking). There's also the fact that every once in a while, there's a nice fat cock to be seen as in the photo below. :smile:
     

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  16. AlteredEgo

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    My friends and I don't have a lot of free time, but we also do not sleep much. If a diner is open very late, or 24/7, we would meet there weekly when I lived in NY. I had one group of friends I met for supper every Wednesday because the diner was cheap, and had enough seating. The waitstaff was surly, but the orders were always right, and the bad attitudes were proffered with a wink and a grin. Another group of friends (with some overlap) met every few months for brunch at another diner, or an IHOP. I don't have such a group down here. My Floridian friends and I go to restaurants and gun ranges mostly. I kind of miss diners. PornForPatric is right. The Floridian on Las Olas is awesome. I just wish any of my friends ever wanted to go.
     
  17. molotovmuffin

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    Calling Canadians "American" is the same as calling Mexicans "American", not going to happen even though we're all North American citizens, it's like calling a Scot "British".:wink:

    Back to the OP...I frequent a coffee house once a week for open mic night and sometimes on Sunday mid day for an iced tea to take to the river. Our main coffee house is artsy, hippie, emo and goth and some business types. Same for the one downtown, same owners, same clientele. If it's a chain coffee shop like Starbucks or Joe Mugs, I'm not going in.
     
  18. earllogjam

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    I love a good greasy patty melt with french fries and a vanilla shake, and nowhere better to get one than an American Diner! They usually serve great breakfasts also. It's informal and the food is hearty, familiar and affordable. Many of us grew up going to Denny's, IHOP or something similar after church on Sundays.

    I don't do coffeehouses much as I don't enjoy coffee but they seem to be an American phenomenon within the last 20 or so years modeled after the ones in Europe shaped mainly by the success of Starbuck's. They seem to be more of an urban thing, often replacing bars, purveyors of the new alcohol, caffeine addiction.
     
    #18 earllogjam, Jul 24, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  19. vince

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    That's exactly why I didn't respond to the the thread when I saw it a couple hours ago. If someone specifically asks for an American perspective, I shut up, even though I have lived there.
     
  20. LaFemme

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    You could call us North Americans. I wasn't going to answer b/c American means the U.S. to me :)

    And yes, I like coffee shops & diners. Love weekly diner breakfasts & coffee. I do coffee at least once or twice a week with friends.
     
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