Afternoon at Starbucks

In Home, Neighborhood, Writing on March 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I’m staying with my daughter for a week and she doesn’t have wi-fi, or even DSL. I’m spoiled. I’m used to getting online whenever I feel like it and going anywhere I want, for as long as I want. Now my only recourse is to go to Starbucks and access their wi-fi. To do so, I had to get a Starbucks card with at least $5 on it and set up and sign in to an account at As long as I have a registered card with money on it, I can access wi-fi at any Starbucks.

I’m picking up my grandson after school and the Starbucks is, conveniently, right across the street from his school. So I can come here a couple of hours before his school is out and he can meet me here. It’s not a very big Starbucks and I feel kind of bad using one of their chairs and outlets for this long, but I’m not the only one doing so, so I’m not going to worry about it.

I’m not the only mother or grandmother who has the same idea. There are several little kids here with mom or grandma for their big brothers and sisters to get out of school. I thought that I would be able to do some writing, but it’s pretty noisy in here. There’s jazz playing, the coffee machines gushing hot milk and water, people talking, children squealing–how do people write in coffee shops anyway? You hear about so many writers who do, including J.K. Rowling, but I don’t know how they do it.

This Starbucks is in a little town center of an incorporated area on the east side of Cincinnati, Ohio. It has its own school district and library system. The schools are rated as excellent and are the main reason my daughter bought a house here.  If you can’t afford to send your kids to private schools, try to move into the neighborhoods that have the best schools, even if you have the cheapest house in the district. That way you piggy back on those who have more money. They say in real estate that location is everything and when it comes to schools that’s definitely true. At any rate, this area has a lot of charm and warmth. It’s the kind of neighborhood you feel safe taking your children trick-or-treating in.

Now the teens and pre-teens are showing up; they get out of school before the grade-schoolers do.

I do love the atmosphere of a coffee shop; it’s like a neighborhood gathering place. I just need to learn how to shut out the noise. But then that’s part of what makes it feel so homey. That and the smell of coffee. Yum.

  1. Both Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron swear by writing in coffee shops. Somehow I think their shops are quaint and quiet ones. We used to have a dandy one in our town I loved to sit and read/write in – its closed now, leaving only Starbucks. I can’t drink that coffee.

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