This is a post about me going to a coffee shop. Eventually.
I buy shoes for my girlfriend. On my own. Let me go ahead and admit right now in front of God and everybody, I’m a diehard leg man. Evi, a part-time model who happens to stand 6’2″ in bare feet, has absolutely amazing legs. They need no adornment; there are supermodels that would be jealous. And on those occasions when she wears high heels, my Lord, it’s like looking at Heaven. I swear I hear angels sing.
So yeah, sometimes I perv out a little and buy her sexy shoes. She certainly doesn’t complain.
A couple of months ago, I sold a used cell phone on eBay, which netted me a PayPal balance. Not knowing what the hell to do with a PayPal balance, I decided to buy myself some much-needed dress shoes from a website. Not knowing how to restrain myself, I instead looked at women’s shoes and started picturing Evi in them. Not knowing how to balance my priorities, I purchased for Evi rather than myself. Four pairs. She loved them. I have good taste.
Problem: two of the pairs didn’t fit well. They had to be returned.
Just to give you some perspective, a few years ago I ordered a few pairs of mostly expensive dress shoes for myself from Kenneth Cole. One of the pairs didn’t fit well. I gave them away. My thought was: I’m not fucking around trying to figure out how to return shit online.
I hate complications. But this was a present for my girlfriend! I couldn’t just say, “Oh, they don’t fit? Well, sorry about your luck.” I had no choice. I had to research Terms and Conditions and Return Policy and send emails requesting Return Authorizations and Shipping Instructions and then find boxes and shipping tape and basically wanted to kill myself because, let’s face it, the rest of my life may not be worth living if I have to deal with this hassle.
But, I did finally get the shoes all boxed up with a prepaid shipping label attached. And an Internet search showed an authorized shipping outlet about a two minute walk away. Yay!
Two minutes later, I walked up to the shipping store door, where I read a sign affixed to it that said: “I apologize, we are closed for personal reasons.”
Hey, shit happens, right? Sometimes you have personal reasons you gotta not work. And, I mean, I’m only carrying around this awkward box in five billion degree heat and 100% humidity. What’s the big deal?
Okay, it really wasn’t a big deal. I found another shipper only five minutes from there. After dropping off the shoes, I decided to treat myself to a cup of what basically fuels New York City: iced coffee. I have no problem with Starbucks, and there’s one very close to my place. But the city has so much selection! I must have ten coffee shops within a 90 second walk of my apartment. Why not try something different? So I popped into a local place called 60 Beans. (This is a post about a coffee shop, remember? Really. Look at the title.)
The barista, whose name I forgot to ask because I suck at this, was very friendly when I asked for help. He had several different brews available, though only one for iced coffee. It was delicious.
“So where does the name come from?” I asked.
“The composer Ludwig van Beethoven,” he answered. “According to him, sixty is the exact amount of beans to grind to make the perfect cup of coffee.”
I was going to ask if they actually counted out sixty beans for every cup, but caught myself before I certainly asked the stupidest question he’d ever heard, one that he hears seven times a day. I took my cup and sat down near a window to the street.
I’d read where Microsoft Windows is still the dominant operating system of the PC market, with a 90% market share. Somebody forgot to tell this coffee shop. If I had to characterize the atmosphere in this place, I’d use the words “Rustic Apple Store”. There were nothing but MacBooks everywhere. I wasn’t surprised, as this is the case in most NYC coffee shops, but it was especially striking today. There must have been a dozen people on them, pecking away. Anyway, you won’t see any pictures of them below, because, um, well, let me ask: have you ever taken random pictures of strangers while there were looking right at you?
Anyway, if you happen to find yourself in Astoria or Long Island City, drop on by 60 Beans. It really is a mom-and-pop type place (the owners, John and Peter, only own this one coffee shop) and hey, they also serve beer and cider. And you may even run into me there. Let me borrow your MacBook.