Exhausting a Place

Georges Perec's, An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris got me thinking about all the undocumented experiences lost while simply sitting in a coffeehouse. This is my attempt to capture those mundane and special moments.

Stumptown · Seattle

Sunday September 30, 2012 at 2:21pm · Sunny and warm

A group of phones.

A man with his legs crossed outside talking to someone worthy.

One phone hands another a battery.

A barista showing some girls how to brew coffee wearing the same shirt I happened to buy yesterday.

A line forms.

A dozen roses graces our view.

Reflections of people in the glass scurry in all directions.


Seattle Coffee Works · Seattle

Sunday September 30, 2012 at 10:21am · Sunny and cool

A man impatiently waits for his bagel to toast after being chastised for requiring more butter.

A family of two smart phones, a tablet, and a laptop.

A buzz as more tourists awake.

A holding pin of anxious customers congregates at the end of the bar anticipating their fix.

A woman falsely reacts to the baristas commanding announcements.

A new woman seeks dominance over the crowd, she's met with scowls.

A runner couple compare products.

Occasional eye contact, "are you writing about me?" Yes.

A woman stares at her laptop, patiently waiting for it to load having not personalized what an interaction designer somewhere thought should be personalized.

A guy who went to Berkeley and wishes everyone to know.


Seattle Coffee Works · Seattle

Saturday September 29, 2012 at 12:36pm · Cloudy and warm

Dedicated baristas making espresso and small talk with the tourists—choosing their battles wisely.

A manager playing jokes on tourists to win them over.

A tailored couple making a tailored exit.

Two life-long elderly friends enjoying each other in silence.

Three asian teenagers sitting at a table but actually sitting in completely different worlds as their faces glow from the handheld screens in-front of them.

A dominant gesticulator.

A man plugs his phone in over a panini.

A tasting group in the back acclimating themselves to the role of connoisseur.

Old wooden chairs loosely attached to their tables showing their character.

A cement floor dutifully absorbing all that is lost once entering a coffeehouse.

Artwork hung with arrogance (too high).


Caffé Greco · San Francisco

Saturday September 22, 2012 at 1:32pm · Sunny and warm

A woman holding a beer with the tips of her fingers as if it were socially unacceptable in her current situation.

A proud server casing the outside tables after making deliveries to receptive guests.

A middle aged couple sharing a smart(phone) moment.

A boy walking up the sidewalk intently focused on a handheld game while disrupting the flow of sidewalk tourism.

A girl at an outside table, alone in a sea of social interactions desperately trying to create one of her own while feeling the warmth of technology next to her cheek.

A mom guiding her children while the lawn ornament she's holding spins wildly.