30 Minute Live Blog from 31st Street/7th Ave Starbucks:
It’s Friday night, 5:50PM, and I’ve perched out a window seat in one of the many Starbucks near Madison Square Garden. Some people have just gotten off a long week of work. Others have freshly arrived for a weekend in the Big Apple. The city is abuzz and the weekend has begun.
5:51pm: No one knows what the hell to do with this weather. Earlier in the week we had a first-winter-coat-of-the-season type of day. Now it’s nearly 60 with the sun down. One guy in tight red pants and a sweater seems to be roaming about, unaware where he is. He keeps looking over his shoulder. Ah yes, the familiar NYC feeling of someone sneaking up behind you and taking you unawares. Wait, no, he’s just checking behind him to make sure his parents are keeping up. Way to play it cool though, bro. Gotta keep at least 10 feet at all times.
5:54pm: Young couple. One dude wearing a beanie with his hands in his pockets while his lady friend lugs around two large bags. Very chivalrous, sir. Maybe not a couple. Maybe not a gentlemen. Still, there were two bags. Whether you’re trying to get it in or not you could have at least taken one of them.
5:57pm; Lots of cigarettes. People smoking tend to be walking slower, taking their time. I might be concerned about some dude hustling down the street taking harsh, fast-paced drags. Best to stay out the way of that maniac.
5:58pm: Oh, we got our first sprinter. A younger woman in a trench coat. Trinity from the Matrix got somewhere to be! The pace is picking up.
6:00pm: Young Asian woman with a purse at her elbow and a huge phone that looks more like a tablet out in her hand. She’s not looking at it though, it’s just sitting there in front of her all lit up. Battery drain, my friend. Or not — maybe I’m just bitter that my 4S can’t seem to hold a full day charge since that damned upgrade to iOS 7. Shame on you, Apple.
6:02pm: Oh no, the opposite of beanie guy. Dude is carrying his lady’s purse like a bag of groceries, and holding her hand with the other arm. She’s carrying a tote in her other arm — probably could’ve switched that up?
6:04pm: First eye contact from a cute girl. More of a sideways sneer, really. I mean, I think I saw a smile mixed in with that lip curl. The creepiness of what I’m doing is starting to sink in. Nonetheless, the glass barrier between me and the street is a strange one — it allows for glances to extend a moment beyond the 1 or 2 seconds you usually hold on the street.
6:05pm: Older dude with cane. Hardly using it to actually aid in his walking. I can’t blame a guy for bringing out an instrument that doubles as a club.
6:09pm: A personal encounter. Young asian guy walks right up to the window directly in front of me and seems to be gawking at the Starbucks menu…no, he’s looking for someone. Pulls out a phone, which looks more like one of those buzzers they give you to wait at restaurants. Takes a pull from his cig, and then a lady comes scampering down the stairs behind me and out the door to greet him. Now she pulls out a cig too, clearly delighted to see him. They stand side by side in front of the window, smoking, taking in the city just like me. True love, my friends, true love.
6:12pm: Where the homeless people at? This area must be more heavily policed. It’s certainly well lit.
6:15pm: Just realized there’s a bus stop right outside. Bus finally arrives. A Jennifer Lawrence Hunger Games ad keeps popping up with a bow and arrow pointed at me on repeat. I get it, Catching Fire is out November 22nd. Weirdly, some guy stops just to see the add roll down a few times. I mean, she is a babe, but that was weird.
6:20pm: Last observation. I finally turn around to glimpse my indoor surroundings. Is it not chill that I haven’t ordered a drink? I patronize Starbucks on the regs, I think I’ve earned up some credit on this free internet. Unfortunately, no one fell, no one walked by with some grotesque disfigurement. I can only imagine what would happen if I stayed longer than half an hour. Good night, New York, have a great weekend.