Thursday, July 14, 2022


When I still lived in North Beach every morning I'd head to the Caffe Trieste for my wake-up jolt. Their latte has always been the latte wich other lattes sadly wish they were, and their cappuccino says cappuccino like no other cappuccino can even come close to being. Early in the morning there are serious people there. Later in the day the neighborhood pot heads and meth freaks may make an appearance, and there's always the danger in North Beach, wherever you are, that an intellectual may randomly strike up a conversation.

Some of those people will remember you for years afterwards and continue where they left off, not realizing that their proximity is cringable, their insights shallow, their breath gagnasty, and also that you had forgotten the berserk discussion from five years earlier because it wasn't worth listening to in the first place.

During my last Financial District employment, before I started working in Fringebottom near the saltflats over in Marin County tending to obnoxious old geezers and their smells, some of my coworkers discovered espresso drinks. And, consequently, could not shut up in the hours before lunch about the Real Housewives, Fluffy the Zombie Whisperer, Five Naked men On A Coral Reef, or whatever idiotic show they had watched last night. Having by that time dealt with meth freaks for several years, I could tolerate their inane chatter. Even ignore it.
Seeing as I nowadays have my morning jolt at home, I very often do not go to North Beach. In the middle of the day it's too intellectual there for me, and I do not wish to ponder man's inhumanity to man, how to save the planet, or any meaningful symbolisms in the oeuvres of David Lynch, Jordan Peele, and Bong Joon-ho.

In mid-afternoon, the man within wants a caffeinated beverage. And a pastry that does not have a French or Italian name. With sane people around one, instead of the labile souls and potential for rancorous disagreement that a hipster joint presents, and without people writing great literature on their laptops with scowls on their faces. And please, no tourists.

The absence of pot heads, meth freaks, serious artists, and tourists, is a primary reason for heading into Chinatown for my afternoon tea. It's safer and saner than even the wifi-spots and bohemian coffee shops in my own neck of the woods. No idiots, no bums, no artistic profound dudes, no fascinating tattoos.

Tea time, on my days off, is very pleasant.
Quiet time, surrounded by real people.
Something to soothe the mind.

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